Alejo Muniz

The ASP WQS 6-Star Estoril Quiksilver Pro 2009 moved closer to its business today as Guincho’s consistent beachbreak delivered some excellent three foot (one meter) waves allowing organisers to wrap up Round 3 and six heats of Round 4, event outsiders creating major upsets for an exciting day of world class surfing. While current ASP Top 45 surfers Tiago Pires (Ericeira, PRT) and Michael Picon (Capbreton, FRA) suffered early eliminations, ASP WQS rising campaigners stole the show to advance through to the first Man-on-man heats of the event planned to kick off tomorrow at Carcavelos, main location of the Estoril Quiksilver Pro.

Marco Giorgi (URY), 21, flew the South American colours today, the newcomer dominating Day 3 of the Estoril Quiksilver Pro 2009 with exceptional surfing. Giorgi, who placed equal 5th in the recent ASP WQS 4-Star event in France, was unstoppable throughout the day netting an near perfect 9.83 point ride (out of a possible 10) on his way to Round 5.

“I have been having a great time so far in Europe, in or out of the water,” Giorgi said. “The waves were great all day and I am just trying to stay calm. It seems like things are definitely going my way and to get such high scores is definitely a great boost for my confidence before I get to surf my second Man-on-man heat ever.”

Giorgi, whose trip to Europe has been successful so far, will be a serious threat to his next opponent and ASP WQS No. 9 Gony Zubizarreta (Vigo, ESP) when competition resumes possibly tomorrow.

“I feel like I have nothing to lose and everything is bonus from now on,” Giorgi said. “I am just starting my WQS career so I am not expecting any huge result but I will take that one and try and go further of course. I am so stoked to finish the day on top when there is such a high level.”

Several big performances were displayed in the clean sometimes exceptional conditions breaking at Guincho. The incoming tide made the set-up close to perfect giving any surfer the chance to express his skills.

Other South American performer Alejo Muniz (BRA), 19, struck again with his impressive progressive surfing and breath-taking attacks, the rising star showing rare talent to take control of his Round 4 battle easily. Muniz, who secured a 9.00 point ride (out of a possible 10) and a 9.60 point score earlier in the day, showed he could flare in the conditions suiting his surfing and finishes the day with a new favourite status.

“It was such a fun day and I am so happy to keep things up this way before surfing in Round 5,” Muniz said. “I just had fun today and tried to show what I could do on my surfboard. Getting these scores is definitely another good step for me in this event.”

Muniz, who is considered one of surfing’s best rising talents by many, will now meet with other young man and promising talent from France Vincent Duvignac (Mimizan, FRA), 22, in Heat 6 of Round 5.

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Coca-Cola ISC Pro Surfing Tour 2009

The Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championship Pro Tour 2009 was officially launched on the sands of the world famous Kuta Beach in Bali on Saturday afternoon in front of the Hard Rock Hotel just before sunset, complete with Balinese gamelan music and dancers, speeches, giveaways, and s live music performance, announcing the start of this exciting competitive surfing season.

The season’s first pro event will be the Rusty “Rumble in Da Jungle” 6-star contest at Bangsal Beach in Sanur, starting off on April 26th with a waiting period of 3 weeks with which to allow the contest to be run in only the best waves, creating the most exciting event for both the surfers and the spectators, with a prize purse of 35 million Rupiah at stake.

Six more pro events will be held in locations throughout Indonesia including West Java, Sumbawa, Rote, and of course Bali. Please check www.isctour.com for details on the schedule and to follow the tour as it travels to these exciting surf spots.

The Saturday afternoon launch event was attended by local and national media, members of the surf industry, surfers, staff and management of Coca-Cola Bottling Indonesia and the ISC, and of course the tourists and beach workers that crowd the sands of Kuta Beach each day in front of the Hard Rock Hotel Bali.

After the beautiful Balinese dancers had entertained the audience, Bruce Waterfield from Coca-Cola Bottling Indonesia headquarters in Jakarta gave a welcoming speech in which he explained, “Coca-Cola Bottling Indonesia’s sponsorship is an extension of our CSR program happening around Bali. We have been working with local authorities and NGO’s to clean up Bali’s beaches and improve environmental awareness through education. The ISC, surfing and surfers are users of the beaches in a place where surfing has such a global focus…..so we’re very keen to work with ISC, the governing body of surfing in Indonesia, as they provide an organized platform for the surfers to develop their skills and have great future.”

After a big round of applause, he added, “This is CCBI’s second year supporting the ISC. The large value of our sponsorship represents our commitment to provide all Indonesian surfers an opportunity to develop themselves, the sport and lifestyle of surfing, and an opportunity to shine on the world stage.”

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Joan Duru in the Estoril Coast Pro 

The second day of the Estoril Quiksilver Pro 2009 saw some spectacular action take place at Guincho, back-up beach of the ASP WQS 6-Star event, with three foot (one meter) greeting top seeds for their start of their Portuguese campaign. The international field of contestants displayed a variety of classic and progressive surfing throughout today's twenty heats with most of the favourites finding their way out of Round 2 and secure their spot in the last 48-man pack.

Dominating by far proceddings today was 19-year-old Brazilian wunderkind Alejo Muniz (BRA) with impressive levels of surfing combining solid classic re-entries with flying maneuvers in the tricky fast-breaking waves of Guincho. Muniz, who has been rising on the international surfing stage for a couple of years now since he won the Under-16 Quiksilver King of the Groms event in France, clearly expressed his building confidence besting ASP Dream Tour Michael Picon (Capbreton, FRA), 29, with an explosive 18.60 point heat result (out of a possible 20) to advance through to Round 3 and secure the event's highest result thus far.

"I just tried to enjoy myself and have fun out there because I knew it would be a tough heat," Muniz said. "Surfing against Michael (Picon) who is an ASP Top 45 member was not going to be easy so I had nothing to lose and just let my surfing speak for me. I was a little b it nervous before paddling out but I got those good waves and I am stoked to make it through today." 

Muniz, who netted 9.00 and 9.60 point rides in twenty minutes, left the water with one minute remaining only, confident with his performance knowing he was guaranteed to move forward in the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star competition. Muniz, with his run today, leads all statistics with both best single wave and heat scores before the event reaches its business end where big scores will be expected.

"It gives good confidence to win a heat like that and especially against good surfers," Muniz said. "I don't have any specific goal here and I am hoping to go as far as possible but there isn't any pressure as I am not focusing on the WQS yet. I just want to better my seeding and get points for next year."

Fellow Quiksilver team riders Masatoshi Ohno (JPN) and Joan Duru (FRA) came-up with equivalent surfing, the 19-year-old Frenchman keeping-up his last-couple-of-weeks excellent form to post a 9.50 point ride (out of a possible 10) and remain confident towards his target. Duru, who ended up with a promising 14.93 point heat score in Heat 11, will now face outsiders Tinguinha Lima (BRA), Estoril B! Pro Junior runner-up Joaquim Guichard (DNK) and Madison Williams (AUS).

"I am pretty happy with that first run today and it is definitely a relief to get out of Round 2 with a big score," Duru said. "I was pretty relaxed but was not feeling too comfortable on my board and fell quite a few times. I was surfing the board I had in the ASP WQS 4-Star Protest Vendee Pro and things went well so I am happy."

Duru, who made the Quarterfinals of the ASP Grade-2 Estoril B! Pro Junior last Sunday, is targeting a qualification for next year's ASP World Tour and will be aiming at a big result this week in the Estoril Quiksilver Pro 2009.

"I entered the Pro Junior event to get used to the waves and got through a few heats so I am happy with that event," Duru said. "However, my main goal is to qualify for the Dream Tour this year and I am definitely focused on the major events of the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) to achieve my goal."

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