NOOA's new Hawaiian buoy

Wave and weather forecasters in Hawaii will be able to gather more information from three new buoys deployed this week by the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Kukui, possibly improving surf reports for North-facing shores in the islands.

Crew members aboard the Honolulu-based buoy tender finished deploying three new weather buoys for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Thursday, April 23.

The buoys will provide better wind and wave analysis for NOAA and should be available to the public as early as Sunday, April 26, at NOAA's National Data Buoy Center.

The buoys specifically help aid in forecasting incoming surf and weather in the Main Hawaiian Islands. The buoy tender's crew this week established buoy 51001, 270 miles northwest of Oahu, and buoys 51000 and 51100, both 250 miles northeast of Oahu.Buoys 51001, 51000, and 51100 will benefit a broad spectrum of islanders and businesses; including avid surfers, weekend beach goers, inter-island shipping companies utilizing Kahului Harbor, and small businesses operating on north facing shores.

According to James Waymen, meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service Honolulu forecast office, the addition of buoys 51001, 51000, and 51100 significantly amplifies the NWS ability to forecast weather, predict high surf, and monitor large storm systems.

"There was a gap to the northeast," says Waymen. "These buoys will allow us to not only track weather but also monitor the wave height, wave period, and wave direction of incoming swell from the north."

Previously there were only four NOAA buoys positioned around the islands.
 
As a result of their addition, the accuracy of forecasting for the north facing shores of the Hawaiian Islands will significantly improve, says NOAA scientists.Along with the standard weather systems that measure wind speed, wind direction, temperature, and barometric pressure, buoys 51001, 51000, and 51100 are equipped with sensors that measure wave height, period, and direction. The relationship between accurate forecasting, safety of life at sea, and the economy, is critical, says Jeff Jenner, a manager at the National Data Buoy Center.

"Accurate wave and surf forecasts are critical to Hawaii's economy and to the safety of residents and tourists involved in surfing and other activities in the waters around the islands," Jenner said. "Surfing alone draws tens of thousands of people to Oahu's North Shore each year and accounts for more than $10 million in direct benefit to the state's economy."

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Jadson Andre 

Brazilian Jadson Andre has taken out the win at the 2009 Quiksilver Pro Durban at Ansteys Beach on Durban's Bluff today, defeating Australian ripper Owen Wright after putting on an amazing display of backhand power surfing.

Jadson walked away with US$20,000 in prize money and 3,500 WQS ratings points for the win. With a heat score of 18.00 out of a possible 20, the highest score of the entire event, Andre proved the surfer of the event and deservedly took home the title.

In clean four foot conditions and a pushing tide, the Brazilian goofy-footer was in amazing form, blasting some inverted backhand vertical moves on his way to victory. After two early waves, Andre officially announced his intentions when he logged a 7.00 to take an early lead. Wright quickly answered back with a 5.00, but as Andre arrived back in the lineup he found himself sitting directly in the path of a heaving right.

Flying off the bottom, Andre squared up and went vertically up the face to smash a huge re-entry, sending kilo-litres of spray flying into the air. Racing down the line Andre then backed up his initial cracker with two additional turns to secure a near perfect 9.33 out of a possible 10 and leave Wright needing a combination of scores to usurp the Brazilian's lead.

Not one to lie down, the plucky Australian paddled into a solid left-hander that walled up perfectly for him as he boosted a beautiful aerial move to pick up an 8.33 and close his required score down to 8.10. With just nine minutes to go Wright found a similar looking left and again boosted a huge 360 aerial, but unfortunately came unstuck on his second move, a vicious forehand layback, and scored only a 6.83.

In the 32nd minute of the 35 minute final, Andre put the nail in Wright's coffin as he paddled into a big left and smashed two powerful forehand turns as the crowd on the beach showed their appreciation and the judges awarded him an 8.67 to effectively end Wright's hopes of taking home the title.

"I'm really happy to have won this event," said the elated victor after spraying the crowd with champagne, "and I'd just like to thank all my friends and everyone who was on the beach today supporting me. When I was out in the water I just concentrated on surfing as well as I could and I am really happy to have won such a prestigious event."

Andre has been in great form the entire event, eliminating a host of big name surfer on his way to the final, among them world tour stalwart Victor Ribas (Brazil), superbly talented Kirk Flintoff (Australia) and Bluff local Rudy Palmboom.

"I've had a great time here in Durban," said runner-up Wright at the prize-giving, "and I'm super stoked to have made the final. This is the second final I've surfed against Jadson, so I guess now it's one all buddy!"

Both semi-finals were close fought affairs with each of the winners only sneaking through on the siren. In the first semi-final new school standout Julian Wilson took on compatriot Wright. Starting off slowly Wilson was behind for most of the heat until a huge forehand 360 aerial saw the judges award him an 8.00 to push him into the lead. Needing a low six to take back the lead, Wright found a meaty looking left right on the siren, milking it all the way to the beach where he finished with his own 360 air to post a 6.33 and knock his 21 year old compatriot out of contention.

In the second semi-final Australian Matt Wilkinson found himself having to contend with an in-form Andre who had put on a phenomenal display of aerial surfing in the quarter finals to eliminate Ireland's Glenn Hall. But as the tide pushed in, Andre changed tact and began using his rail as he carved some beautiful turns.

Andre had a terrible start to the heat, breaking his board on his opening wave and losing time as he had to swim in and get a back-up of the beach. In the mean time Wilkinson went to work and began to build a lead over the unfortunate Brazilian.

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Alejo Muniz wins the 2009 Estoril Coast Pro 

Brazil’s wunderkind Alejo Muniz (BRA) won the ASP WQS 6-Star Estoril Quiksilver Pro 2009 event today finishing on top of the final encounter against fellow finalist Masatoshi Ohno (JPN), clinching crucial 2500 ratings’ points and a US$ 25.000 cheque, the richest winner’s prize of the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS).

Muniz, who went through five rounds today defeating favorites and ASP Dream Tour members Tim Boal (FRA) and Marlon Lipke (DEU) on his way to the final, secured his best result to date in Portugal and gets his 2009 ASP season going with a significant confidence boost.

Muniz, 19, whose talent and performances already rocketed him to the status of Braziliam surfing’s next best thing, dominated the Estoril Quiksilver Pro 2009 througout the week coming out on top of the pack with a couple of 9.60 point rides and an impressive 18.60 point heat combination on Day 3 of competition. Despite the tricky conditions of the final day, Muniz not only showed technical skills but came-up with solid tactics and maturity using his natural talent to defeat two of the world’s best surfers.

“I am just so happy I cannot even realize what I have done right now,” Muniz said. “My only wish coming here was to have fun as much as I could and enjoy my surfing in any kind of waves. It is the perfect day for me and I managed to get the best out of these conditions so I could not have hoped for anymore.”

Muniz, who will be surfing a few ASP WQS events this year, remains focused on his preogression as a junior surfer still and will use the precious 2500 points to build his seeding for 2010 where he shall be a serious contender towards a possible ASP World Tour qualification in the near future. Muniz finishes the Estoril Quiksilver Pro with six of the best 10 results under his belt, a good sign of his potential.

“Defeating Tim (Boal) and Marlon (Lipke) is something I will remember for some time,” Muniz said. “I felt a bit of pressure facing such good surfers but I really thought that focusing on my pleasure and having fun could get me somewhere. I think that’s my biggest lesson from this event.”

Fellow finalist Masatoshi Ohno (JPN), 27, became the first Japanese ever to make the final of an ASP WQS 6-Star event, the experienced competitor being another great surprise in the event after he defeated favorites Joan Duru (FRA) and Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) on his run to the final, two of Europe’s best chances for an ASP Top 45 inception. Ohno, who was running out of energy in the 30-minute decider, heads to Scotland with another keeper for his ASP World Tour qualification.

“I wanted to win and I lacked this last section on my final wave to grab the 6.00 points I needed to get back in the lead,” Ohno said. “It is my best result ever and I am so happy to do well here in Portugal, one of the European countries I like most. Alejo (Muniz) was impressive for sure but I was not far from clinching that crown. Definitely an excellent finish before the next event and a keeper for my main goal which is the ASP World Tour.”

Ohno, who was coming from an equal 5th place finish in Tasmania, leaves Portugal’s surf coast of Estoril with valuable 2188 ratings’ points and will be much expected in the upcoming events where he can certainly cause some damage.

Romain Cloitre (REU), 20, got his best result ever today by reaching the Semifinals of the ASP WQS 6-Star event, the Reunion island born surfer and former ASP European Junior champion confirming his rise in the last couple of years. Cloitre, whose best result was an equal 17 in the ASP WQS 6-Star Prime event in France last year, managed to defeat one of the event’s inform men Heat Joske (AUS), 20, in Round 5 before bettering Morocco’s representative Abdel El Harim (MAR) in the Quarterfinals.

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