- 24 August 2008 | Surfing
New champions were crowned and old records were broken on the final day of the Oxbow Australian Longboard Titles today.
Held at North Haven beach in epic, two-metre conditions the action that transpired was awe inspiring, as competitors pushed the limits.
Having seen the best 180 surfers from around Australia converging on Port Macquarie a week ago, the Oxbow Australian Longboard Titles it was Josh Constable (Noosa, QLD) who walked away with his fourth Oxbow Australian Title; in the Open Men’s division.
Not only did Constable set a new record, for most Open Oxbow Australian Titles won, he also saved his best for last with masterful display.
“I can’t believe that I won,” Constable said after racking up an amazing total heat score of 18.75 (out of a possible 20).
“Four Australian titles is something that I never thought would happen,” he added.
“I remembering watching my heroes like Wayne Dean and Ray Gleeve winning Australian titles and always wanted to emulate them, but to surpass those legends is awesome,” he said after becoming the most winingest Open Longboard competitor.
Constable was unstoppable in the final, finishing above Harley Ingelby (Emerald Beach, NSW), Sam Dunton (Mt Martha, VIC) and Paul Scholten (Emerald Beach, NSW).
“I didn’t want to relax for a second,” Constable stated.
- 23 August 2008 | Surfing
Chris Davidson (AUS), 31, won the prestigious ASP WQS 6-Star Prime Rip Curl Pro pres. by Sprite today in clean three foot (one meter) waves at Les Bourdaines, main venue of the 2008 edition. Davidson, who defeated an impressive Jihad Khodr (BRA) in the final where he posted the highest heat score of the week, secured his second ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) win this season and confirms his No. 2 rank on the international ratings.
"I cannot believe it, it is more than I could ever hope for," Davidson said. "I felt like it was my day because these conditions usually fit my surfing so well and there was all the potential to surf at my best. I was so amped I got those two big scores straight away and just felt like I was free surfing with Jihad (Khodr)."
Davidson, who posted an impressive 19.27 point heat tally (out of a possible 20) to clinch the crown, has had an amazing year with several finals and two ASP WQS 6-Star wins, enough to make his ASP World Tour qualification dream get closer to reality.
"It has been a tough time for me since I got back on the WQS," Davidson said. "I was injured last year and with very few sponsorship so it has been a struggle but I am already looking forward to competing against the ASP Top 45 next year. So stoked, I cannot believe I have won it."
Davidson, who showed great surfing and radicality all week, was the only one to stop an outstanding Jihad Khodr (BRA), currently No. 42 on the ASP World Tour.
Khodr, who was seen as the potential champion after busting some of the most impressive airs and turns of the event this morning, missed the title not getting the better waves during the final battle.
"It was Davo’s day and there was not much I could do in the final," Khodr said. "I am stoked to get this second place and I had a great time in France, had a lot of fun competing in the good conditions today so it is all good for me."
- 18 August 2008 | Surfing
Maui’s Kai Barger, 18, of Haiku, scored the first major ASP Pro Junior victory of his career at Waikiki Beach today in the $5,000 Macy’s E-Series Pro Junior presented by ASP Hawaii.
Against an all-star lineup of Hawaii’s hottest juniors, Barger surfed through five rounds to take the honors, winning $2,000 and accounting for top names the likes of Clay Marzo (Maui), Casey Brown (Big Island), and Ha’a Aikau (Oahu) along the way.
Second place today was Sebastian Zietz (Kilauea, Kauai), 20 third was 15-year-old Keanu Asing (Ewa, Oahu) and fourth was Albee Layer (Haiku, Maui).
Surf for this one-day event was highly contestable in the two-to-three foot (1.5 metre) range. However, the afternoon’s high tide brought with it inconsistent conditions that emphasized the importance of a solid start to the 30-minute final. Just 13 waves total were ridden during the final heat all but one were posted in the first 15 minutes before the high tide slowed conditions to a virtual standstill.
With so little surf on offer for the all-important heat of the day and with the carbon copy wave nature of the Queen’s surf break, the playing field was so level and the calibre of surfers so close that the win came down to a countback between Barger and Zietz. In the end, Barger won with 12.5 points out of 20 (individiual wave scores of 7.25 and 5.25) to Zietz’s 11.9 (7.5 and 4.4).
The critical edge turned out to be Barger’s more vertical backhand attack over that of his three regular-footed rivals.
"The thought of winning a pro junior for me was a dream," said Barger. "I’ve never made a pro junior final. I’ve watched all my friends win, and finally... I’ve been hurting for one. I think I might have had the slight advantage being backside. When it’s so small, you can kind of just throw it up there and it might look a little better to the judges. I was surprized, actually. I thought I didn’t win."
The Macy’s E-Series Pro Junior is one of three ASP Pro Junior events to be held in Hawaii this year and is a qualifier for the prestigious Billabong ASP World Junior Championships in Australia in January of 2009.
The Macy’s E-Series Pro Junior was the third and final event of the 2008 Macy’s E-Series, staged this summer. The first two events were ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS)1-Star events as part of the ASP World Tour.
ASP Hawaii and Macy’s collaborated to produce the Macy’s E-Series, giving Hawaii’s pro surfing community a much needed opportunity to win valuable ASP ratings points and prize money at home breaks.