Indonesia will make history from the 18th – 26th of October 2008 when it plays host to the first Asian Beach Games in the world. Bali will become the venue of this international event which will see 45 countries participating with over 10,000 athletes, officials, media and volunteers all flocking to the Island of the Gods for this world class event.

In a press conference conducted at Puri Santrian Hotel in Sanur, President of The National Olympic Committee of Indonesia (KONI), Ibu Rita Subowo officially announced and briefed the press about the preparations underway for the Asian Beach Games 2008 which will mark the largest event ever hosted in Bali.

“Through the Asian Beach Games 2008, Bali will become the focal point of Sporting Tourism in Asia. Apart from strengthening Bali as one of the known tourist destinations in the world, it will also empower Indonesia as a leading sporting nation in Asia.” Said the Governor of Bali, Bpk Dewa Made Beratha.

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Brazilian wildcard Bruno Santos has defeated local wildcard Manoa Drollet (PYF) to win the Billabong Pro Tahiti and become the first Brazilian to win an ASP World Tour event in five years. “I’m really happy, my dreams just came true,” Santos said. “Today is not the perfect day to surf the final, but I don’t care I’m still happy. It’s still the best day of my life.”

Santos, who earned his spot in the Billabong Pro Tahiti with a runner-up finish in the Air Tahiti Nui VonZipper Trials held prior to the main event, got the better of local Teahupoo specialist Drollet in their low scoring affair. Santos beat Drollet 9.16 to 6.83 on a borrowed surfboard in inconsistent three-foot (one metre) waves.

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Greg Emslie took control in tricky conditions to win a coveted WQS title in the 1 Star ASP WQS Men’s division at the Lizzard Nando’s Surf Pro, presented by the Weekend Witness. Lizzard sponsored team rider Nikita Robb was also able to overcome the challenging conditions at Durban’s North Beach to claim the Surfing South Africa (SSA) Pro Surf Tour (PST) 2A rated Women’s division.

The men’s final, contested by Greg Emslie and Dan Redman, was an understandably tight affair with the lead changing hands on multiple occasions. Redman, who won this competition in 2005, opened the scoring and put the pressure on Emslie. He responded well, however, and unleashed a combination of scoring waves which would eventually prove to be too much for Redman to handle. Emslie was the first to admit that “conditions weren’t too good”, but he “had a really good board” which no doubt made it easier to deal with the conditions. The victory means so much more to Emslie because “all the guys here are such high caliber surfers”.

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