Malia Manuel 

Malia Manuel (Wailua, HI), 14, has claimed the GO211 LIVE featuring the Women’s Honda U.S. Open of Surfing presented by O’Neill over fellow finalist Coco Ho. Both young Hawaiians are making ASP history as the youngest finalists ever at the Huntington Beach Pier for the U.S. Open of Surfing.

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star event saw some incredible performances today, but none as impressive as the young Hawaiians taking down some of the biggest names in professional surfing.

“I’m so stoked right now,” Manuel said. “My sponsors gave me the wildcard into this event and I was just happy to be here. To get to surf against some of my heroes and to be in the Final with my friend Coco (Ho) is just something I would have never dreamed of.”

Sticking to her game plan throughout the event, Manuel started strong in the opening moments of the Final, securing two lengthy righthanders to post solid scores while her opponent struggled to find her footing in the challenging afternoon conditions.

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Kirk Hammet 

Kirk Hammett, lead guitarist for Metallica has become an avid surfer in the past few years and as the band is nearing completion on their upcoming album "Death Magnetic" is it possible Kirk and his wife Lani are thinking about business endeavors outside Metallica?

Hammett recently revealed he has had initial thoughts of starting a clothing line geared toward the surfing industry: "I've actually thought of a sportswear line, surf clothing line. I have the name and it's so good I'm not even going to tell you guys. But yeah, I have big plans. Whether they actually find the time to actually come to the surface remains to be seen."

Metallica are in the final stages of their highly anticipated album "Death Magnetic" which is set for release September 16th. The band has enlisted the services of producer extraordinaire Rick Rubin and the band will be releasing the album as a box set dubbed 'The Coffin Box' which contains a Documentary DVD, bonus tracks and collectibles for their fans.

Metallica are currently touring Europe in support of "Death Magnetic".

Kelly Slater

For the fourth season in a row, the Rip Curl Pro Search event will throw a curveball at the world’s best surfers, offering the ASP Top 45 a never-before-competed-at Dream Tour venue.

Stop No. 6 of 11 on the 2008 ASP World Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Search will once again pit the best surfers on the planet at a location that has never before hosted an ASP event. Previous Rip Curl Pro Search venues have included St. Leu on Reunion Island (2005), “La Jolla” in mainland Mexico (2006) and El Gringo in Chile’s port town of Arica (2007), but 2008’s venue has been kept secret from the public at large.

Kelly Slater (USA), eight-time ASP World Champion and current ratings leader on the ASP World Tour, has been in staggering form this season, collecting four victories in five events (Gold Coast, Bells Beach, Tavarua and Jeffreys Bay), and will be the man to beat at the Rip Curl Pro Seach.

“I’m really relaxed,” Slater said. “My life is really good personally and professionally. There’s nothing side-tracking me and nothing in the way. I’ve got to take the same approach that I took at the start of the year, which is not being preoccupied, and just focus on what’s happening right now and how do I maximize that.”

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