Kelly Slater

Several Australian news sources are considering the chance of Kelly Slater giving up on his title defence, after failing to go through the second round of the 2009 Billabong Pro Teahupoo, in Tahiti.

The 9-time ASP world champion was defeated by Aritz Aranburu and is quoted admitting to quit the 10th title race. After the shock loss, Kelly Slater said that was 'decision time' and he did not want to lose more places in the 2009 ranking.

The american surfer also underlined that it is still possible to conquer the 10th trophy, even with the first bad results, as it happened last year.

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Canelle Bulard

Reunion's Canelle Bulard (15) today stamped her authority on the long right hand waves of Ponta d'Ouro in Mozambique as she took out the win in the third annual Roxy Invitational and walked away with R10,000 in prize money.

Fresh off a sixth place finish in the recent Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championships in Ecuador, Bulard has been a stand-out throughout the week long waiting period in Mozambique, impressing her South African counterparts with her stylish backhand attack.

In the forty minute final Bulard found herself up against 15 year old wunderkind Sarah Baum (Durban) and fellow Reunion invitee Johanne Defay, and was in rampant form.
''I am so happy to have won such an amazing contest,'' said Bulard at the prize-giving ceremony on the beach. ''This has been such a great contest and the waves have been amazing, I really love Mozambique now.''

Starting off slowly Bulard waited a full five minutes before stroking into her first wave, a solid four footer which walled up across the sandbank allowing her to hammer five solid backhand turns before kicking out on the shallow inside bank.

Bulard's compatriot Defay, on the other hand, was quick out of the starting blocks, snagging three waves before Bulard or Baum had even opened their accounts, but she seemed a bit tentative on some of her moves and unfortunately fell on all three waves and was penalized by the judges.

Durban goofy-footer Baum has also been a stand-out the entire week, raising some of the more established competitors' eyebrows with her powerful backhand surfing, and surfed a great semi-final against fellow South African Junior Surfing Team member Bianca Buitendag (George). However in the final the 15 year old battled to find position and repeatedly paddled into waves that offered her little scoring potential as they either went flat or closed out.

Bulard in the mean time kept finding the best waves and surfing them with amazing poise and style, while Defay attempted to play catch-up but continued to come unstuck as she pushed herself too hard.

Midway through the heat Baum stroked into her first decent wave, and milked it all the way down the line before finishing off with a big fins free off-the-lip over the shallow inside bank. The wave was well rewarded by the judges and put the Durbanite back into contention.

But a cool and confident Bulard was quick to answer back as she stoked into a little gem of a wave that horse-shoed on the sandbank offering her a perfect little bowl to bash relentlessly. Showing what a big future she has, the teenager absolutely tore the wave to pieces as she demolished section after section with her stylish backhand to post yet another big score and push her lead a little further out of reach of Baum as she posted a heat score of 18.75 out of a possible 20.

When asked about the final Bulard said, ''I was very relaxed before the final started and had found a nice section half way down the point that was breaking perfectly, so I just sat there and waited for the good waves to come.''
As the heat drew to a close Baum had one last stab at usurping Bulard's lead as she took off on a clean four foot wave and began working it on her backhand. But unfortunately for the young South African the wave didn't offer enough for her to take the lead from the Reunion local and Baum finished with a score of 17.65 and had to settle for second place and R3,000 in prize money.

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2009 Bude Surf Classic

Despite the current financial instability the Bude Community pulled together to give the Bude Surf Classic the backing it needed to run for another year on May 16 -17 at Widemouth Bay, North Cornwall.

The event, consisting of six categories with nearly 100 competitors, including a new grommets division, was run by Christian Surfers with the support Bude Surf Outreach group and other sponsors.

Forecasts during the week had been changing daily and it was clear by the end of the week the low pressure spinning over the South West was going to cook up quite a storm and present some tricky conditions for all involved. After ten minutes into heat 1 of the contest, Nathanial James has been dragged towards the rocks. After much paddling he made it to dry land and although obviously feeling unwell he still paddled out to finish his heat. It was going to be a long weekend!

As the tide on Saturday dropped, conditions deteriorated, with gale force winds and increasing surf size. After only the first round of grommets heats completed Phil Williams (Contest Director) felt it wise to put the contest on hold till Sunday morning, leaving the challenge of getting through 38 heats in one day. Many prayers were said overnight to rely on The Creator to abate the storm.

Despite a very stormy night, by Sunday morning at 7.00am the organisers were greeted with sunshine, cross/off shore winds and 3 – 4 ft of surf. The storm seem to have calmed, for four to five hours, and with a massive effort from all the competitors, the Christian Surfers crew from all over the UK, and a big hand from we believe the ‘Big Man’ upstairs, the CS crew ran two peaks all day and the event was completed by 4.30pm.

With his first Bude Surf Classic win, Andrew Griffin from Newquay took the £200 Open first prize with some powerful surfing through-out the contest. Despite an incredible 9.1 ride local boy, Reubyn Ash couldn’t find a back up and took 2nd. Brother Joss took 3rd with Eugene Tollemache ( Wadebridge ) came 4th.

Current English champion Newquay’s Ben Skinner showed us all why he is one of the world’s best longboarders coming first in the Longboard division, despite breaking his board in the semi-final. Nathan Carter from Bude came 2nd just ahead of Angus Murray from Buckfastleigh, with Newquay’s Gary Woodward coming in fourth.

The Junior final was a very close fight between George Picking ( Newquay ) and Toby Donachie from St Merryn, with George taking the win, despite Toby looking the favourite throughout the contest. Zak Lawton from Croyde took 3rd and Josh Daniel from Hayle came 4th.

It was great to see a strong turn out from the Ladies and with all the finals taking place in chunky onshore conditions, full respect was gained by all the finalists. Sophie Hellyer from Bideford came out the winner followed by St Ives’s Tassy Swallow, with Sarah Shelton-Palmer 3rd. Sophie Sainsbury of Port Isaac took 4th with Gabi Rowe taking the 5th spot.

The Under 14’s category ( Grommets ) had the biggest entry with 27 competitors. They amazed everyone by taking on the challenging waves and impressed us all with the quality of surfing. Miles Lee-Hargeaves ( Bournemouth ) sneaked the win by 0.2 points ahead of Jobe Harris. Lee also took home the Dick Willoughby Cup, given to the most outstanding grom. Harry Timson couldn’t match his 9.3 ride in round one and took 3rd with Alex Gibson taking 4th.

The bodyboard division was won by Danny Catten from Portreath ahead of Phil Milson who had travelled all the way form Oxford.