World Surfing Games 2008 

The 22nd edition of the ISA World Surfing Games started today in five foot waves at the beaches of Costa de Caparica. The first and second round of the Longboard division, along with round one of the mens and women’s Bodyboard were held. 

With the sun shining in the touristic Portuguese town, a great crowd witnessed colored sand painted by the flags of the “United Nations” of Surfing. Good waves and the world’s best athletes led to an  an amazing first day of competition. 

The favorites - Australia, Brazil, United States, France and South Africa - reigned in their heats, while some developing nations came with surprises, such as Gidesio Ludovisi (Italy) who placed second in Bodyboard, sending the top rated Damian Prisk (Great Britain) to repecharge.  Also unexpected, Mark Jucker (Switzerland) placed second in his heat, outscoring Walter Gatger (Costa Rica) and Nicolas Chiara (Argentina).

The best performance of the day was done by Antoine Deplero (France) who earned applauses from the beach surfing in the Longboard division. The applauses were well deserved after walking gracefully on his board and packing a great right with maneuvers. He received a 10 from the judges that was backed up with an also excellent 8.83.

Delpero later went on to win his second round heat, scoring a 9.5 and a 7.83, enabling him to join the list of eight longboarders yet to lose. “The day was pretty good; this brings a lot of confidence to me. Let’s hope to keep it this way,” Delpero said. Regarding the event spirit, he added: “This is a great competition because we’re all together and we make a good team. Ours is really good and really united. This gives you a lot of power.”

In perfect and consistent overhead rights, the other standouts of the division were Taylor Jensen from United States, current World Champ Phil Rajzman from Brazil and 2006 Gold Medallist Matthew Moir from South Africa. They join Delpero to the third round.


Simao Romao 

Brazilian Simao Romao, 22, led the party on a crowded Arpoador beach during the last day of the Oakley presents Rio Surf Pro International. The up and coming surfer started the day strong, posting the highest score ever in the history of the ASP WQS Arpoador event. A local competitor from Arpoador, he went on to dismiss two campaigners before beating the experienced South African Greg Emslie, 31 years old, in the hotly contested final.

Simao took out the US $15.000 prize and jumped from 45th to 18th position in the ASP WQS ratings, a result which places him in a good position to make the top 15 of the ASP WQS with nine events remaining.

“I had a dream two years ago. It was about an important competition here and I would win it," Romao said. "I would climb the rock and remain there beating my chest. This event was that dream and I would like to thank all the locals, my friends, my family and my sponsors who supported me all the way. That victory goes especially to my dad (Paulo) because today is his birthday."

“It was really hot and there were almost no waves," Romao said. "I knew I had to surf my best to beat Greg (Emslie) who is a World Tour level surfer and fortunately I was able to get some good ones and do everything possible I could to win. I had some very tough match ups, especially against William Cardoso in the semifinal, but when I overcame him I just kept the dream alive."

Runner up Greg Emslie (ZAR), 31, would have liked to repeat the victory he had here 11 years ago, but was happy with second place, a result which launches him from 17th to 9th place in the ASP WQS ratings and secures his requalification for next year’s dream tour. Emslie had to overcome two younger surfers, Hawaiian Dustin Barca, in the quarter finals and Michel Bourez from Tahiti in the semifinal.


Daniel Ross 

Daniel Ross (Yamba, AUS), 25, won the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 4-Star Ocean & Earth Pro pres. by La Caja de Canarias in pumping five to six foot (1.5 to 2 meter) waves at the world famous venue of El Confital today. Ross, who defeated Stuart Kennedy (Lennox Head, AUS), 18, in an exciting 100% Australian 35-minute Man-on-man clash, rose throughout the week with excellent skills and variety in his surfing to end up 1st of the 2008 edition and clinch the valuable 1500 winner’s ratings’ points.

Ross ended up his run with an excellent performance posting a 16.60 point heat tally (out of a possible 20) to secure his win in a tricky final after his opponent had opened the battle well. Ross did not surf any wave in the last fifteen minutes leaving Kennedy almost catching up but missing out by 0.53 points.

"I was very relaxed out there and I felt good," Ross said. "I knew there were not that many excellent waves so I chose mine very carefully and got some good scores. That last wave put me ahead and I just sat there with priority and waited. Patiently. It was such a good event and to surf against Stuart (Kennedy) was even better. He is such a good surfer to watch."

Ross, who has had a tough time for his first year on the ASP World Tour, gets back on track to requalify thanks to his win and will move to the next events confidently.

"The last event I won was years ago when was still a junior so this one is even better," Ross said. "I was definitely here to win because it was as well about business and points and I could not hope for a better end. It is just perfect and I hope I can keep it rolling next week."

Ross, who impressed all week with his power-surfing, was in excellent form and did not leave much option to runner-up Stuart Kennedy.