Tiago Pires 

Tiago Pires (PRT), 2008 Dream Tour rookie and current No. 39 on the ASP World Tour ratings, caused a sensational upset today, eliminating eight-time ASP World Champion and current ratings leader on the ASP World Tour, Kelly Slater (USA), from Rip Curl Pro Search competition in Round 3.

Running in solid six foot (2 metre) waves at the primary venue ‘somewhere’ in Indonesia, Round 3 of the Rip Curl Pro Search was treated to some fantastic performances, none moreso than Pires’ come-from-behind victory over Slater. Needing a 7.16 in the dying moments, Pires watched a priority-holding Slater take the first wave of the set, leaving the European to pig-dog an incredible backdoor pit for an 8.40 and the win.

“There were two waves at the end of that heat and he went on the first one and I took the second and it turned out to be a really good wave,” Pires said. “When I came out of the barrel and into the channel, everyone was screaming. This is the biggest win of my career. I have won a few ASP WQS events, but to beat Slater here in these conditions is amazing.”

Pires’ victory was well celebrated on the cliff by several members of the ASP Top 45 as the young Portuguese surfer is the first Dream Tour competitor to defeat Slater in 2008.

“When I came up through the cave it felt like I won the event,” Pires said. “There were so many people screaming and cheering. It felt really good. I guess it’s a big deal that no one else had beat him this year, but I’ve been training hard and I hope to be going much further in this event.”


Billabong Cascais Girls Festival 

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) WQS Women's 6-Star Billabong Cascais Girls Festival enjoyed a great opening day of stunning action at the beach of Guincho in Cascais, Portugal. Some consistent four to five foot (1.2 to 1.5 meter) waves and beautiful weather allowed officials to run 28 heats and reach the much awaited one-on-one Quarterfinals that will feature four duels when proceedings resume.

Current ASP Women's World Tour campaigners put on sensational performances to defeat all European competitors in the event today and reach Quarterfinals of the ASP WQS Women's 6-Star event. Rebecca Woods (AUS), rated No. 9 on the ASP WQS Women's ratings going into Stop No. 9 of 14, was the most consistent competitor throughout the day posting several excellent scores including an impressive 17.00 point heat tally (out of a possible 20) in Round 2.

"I am really happy with today after a couple of seriously bad heats recently", Woods said. "There were a lot of waves coming in and I got some good ones. The waves were fun all day and I am really having a good time in Portugal."

Woods, who has been among the ASP Top 17 for four years now, came to Portugal relaxed and willing to enjoy her first trip ever to Portugal. She will meet last-second qualifier Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) in Quarterfinal No. 3.


Thomas Chamula 

The Island Style Pro Junior, an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Grade-2 Men's and Grade-1 Women's event, got underway today at Sopelana in the Basque Country. The event was blessed with consistent two to three foot (0.5 to 1 meter) waves for its second edition’s kick off and Women’s Round 1 and Men's Rounds 1 and 2 were completed.

Thomas Chamula (REU), 18, a newcomer on the regional tour, was today’s standout when he posted a solid 15.76 point heat tally (out of a possible 20), the highest result of the day including an excellent 8.83 point ride (out of possible 10).

"I am happy to be here", Chamula said. "I come from Reunion Island and am not used to surfing these soft and slow conditions. I waited for the better waves and things went the right way, stoked to be in Round 3."

Chamula, who has not competed yet this year on the ASP European Pro Junior circuit, has no chance to grab the regional title but will aim at going as far as he can in the Asp Grade-2 Pro Junior event.

"I don't really aim at winning", Chamula said. "This event gives me the opportunity to gain experience and confidence. It is already a big challenge for me."

With all favorites not surfing before Round 4, unknown surfers and locals were able to enjoy their time out before big names start firing at the consistent beachbreak.