For the first time in five years, the ASP World Masters Championships will assemble some of the most legendary names in professional surfing to Rio de Janeiro’s Barra de Tijuca from June 30 through July 6, 2008 to crown the 2008 ASP World Masters and ASP World Grand Masters Champions.

The Rio Masters will feature two divisions in the ASP Masters (surfers aged over 35) and the ASP Grand Masters (surfers aged over 47).  The top 14 in each division are invited directly off of ASP career ratings (points being accrued by winning ASP World Titles, Top 5 World rankings, Top 10 World rankings and time spent on the ASP World Tour).

“To look at this list of names, I find it just a staggering congregation of talent,” Brodie Carr, ASP CEO, said.  “This field is well representative of the pioneers of our sport, and those who have seen these living legends surf recently will attest that they haven’t lost a step at all.  They’re all still ripping and so hungry to get back in the competition singlet.  It’s very exciting to have the ASP World Masters Championships back on the schedule in 2008 and I feel like this season’s event will be one of the year’s highlights.”

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Marc Lacomare (FRA), 18, claimed the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Europe 3-Star Rip Curl Pro Junior powered by Renault today at Peniche, Portugal, to take the lead of the 2008 season. Lacomare, who lives in Hossegor, made his way during two days of solid three to six foot (one to two meter) waves, defeating Medi Veminardi (REU) in the first man-on-man final ever held at a Pro Junior event in Europe.

Lacomare, a promissing ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) surfer used to the French hollow beachbreaks, ended up winning with a solid 15.00 point heat tally (out of possible 20) against Veminardi. Posting an excellent 8.83 point ride in the first ten minutes of the 30-minute final, Lacomare led all the way to his first crown of the season.

“I am stoked I won this event,” Lacomare said. “I want to thank my coach Stephen Bell for helping me in all my training and travel organisation this year because it is already making a difference.”

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It was an early start on Saturday morning for Irish surfers competing in the Denny Irish Surfing Championships with the first heat in the water at 8.00am at Tullan Strand. With the wave forecast for Sunday looking poor event organisers were eager to complete the event in one day.

The open division saw some great surfing. Standouts in the early rounds included Hugh Galloway (Tramore), Damien Conway (Lahinch), Aron Reid (Sligo), Ronan Oertzen (Belfast) and Nicole Morgan (Bundoran, the only women to compete in the Open). In the semi-finals newcomer Liam Joyce (Dublin) and veteran, David Blount (Tramore) eliminated Hugh Galloway (Tramore) and Kevin Doyle (Tramore) while Cain Kilcullen (Enniscrone) and Fergal Smith (Westport) secured their passes in the final eliminating Owen Murphy (Bundoran) and Ronan Oertzen (Belfast).

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