Auto-Sleepers Bodyboard Nationals

In a credit-crunch busting move, Worcestershire based motorhome manufacturer Auto-Sleepers have confirmed their sponsorship of the 2009 British Bodyboard National championships.

Rich Hall of the BBC (British Bodyboard Club) said; “to have Auto-Sleepers back on board for another year is superb news. We really valued their help and support last year, and their backing lead to probably the best National championships we’ve seen”.

A bumper prize purse with cash rewards across all 9 divisions in 2008 meant a record number of competitors, with the event ultimately spread over two weekends. The Open division drew the highest quality field ever seen in a British competition, with almost all of the UK’s top 20 riders battling for a £2,000 prize pot.

Auto-Sleepers CEO Geoff Scott confirmed, “for us, our sponsorship of the BBC was never about direct sales, it was always about putting something back into the community”. He went on to say “the standard of performances across the board at last year’s Nationals from the U14s right through to the Masters was outstanding, and the feedback we got was great”.

The support of Auto-Sleepers means that the BBC can continue its programme of grass-roots development for British bodyboarding and building their domestic infrastructure.

IBA Culturalization Pipeline Tidal 9 Pro

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Women's Pipeline Pro. 

The Women's Pipeline Pro has welcomed hundreds of women competitors throughout the years and is considered one of the ultimate women's pro surf events.

Winds calmed and the waves were perfect. The rush was on! The wahines showed up stoked and ready to charge 4-6 feet solid Hawaiian waves.

The quarterfinals of the bodyboarding division kicked off the 2nd day of competition. The 4 heats were choke full of talent, hungry girls who wanted to advance to the next round. Claudia Ferrari-Costa, Jessica Becker, Neymara Carvalho, and Lilly Pollard were the first place contenders from the four heats; Ferrari-Costa is the only Hawaii contender still standing.

The final heat of the bodyboarding division topped off a great day. With 1500 points up for grabs  there was a lot at stake for the finalists. The contest held at Pipeline is part of the IBA World Tour and a "Grand Slam" event. Seasoned veteran, Neymara Carvalho (BRS), was really "turning on the heat" for her 3 up-and-coming competitors: Jessica Becker (BRS), Luz Marie Grande Perez (PRCO), and Eunate Aguire (SPN).

The 3 were all in their first final at pipe against Carvalho, the current world champion! Aguire had two good waves at the beginning of the 30 minute final, but couldn't seem to score another good ride. Jessica Becker, currently number 2 in the world, got a sick one: She took off under the lip straight into a tube and managed to punch out!

Neymara Carvalho had a few good rides during the heat, but it was her sick ride 2 minutes before the horn that really made her a standout: she pulled in to a heaving barrel and completed the wave with a textbook "el rollo" to finish the ride!

Luz Marie Grande Perez scored the only ten point ride of the day, and what timing! A perfect ten in the finals! It was enough to seal victory.

Final results were 1st Luz Marie Grand Perez (PRC) 2nd Eunate Agirre (Spain) 3rd Neymara Carvalho (Brazil) 4th Jessica Becker (Brazil)

The girls now move to the second Grand Slam event the Katherine Melo Pro in Santa Catarina in Brazil.

IBA Shark Island

It’s official, Shark Island is no longer part of the 2009 IBA World Tour.

Mark Fordham stated that due to the economic climate he would not be able to stage an IBA rated event.

Negotiations with promoter Fordham failed to reach both IBA World Tour and IBA Specialty event sanctioning so sadly the event will be black-listed and off limits to contracted riders.

This includes all the riders that competed in the Turbo Pipe Pro and those who compete in the upcoming Brazilian events.

“The riders board voted against the speciality event status because we need to work with promoters that will follow the minimum requirements” said IBA General Manager Terry McKenna. “Its that simple”.

“ If you surf in this event you will be sitting out of the IBA World Tour for 12 months from the date of the breach”

“ The riders are the product of the IBA and we must protect the exclusivity of the World Tour by enforcing this rule” said Mckenna.

Riders will now look towards Chile’ in late July for the next IBA Grand Slam event.