Pipeline Girls

The girls were in awesome form today at Pipe as the 2008 Pipe Women’s Pro came to a close. In perfect 4- 6 feet surf the world’s best women put on a dazzling display of committed Bodyboarding in front of a big crowd.

The final was a see-sawing event as the lead changed hands several times but in the end Japanese rider Aoi Koike was just too good and outclassed Portugal’s Rita Pires with Hawaiian’s Claudia Ferrari and Leila Alli third & fourth.

In the men’s division round 6 dished up some absorbing battles and in the first heat Australian Mitch Rawlins snuck through ahead of South African Veejay Maharaj to progress into R7.

“It’s pretty good out there. It’s just really hard with 15 minute heats. You need to get a wave in the first two or three minutes, another one at the ten minute mark and hopefully finish with another one in the end as a backup”.

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IBA Pipeline Pro

All indications are pointing towards a start tomorrow for the 2008 IBA Pipeline Pro.

Over 180 of the planets best riders crossed their fingers and 144 were accepted. Whilst media speculation suggests that Surfing sensation Kelly Slater (Florida USA) will retire this year at 36, Bodyboarding’s living legend Mike Stewart (Hawaii USA) has confirmed that he will once again contest the IBA World Men’s Tour at 44 years of age.

Mike has been a prolific figure in Pro Bodyboarding since it first boomed in the 80’s and he has maintained to be a the forefront of the sport ever since. To put things into perspective Slater has won 8 World Titles whereas Stewart has won 10.

“I am on an organic diet and I have never felt better or fitter” said Stewart. I am on a mission to see how far I can push myself both physically and mentally and with some of the new training methods that I have adopted hope to do well on this years Tour”.

Stewart has been an inspiration to several generations of riders and some believe that he will challenge the worlds best until he is 50. “That would be cool. I think that if you eat right and look after yourself that would be possible”.

Bodyboarding has long been considered a young persons sport but Mike is re-writing the record books and inspiring some of the older riders to follow in his footsteps.

Guilherme Tamega (BRZ) is another former multiple world champion who is making a comeback in 2008 after taking a year off at 35. Tamega has relocated to the USA and is also living in Hawaii with Stewart.

The IBA International Men’s Tour is about to be launched on Oahu’s North shore with the IBA Pipeline Pro and both riders will be hard to beat with so much experience and a home court advantage.

Source: IBA World Tour

IBA Tour 2008

The timing for the start of the 2008 IBA World Men’s Tour could not be better with the event window (Feb 17th – 24th) being stacked with a series of solid swells.

Ben Matson from Swellnet.com.au is the official forecaster and is excited about the prospects. Good Swell forecast for Pipe start.

“Wow.. what a forecast period. Very large swells all of this week pre-event, with good winds too. Right on cue, another strong NW swell is expected to arrive on Sunday, and should produce excellent waves at Pipe.

At this stage it looks like winds will generally be light, as the storm track is a little closer to the Islands than usual. However, there’s no indication of a Kona, which is good news. At this stage Sunday should see an increase into the 10-12ft+ range at Pipe, possibly a little larger (we’ll wait and see how this storm develops over the coming days).

I’m not sure whether it’ll be in the water at first light though, the timing is a little unsure at the present time.

Although this swell is then expected to ease during Monday and Tuesday, it will probably remain quite sizeable and more than contestable at Pipe. Winds are currently looking good too with light trades.

A series of smaller storms forming off Japan at around this time (Sun) are expected to generate a new pulse of NW swell, arriving late Wednesday or perhaps early Thursday. Whilst this looks to be marginally smaller than the Sun/Mon swell, it’s still expected to be quite solid, somewhere around 8ft, give or take.

It’s too early to have confidence in the local winds but there’s no suggestion of any major disruption to the trades at this stage”.

Damian King (Aust) is no stranger to the reef at Pipe. He has won the title several times and along with most of the worlds best riders is taking advantage of some ideal lead in conditions to warm up for the event.

“I arrived 4 days ago and the swell hasn’t dropped below 6 feet...pipe has got no sand on the reef so things are shaping up nice. However it has been really crowded so I think everybody will be taking advantage of surfing pipe for the contest. The forecast is looking good so hopefully it goes off for it!!!" said the former World Champion.

The check-in for the event will be between 12 – 3pm this Saturday at Ehukai Beach Park.

Source: IBA World Tour

The Chilean big wave surf break of Punta de Lobos and the idyllic Australian point break of Noosa have been officially declared the 9th and 10th World Surfing Reserves, respectively.

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