Shark Island 2008

This letter is to address the IBA press release sent out stating “Shark Island is no longer on the World Tour”.

I would like to thank everyone for their phone calls and emails of support. Regarding the IBA’s decision I would like to address the issue in an open manner. Firstly, it must be clearly stated that the only criteria the Cronulla Shark Island Challenge does not meet in the IBA’s guide lines is financial.

The 2009 IBA event sanctioning requirements state that all international MWT events require minimum prize-money of $20,000 USD. Unfortunately in 2009 due to the current financial climate this criteria cannot be met.

However, what we do have thanks to our sponsors Nomad Bodyboards, Emerald Surf City, Human, Limited Edition Fins, Swellnet, Riptide Bodyboard Magazine and the Sutherland Shire Council, is a prize base of $10,000.00, which I believe is the richest prize purse in Australia for 2009.

During negotiations the IBA agreed that this year’s event did not meet its criteria. I proposed that the event be sanctioned as an IBA Specialty event to allow interested IBA riders to compete and in turn tie this long standing event to the IBA MWT Calendar. It was indicated as per IBA Tour General Manager Terry McKenna’s request and direction, to pay the IBA sanctioning fee of $1,500.00 USD to ensure the event future. 

Unfortunately the proposal was rejected by the IBA riders board. The IBA Riders board terms are as follows:

Any IBA contracted rider who surfed in the 2009 Pipeline event or those who are competing in the coming Brazil events in April/May 2009 can not compete.

Any IBA contracted rider that breaks their IBA contract will serve a 12 month ban from International competition from the date of the breach and be subjected to a $500 USD fine.

Terry McKenna said of the decision “I did send several emails trying to change their mind but they were determined to stand strong with their decision.” I thank Terry for his support on this issue.

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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.

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