Billabong Pro

There was no shortage of standout surfing in Round 1 of the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay, but it was ASP World Tour veteran Taylor Knox (USA) who stole the show in perfect four to six foot (one to two metre) waves in South Africa today.

Knox posted near perfect 9.90 and a 9.80 wave scores for a combined total of 19.70 out of 20.00 points to take out World No. 2 Joel Parkinson and replacement surfer Nic Muscroft (AUS). Muscroft is surfing in place of an injured Aritz Aranburu (EUK).

“It’s really enjoyable to be in a heat like that, it was unreal.” Knox said. “It was exciting, because Parko got the first wave and I could see that it was such a good wave and I knew that once it went by me it would barrel. Right then I saw a big one out the back and just thought, ‘I’m going to get barreled.’”

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Romain Cloitre

Romain Cloitre (REU), 19, won his second consecutive Buondi Pro Junior title today at Amado beach in South Portugal after defeating outsider Eduardo Fernandez (PRT), Gordon Fontaine (FRA) and Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK).

Cloitre, who lost his seed right due to a late entry, put on a strong performance during the three days of competition, posting an excellent 16.00 point heat tally (out of a possible 20) in the 30-minute final to tame the tricky two foot (0.5 meter) waves.

Cloitre, who had a slow start in the final while other top seeded surfer Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK) took the lead, came back with a solid 7.33 pointer (out of a possible 10) before securing victory with an excellent 8.67 point ride.

"So stoked to get this second one a year after", Cloitre said. "I came here with no pressure at all as I  am not competing full time on the Pro Junior tour and it ends up perfectly. I will head for the US Open of Surfing with confidence and this is exactly what I needed before such a major event."

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Billabong Occy's Grom Comp

Coolangatta kid Jack Freestone is on the track to surf stardom after toppling a swag of the nation’s top young guns to bag the blue ribbon 16 and under boy’s crown at the fifth-annual Billabong Occy’s Grom Comp on the Gold Coast today.

A standout from start to finish, Freestone mixed a polished rail attack with gravity defying aerial moves to beat Avoca’s Wade Carmichael, Banora Point’s Sam Clift and Currarong’s Jordi Watson in a high-scoring, 20 minute final.

“I’m stocked to win Occy’s event,” said Freestone. “I see him surf everyday, so to win the event named after him means everything to me.” In fun 1-metre beach break waves at Duranbah, Freestone was the superior surfer all day and finalised an impressive campaign with a heat total of 18.06 to Carmichael’s total tally of 13.53.

The 16-year-old set-up the win with his second ride (8.83) before going on to post a heat high ride of 9.23 with just minutes remaining to extend his lead. Carmichael did enough to net second, leaving Clift (13.40) in third and Watson (10.40) in fourth.

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On January 17, 2018, Portuguese big wave surfer Hugo Vau had a day he will remember for the rest of his life at Nazaré's Praia do Norte, in Portugal.

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Nico von Lerchenfeld has had the time of his life at Surf Snowdonia, in Wales. But he was not there to surf.

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