North End Boardriders

North End Boardriders on the Gold Cast today won their first ever Rip Curl Kirra Teams Challenge.

Regarded as surfings’ most prestigious and sort after national club teams trophy this event pitted 36 of Australia’s top Boardriding Clubs against each other over three days and the final results saw an incredible five clubs separated by just one point with North End victorious on 29 points out of a possible 32 points.

Out of their 8 surfers, surfing in four man heats, North End scored their win with 5 heat wins and 3 seconds .

Tied on 28 points were Le-Ba (short for Lenox/Ballina), Kirra, Noosa and Snapper Rocks with three of those four clubs on five wins, two 2nd’s and a third … these clubs were placed 2nd to 5th based on their surfers cumulative points tally – see below for exact points tally.

The result went down to the second last heat of the day where North End surfer Damon Nicholls surfed his clubs final heat knowing that a 1st or 2nd placing would win the event while a 3rd or 4th would hand it to Le-Ba!

“Unbelievable finish for me, the pressure was amazing and I actually dreamt last night that  it would come to this and being chaired off the beach – just an amazing feeling to be part of a winning team – I surfed a safe heat knowing that second would be good enough and that’s exactly how it panned out – the perfect finish!”

Earlier on North End Surfer Scott Wilden put the club into a winning position when he posted a huge heat win over his opponents – Wilden posting a score of 14.5 while his opponents were requiring combinations of scores on 7.87, 7 and 4.02!”

North End club coach Tai Graham, who played a significant role in today’s win also by defeating the highest rated ASP surfer in the event in Burleigh Heads’ Jay Thompson when Graham won his heat was elated after the win saying:

“ We knew we were the underdogs here and felt we had something to prove – The south end gets all the attention with world champions in Fanning and Gilmore and the superbank and all but up our way we have surf too… and some great surfers which we proved today – our zone is from Broadbeach right through to South Straddie and we have pulled off a great win here today – It’s the best teams event to win in Australia for sure and we’ve come close before so today is really special for us.”

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US Junior Team

Surfing America, the national governing body for surfing in the USA, is excited to announce the 2009 PacSun USA Surf Team travel roster that will compete at the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in Ecuador from March 28-April 5.

After a grueling week of adverse conditions, PacSun USA Surf Team Head Coach Joey Buran made tough but calculated decisions as he trimmed his 30-man roster down to the 16 who will make up the travel squad and represent the United States. 

The we week-long training camp, run in the rain, blustery wind and at times hail, saw standout performances in the three divisions in which the PacSun USA Surf Team will compete: Boys Under 16, Boys Under 18 and Girls Under 18.

The Under 18 Boys are led into battle by perhaps the hottest surfer on the national team, Santa Cruz’s Nat Young. A rising star whose breakthrough 2008 has thus far carried over nicely into ’09, Young’s style should be well suited to handle the left-hand point break at La FAE.

Young is the United States’ best chance at a gold medal in the Under 18 division. Rounding out the rest of the 18s are Evan Thompson who was on the team two years ago and brings some solid ISA experience, Fisher Heverly and Chase Wilson who fought through a stomach virus and six back-to-back heats to claim the last spot.

“Our Under 18s look strong. We do have Nat Young and Chase Wilson returning as veterans from last year’s team,” Buran said. “And we’ve filled in with Fisher Heverly and Evan Thompson who’s had success in the WQS Juniors in North America, is an elite surfer, made finals at NSSA Nationals.”

For the Under 18 Girls, their leader is clear -- Courtney Conlogue. Last year’s third place finisher at the ISA World Juniors, Conlogue is one of the favorites to take top podium honors in Ecuador. “We have the veterans in Courtney, who’s obviously a gold medal favorite and Kaleigh [Gilchrist], who’s solid,” Buran said. “Lakey [Peterson]’s really young, Lani [Doherty]’s young. They’ve both made some finals at the USA Champs and NSSA Nationals.

Headlining the travel roster are the Under 16 Boys.  A deep and immensely talented group of budding superstars, Coach Buran made no attempt to hide his expectations for this group during the week. Time after time Buran referred to the Under 16s as the most talented group of 15-year-old surfers you’ll find on the planet. It goes without saying, Buran expects gold from these boys.

“I would expect in Under 16 we’ll do damage,” Coach Buran said. Out of Kolohe Andino, Conner Coffin, Evan Geiselman, and Ian Crane, Buran thinks all of these kids have a legitimate shot at medaling.

And who does Buran expect to be the toughest competition? “Aside from Hawaii, Australia and Brazil, I think the biggest sleeper is South Africa,” Coach Buran said. “I think they had a really good team last year, and I think what happened to us, happened to them – the wheels just kind of came off on the last day. I think South Africa is going to be an under-the-radar, dangerous team.”

Highlighting the week’s end was a visit by famed USC Football Head Coach Pete Carroll. About two thirds of the way through the day’s heats, Coach Buran, a huge fan of Coach Carroll’s, called the kids to the beach. Surfers and their parents, media and industry heads circled around.

After a short introduction from Quiksilver CEO Bob McKnight, Coach Carroll began to speak and it was clear he was as comfortable on a beach talking to young surfers and he was on a practice field or locker room addressing Division I college football players.

"You have to forget about Australia," Carroll said about the reigning world champs. "They're not going to ride your waves or be on your board. They have no factor in what you do. It is you that has to perform. If you start worrying about other stuff that you can't control, that's when you take your focus off giving your best."

Before he left, Coach Carroll praised Buran for his hard work and the intensity he has so visibly infused into the program. “You can feel Joey's passion for this sport and all of you -- in the way he talks and the way he acts,” Carroll said.

“It was awesome hearing his whole strategy -- being aggressive and attacking, turning a 7 into an 8. That's what the great ones do, and all you guys are definitely aspiring to be great. I wish you all the best as you go achieve your dreams."

The 2009 PacSun USA Surf Team travel roster:

BOYS UNDER 18

Nat Young

Evan Thompson

Fisher Heverly

Chase Wilson

Alternate: Balaram Stack


BOYS UNDER 16

Kolohe Andino

Conner Coffin

Evan Geiselman

Ian Crane

Alternate: Jacob Halstead and Colin Moran


GIRLS UNDER 18

Courtney Conlogue

Lakey Peterson

Kaleigh Gilchrist

Lani Doherty

Alternate: Taylor Pitz

ISA World Junior Championships

From March 28 to April 5 the waves of the Playa de las FAE in Salinas, Ecuador, will host the greatest junior surfing event in the world: the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship.

More than 200 of the best athletes of about 30 different countries will be competing for one of the greatest honors to which a junior surfer can aspire: a podium in an International Surfing Association (ISA) event. The ISA is the World Governing Authority of Surfing and all its disciplines, recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

The event will crown the world champions in the categories Boys Under 18, Boys Under 16 and Girls Under 18, as well as the World Junior Champion nation, after the results of all its participants have been added.

Each team will be represented by four members in each of the categories; therefore, a complete team will be composed of twelve athletes.

ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, commented on this upcoming event: I’m very happy that a major ISA event is going to be held in Ecuador, the host of the 2004 ISA World Surfing Games. It’s a great country with warm people, hot waves and weather - for sure a place to spend some extra days before or after the competition.

Regarding the fact that Ecuador is the first Hispanic American country to host an edition of the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship, Aguerre said: This is proof that Surfing in that region is maturing in a great way, in countries that only 20 years ago would not be considered surfing countries like Ecuador and Costa Rica, host of the ISA World Surfing Games later this year. We’re looking forward to hot surfing, a substantial increase of junior surfing level.”

It will be the seventh edition of the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship.  The event started its history soon after ISA decided to separate the Junior category from the World Surfing Games, to offer the best Under 18 athletes their own event.

The decision proved a correct one and transformed itself in a mandatory stop for the best young athletes, since it became a talent incubator of the future leaders of world surfing.

The first competition happened in South Africa in 2003, continued in Tahiti (2004), California (2005), Brazil (2006), Portugal (2007) and France in 2008.  In this way, Ecuador becomes the first Hispanic-American country to host the WJSC.

Australia, the greatest surfing force at world level, will be defending the gold medal in the general team position.  On the other hand, the kangaroo country is the absolute leader in the event’s history, having won four of the six editions already held.

About the Place
Salinas is a beach resort located 136 km from Guayaquil, the second largest city in Ecuador.  Its main and most renown surfing spot is the Playa de las FAE (FAE meaning Ecuadorian Air Force, for its initials in Spanish) will be the event scenario.

The wave is a long, perfect and consistent left-leaning point break that maintains the good shape in swells of up to 8 feet.  The beach acquired fame after the World Surfing Games were held there in 2004.

In March, the average temperature in Ecuador is of 35o centigrade. Be sure to take sun protection and water.  Rainfall is scarce in Salinas.

Gallery of WJSC Champions 

2003 – South Africa – Team Gold Medal: Brazilian team
2004 – Tahiti – Team Gold Medal: Australian team
2005 – United States – Team Gold Medal: Hawaiian team
2006 – Brazil – Team Gold Medal: Australian team
2007 – Portugal – Team Gold Medal: Australian team
2008 – France – Team Gold Medal: Australian team

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