Jay-R Esquivel

12 year old La Union local Jay-R Esquivel used his local knowledge and aggressive forehand attack to put together strong combinations of hacks, turns, floaters and aerials and best Siargao’s Philmar Alipayo in a closely contested final to claim the championship title at the 2nd annual Billabong Grommet Competition presented by StokedInc held over the weekend at the beach breaks of San Juan in the province of La Union.

For his championship win, Esquivel received a brand new Anacapa surfboard from Aloha Boardsports, a leash and deck pad from Dakine, sunglasses from Von Zipper, shoes from Kustom, wax from Sticky Bumps, a shirt and boardshorts from Billabong, in addition to the rights to his championship title.

Starting his surfing career at the tender age of 8, young Esquivel has already traveled and competed in surf competitions throughout the Philippines since he was 10 years old. When asked how he felt about his win he replied, “I’m so happy to win here at my home break, in front of my friends and family. And to win a new surfboard, that’s the best thing ever! Thank you so much to Stoked Inc and all the great sponsors for having such a great event.”

Runner up 16 year old Alipayo hails from Siargao Island, an area rich with good surf breaks, and also put on an impressive display of surfing in the 25 minute final, but just came up short on points when the horn sounded. Coming in equal third were last year’s winner Peter Alipayo and Danny Coldura, both also from Siargao.

A total of 46 kids from 6 provinces in the Philippines (La Union, Daet, Catanduanes, Samar, Lanuza, Surigao, and Baler), ranging in age from 7 to 16 years of age, arrived at the beach on Saturday morning November 29th to compete for prizes and the prestige of becoming the Philippines top grommet surfer. (The term “grommet” is used in the surfing world to refer to young surfers, usually those 16 years of age and under.)

Competition was fierce and the conditions were often very challenging for the brave young surfers, as the South China Sea was dishing out some rough 3-4 foot waves that pounded onto the sandy bottomed beach of San Juan.

Good wave selection as well as technical ability was required to get good scores, as often only one or two maneuvers per wave were possible. Big bottom and top turns and completed floaters were what the judges were looking for, and after almost 8 hours, three rounds of competition were completed by 5 pm.

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Luis Madureira Pinto (far right) with CEST friends

SurferToday.com has won the 2008 ZON Multimedia - Creativity in Multimedia, in the 'Content in Multimedia' category.

The award ceremony was held last 15th December in the Estoril Congress Center, in Portugal.

Mr. Rodrigo Costa, ZON Multimedia's CEO, Mr. Mário Lino, minister for Public Works, Transport and Communications and Mr. José Pinto Ribeiro, minister for Culture, attended the event.

SurferToday.com founder Luis Madureira Pinto was given a scholarship in Digital Media at the University of Texas at Austin, USA and a 25.000€ prize money.

"I would like to address my special thanks to ZON Multimedia and my biggest hug and cheers to the CEST friends Camelo(s), Fidalgo, Tavares, Landolt, Mendanha, Almeida, Camacho, Leal, Maia, my girlfriend and family for their support and friendship. This is your award, too", he stated.

The ZON Multimédia group can be found in 1.5 million homes and businesses, reaching more than 5 million people in Portugal.

ZON has the largest digital cable network in the country, a digital satellite platform and 200 movie theaters to meet all telecommunication and entertainment needs.

ZON Multimédia is one of the top companies in the PSI-20 index and the fifth largest pay TV company in Portugal. It is also leader of the cinema market and the second largest internet provider. ZON Multimédia operates under the ZON TV Cabo, ZON Lusomundo Cinemas, ZON Lusomundo Audiovisuais and ZON Conteúdos brand names.

SurferToday.com is a surfing news center founded in 2007 and visited daily by surfers, windsurfers, kiteboarders and bodyboarders from more than 100 countries and 2000 cities in the world.

ASP Dream Tour 2009

Congratulations to everyone that achieved their goals on the men’s, women’s and longboard tours in either the ASP Dream Tour or ASP WQS events this year.

Special congratulations to King Kelly, Joy Monahan, Bonga Perkins and Stephanie Gilmore on their respective ASP World Titles plus a premature congratulations to the boys and girls winners of the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships to be held in early January 2009.

For the women, the Billabong Pro Maui is yet to be finalized and the 2009 Dream Tour qualifiers will not be completely known until then.

For the men, the ASP Dream Tour 45 are as of now:

TOP 27 Requalifiers
Slater, Kelly USA
Durbidge, Bede AUS
Burrow, Taj AUS
Parkinson, Joel AUS
Hobgood, C.J. USA
Buchan, Adrian AUS
Souza, Adriano de BRA
Fanning, Mick AUS
Martinez, Bobby USA
Flores, Jeremy FRA
Stedman, Luke AUS
Patacchia, Fredrick HAW
Irons, Andy HAW
Ward, Chris USA
Otton, Kai AUS
Reyes, Tim USA
Perrow, Kieren AUS
Whitaker, Tom AUS
Neve, Dayyan AUS
Irons, Bruce HAW
Picon, Michael FRA
Reynolds, Dane USA
Knox, Taylor USA
Hobgood, Damien USA
Alves, Heitor BRA
Smith, Jordy ZAF
Dunn, Ben AUS

Top 15 WQS Qualifiers
Curran, Nathaniel USA
Davidson, Chris AUS
Bourez, Michel PYF
Kling, Gabe USA
Khodr, Jihad BRA
Weare, David ZAF
Kerr, Josh AUS
Muscroft, Nic AUS
Bacalso, Kekoa HAW
Emslie, Greg ZAF
Boal, Tim FRA
Barca, Dustin HAW
Pires, Tiago PRT
MacDonald, Phillip AUS
Courtney, Drew AUS

ASP Wildcards
Morrison, Dean AUS
Aranburu, Aritz EUK
Lipke, Marlon DEU

However, there is still the undecided question of both the Irons brothers. Will Bruce retire and will Andy take a year off? If so, then the lucky replacements could be Roy Powers, Mick Campbell or Pat Guduaskas.

Until our ASP World Tour manager Renato Hickel gets the official retirement letters the Top 45 are as above.

Source: ASP