Chris Friend

Sunshine Coast surfing young gun Chris Friend (Twin Waters) has received a timely confidence boost heading into the business end of the Australasian Pro Junior series, upstaging a 48-strong field of the state’s premier open aged surfers to win the Billabong North Classic at Coolum Beach yesterday.

In the absence of QCC front-runners Corey Ziems (Currumbin), Shaun Gossmann (Burleigh Heads) and Blake Wilson (Alexandra Headlands), who opted to miss the fifth leg of the six round Billabong Queensland Championship Circuit (QCC) to compete at the 5-star World Qualifying Series (WQS) event in Spain, Friend surfed his way into the state surfing spotlight to bag $2000 and 1000 all-important QCC rating points.

The Sunshine Coast ace let rip in the small 2-3 ft (0.5-1-metre), onshore conditions, blending a high-speed, fluid approach with explosive moves to beat fellow Sunshine Coaster Luke Jory (Sunshine Beach), Yamba ripper Matt Jones (NSW) and Gold Coaster Jamie Thomson (Elanora) in a wave starved, 25-minute final.

However, it wasn’t one-way traffic for Friend, having to set free his full bag of tricks to finish just 0.3 of a point in front of Jory at the final buzzer.

“I’m over the moon,” said Friend, who is currently ranked 14th on the ASP Australasian Pro Junior Series ratings. “I haven’t won an event in over a year, so it feels great to finally get the monkey off my back.”

Friend was on fire early in the low-scoring exchange, netting an 8.00 to setup a commanding lead. Backing it up with a 4.80, Friend held off his foes to claim the win, finishing with a 12.80 two-wave combined total to Jory’s 12.50.

“The 8-point ride on my first wave really set things up for me,” he said. “I only had an average second scoring ride, but luckily for me the ocean went flat for the back end of the final.”

The victory – his first QCC round win– puts him in good stead heading into the final two events of Pro Junior season.

“The win was a real confidence shot for me,” he said. “After a slow start to year I’m feeling primed for a big finish.”

Jory received some consolation with his runner-up placing representing his best result in the 2008 season. Jones finished in third on 10.85-points with Thomson in fourth on 8.65.

Despite missing the event, Ziems maintains his ratings lead with only the Billabong Queensland Open remaining in this year's series. There he sits on top with 3840-points, nearly 200 clear of Jones (2650) in second, with Dave Reardon-Smith (Yaroomba) in third on 2590.

Adding to the event’s already high stakes was the Tooheys Extra Dry ‘Wave of the Weekend'. Reigning QCC champion Trevor Tripcony (Yaroomba) notching the event’s highest wave score (8.75) to win four cartons of the clean crisp taste of Tooheys Extra Dry. Not a bad score for a single wave!

With five rounds of the Billabong QCC completed, the sixth and final leg will kick off on the Gold Coast on December 6-7.

The Billabong North Shore Classic was the fifth event of the 2008 Billabong Queensland Championship Circuit (QCC), a six event - $30,000 series, that continues to set the benchmark for surfers aspiring towards a professional surfing career.

The 2008 Billabong QCC title will be decided from a surfer’s best four results from the six event series. The series winner score a wildcard into the trials of the World Tour event on the Gold Coast in early March, 2009.

 Tim Boal

After last week’s mass number of events, this week was very quiet with just two men’s ASP WQS and the Boost Mobile Pro, and ASP World Tour event, in Trestles won by Kelly Slater.

Congratulations go out to Tim Boal of France for a great win over fellow Frenchman Joan Duru at the ASP WQS 5-Star Rip Curl Pro in Zarautz on the Basque coast of Spain.

Tim’s win has pushed his points to 11,888, which should be more than enough to see him qualify for the Dream Tour in 2009.

In Western Australia, the ASP WQS 1-Star SunSmart Surfmasters was won by Ben Godwin of New South Wales for the second year in a row.

In the ASP WQS ratings Top 20, only Raoni Monterio (BRA) has ped out making way for Michel Bourez (PYF).

The only big movers this week upwards were Michel Bourez from 26th to 14th, Joan Duru from 49th to 30th and Tim Boal moving from 5th to 3rd with the rest staying the same basically.

There were no major s in the ratings worth mentioning.

The current Top 20 now are:

Curran,Nathaniel USA 1 13200
Davidson,Chris AUS 2 12525
Boal,Tim FRA 3 11888
Gudauskas,Patrick USA 4 11438
Kerr,Josh AUS 5 11325
Weare,David ZAF 6 10675
Nicol,Yadin AUS 7 10500
Courtney,Drew AUS 8 10475
Lipke,Marlon DEU 9 10375
Henrique,Pedro BRA 10 10263
Bettero,Hizunome BRA 11 10150
Khodr,Jihad BRA 12 9888
Pires,Tiago PRT 13 9663
Paulino,Pablo BRA 14 9600
Bourez,Michel PYF 14 9600
MacDonald,Phillip AUS 16 9450
Emslie,Greg ZAF 17 9375
Sedley,Leigh AUS 17 9375
Gossmann,Shaun AUS 19 9363
Garcia,Sunny HAW 20 9350

Tim Boal

Tim Boal (Anglet, FRA), 25, won the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 5-Star Rip Curl Pro Zarautz today, claiming valuable 2000 ratings’ points after defeating Joan Duru (Hossegor, FRA), 19, in clean two to three foot (0.5 to 1 meter) waves in an unprecedent 100% French final.

Boal goes from No. 5 to No. 3 on the ASP WQS international ratings and will enjoy a well-deserved break.

Boal, who dominated the final day with great tactics and comitted surfing posting an excellent 16.34 point heat tally (out of a possible 20) to win, left no time to take a commanding lead in the last battle of the event, and left Duru in need of a combination of waves to catch up as ten minutes were remaining.

"I am so stoked to finally get a big win," Boal said. "I was able to get the waves and surf them well and it is great to getting the feeling right. That win is the icing on the cake. I made the final in California at the US Open of Surfing but failed to win it and it was a big frustration for me. I fell on lots of waves there and I just wanted to make a good final here to put that loss in California behind me."

Boal, who reached the Man-on-man finals of every event this summer including a 5th place in the ASP WQS 6-Star Prime Rip Curl Pro Hossegor/Seignosse, sealed his European leg with a win giving him an overall ratings’ total of 11888 points which virtually secures his spot for next year’s ASP Top 45, the elite contingent competing on the ASP World Tour.

"It is a long road to the end but this summer leg has been good to me and I hope it stays like that," Boal said. "The Basque Country is my favorite place in the world and I want to thank everyone for being here, my father and friends. So stoked."

At ninteen years of age, Duru confirmed his status of most promissing French surfer of the moment by getting a runner-up finish in the event, his best result to date. Duru, a former ASP European Junior champion, did not surf the better waves during the final clash and was disappointed leaving the water.

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