Billabong XXL 2008

New entries are flooding in from Europe, Hawaii and California, and with less than a month remaining in the annual cycle for the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards presented by Monster Energy, few are doubting that a number of records are going to be shattered.

The last eleven months have proven among the most extraordinary in the history of big wave surfing, with an unprecedented 420+ entry images from all around the planet providing visual evidence of the mammoth surf on the event website at BillabongXXL.com.

New video clips and still photos continue to arrive week after week in all key categories of the event including the Billabong XXL Ride of the Year Award, Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Award powered by Honda, Monster Tube Award and Monster Paddle Award.

Also featured are the Surfline Best Overall Performance Award and the Billabong Girl's Performance Award.  In total, over $120,000 in prize money will be awarded in the eighth annual edition of big wave surfing's top event. The competition is open to all qualified, invited surfers at any surf break around the world over the course of a full year and is based on the photographic evidence.

Although there is still plenty of time for more shocking swell events to occur before the event period concludes with the Vernal (Spring) Equinox on March 19, 2008 the world's big wave elite are already making plans to attend the gala Billabong XXL Awards ceremony this April 11 at the Grove Theater in Anaheim, California. 

While the 2000 seats at the Grove are invitation only, the entire evening's activities from Red Carpet arrivals to the final award will be broadcast during a live webcast at www.BillabongXXL.com and televised at a later date.

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Surfing Diploma

International Surfing Association Vice-President Alan Atkins is joining the teaching staff of the Diploma of Sport Management (Surfing Studies) for 2008.

Atkins, the former CEO of Surfing Australia and a resident of Byron Bay, has a wealth of experience in the sport and will be teaching the students how to conduct surfing events as part of this Southern Cross University course commencing next week.

He was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the Diploma in 2004 and is currently the Contest Director for the Noosa Festival of Surfing.

“Alan was involved in the plans to establish the Diploma from day 1 and helped lay the foundations for the course’s successful development,” said course coordinator Jak Carroll.

“He is one of the most experienced surfing administrators in the world and he will help to build the bridge between academic theory and real-world practice for the students.”

Launched by the Southern Cross University and Surfing Australia, the Diploma is the only course in the world focusing on the skills needed to work in the business side of the surfing industry. Students take subjects in sport marketing, management, media, events, and surfing culture, as well as doing a 150-hour industry placement.

The course, which can be completed in one year full-time or done part-time by distance education, attracts students from all over the world. Currently, students from the USA, Portugal, Sweden Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Italy and France are undertaking the Diploma.

Source: Surfing Australia

Raoni Monteiro

Brazilian Raoni Monteiro won the ASP WQS 5-Star PRIME Hang Loose Pro at Cacimba do Padre today in barreling waves of four-to-six feet (2 metre) height. Monteiro won the great final over American Gabe Kling, who already made the finals at Fernando de Noronha Island in 2006.

Until last year, both surfers were competing on the ASP World Tour, and now with this excellent result, they will try to return to the ASP World Tour next year.

“Thats it, 13 victories in Hang Loose to Brazil and 12 for the rest of the World, but the most important is that we had excellent waves every day for the whole contest, a lot of tubes, great wheater, sun, hot and next year there will be more,” Álfio Lagnado, President of Hang Loose Company, said.

Since 1986, Lagnado has organised the most traditional surf contests in Brazil, holding the Hang Loose Pro Contest in places like Florianópolis (SC), Guarujá (SP), Baía de Maracaípe (PE), Cabo de Santo Agostinho (PE), Maresias (SP) and Fernando de Noronha (PE).

With a beatiful barrel from the biggest set on his first wave of the final, Monteiro started the final with a 8.83 score. Then, in the middle of the heat, the Brazilian scored a 6.60 wave to put Gabe in combination situation, and finished the final with 15.43 points against the 9.50 points of Kling.

Kling had a solid second semi-final, winning the heat against Brazilian Hizunome Bettero, finishing with 16.44 points against 15.10 of Hizunome.

“I really wanted to win this event, because since Japan, a long time a go, i didn´t won a contest, and now i am really happy and i don´t know what to say” this was the first words of the new champion of the Hang Loose Pro Contest.

“I did everything right since my first heat, i stayed calm every heat and the result of this week was this victory. I promised to my daughter that i would bring this title back home” said Raoni Monteiro, who were in ASP Men´s World Tour last year and now he will try to return to the World Tour next year.

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