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The 2009 Dream Tour Line-Up

Monday, December 15th, 2008

asp world tourWith the Pipeline Masters coming to a close last Friday, the dust has now settled and next year’s ASP World Tour picture is becoming clear. The departure of Andy and Bruce Irons from the 2009 door has opened the door for Marlon Lipke to become the first ever German on tour.

Speaking of Andy and Bruce, with both of them failing to end up in the Top 10 on the final ratings, this is now the first time in it’s 32 year history that no surfers from Hawaii ended ranked above the 10 spot. Freddy Patacchia was the highest ranked at #12. Hopes of bringing the title back to the islands will now be resting on his shoulders as he is the only Hawaiian returning from 2008. Kekoa Bacalso and Dustin Barca round out the rest of the small Hawaii contingent for 2009.

Take a look at how the 2009 ASP World Tour is set to be stacked-

ASP World Nos. 1-10:
1. Kelly Slater (USA),
2. Bede Durbidge (AUS),
3. Taj Burrow (AUS),
4. Joel Parkinson (AUS),
5. C.J. Hobgood (USA),
6. Adrian Buchan (AUS),
7. Adriano de Souza (BRA),
8. Mick Fanning (AUS),
9. Bobby Martinez (USA)
10. Jeremy Flores (FRA).

ASP World Nos. 11-27:
11. Luke Stedman (AUS),
12. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW),
13. Andy Irons (HAW),
14. Chris Ward (USA),
15. Kai Otton (AUS),
16. Tim Reyes (USA),
17. Tom Whitaker (AUS),
18. Kieren Perrow (AUS),
19. Dayyan Neve (AUS),
20. Bruce Irons (HAW),
21. Mikael Picon (FRA),
22. Dane Reynolds (USA),
23. Taylor Knox (USA),
24. Damien Hobgood (USA),
25. Heitor Alves (BRA),
26. Jordy Smith (ZAF)
27. Ben Dunn (AUS).

The Top 15 ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) surfers in ranking order are:
1. Nathaniel Curran (USA),
2. Chris Davidson (AUS),
3. Michel Bourez (PYF),
4. Gabe Kling (USA),
5. Jihad Khodr (BRA),
6. David Weare (ZAF),
7. Josh Kerr (AUS),
8. Nic Muscroft (AUS),
9. Kekoa Bacalso (HAW),
10. Greg Emslie (ZAF),
11. Tim Boal (FRA),
12. Dustin Barca (HAW)
13. Tiago Pires (PRT),
14. Phillip MacDonald (AUS)
15. Drew Courtney (AUS).

The three 2009 tour wildcards went to injury applicants, Dean Morrison (AUS), Aritz Aranburu (EUK), and ASP WQS No. 16 Marlon Lipke (GER). Lipke will be the first German ever on the Dream Tour.

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Freesurfing Vs. Competitive Surfing

Monday, December 1st, 2008

While the freesurfing vs. competitive surfing debate has been going on as long as I can remember, 2008 has seen the ongoing contrast of ideas and views on the issue reach a fevered pitch. Bruce Irons deciding to bail on the ASP World Tour, Kelly Slater continuing to establish his unimaginable legacy on that same tour, and Dane Reynolds having a debate with Dane Reynolds on his future with the Dream Tour are just some of the examples of why the freesurfing vs. competitive surfing debate has been especially fresh on our minds in ‘08.

rob machado big air

In my eyes this debate has always been an easy one. There’s plenty of room in this world for both to thrive. A healthy freesurfing movement allows guy like Dave Rastovich, the Malloy brothers, Jamie O’Brien, and Donavon Frankenreiter to continually blow our minds, each in their own respective way. I really dig the fact that it is becoming more common for the big boys like Billabong and Volcom to sponsor guys and just let them do their thing. I have the sneaking suspicion that we’re going to see truly incredible things from Bruce Irons as the gates of the WCT pen open up and he’s able to roam about the globe and single-handedly progress the sport in ways that only he can.

While Bruce goes about his business, the ‘CT will continue on without him. As it does, the storylines and the rich history it produces year after year will go on right with it. This is what makes competitive surfing such a beautiful thing. In fact, the whole motive for this post came as a result of 22 yr. old Michel Bourez’ victory at the first leg of this year’s Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. The Tahitian not only claimed victory with his inspired performance at the Reef Hawaiian Pro, but he also secured a coveted spot on the 2009 Dream Tour with his win at Haleiwa.

When you follow surfing, it can be easy to forget the real life aspects that take place with the surfers who have battled to get to where they are at today. Competitive surfing is full of inspiring stories of hard work, dedication, perseverance, broken hearts, and the realization of dreams. In the euphoric days following the Reef Hawaiian Pro, Michel Bourez told his story in his own words. In doing so, he once again reminded myself, as well as thousands of others, what it is that makes the world tour and competitive surfing so special.

michel bourez

“I still have that picture in my mind of coming in from the water and seeing the crowd and seeing all my good friends running down to see me and that was such a good feeling and something I’ll never ever forget. To win an event in Hawaii under that pressure was just incredible. I keep repeating myself here, as I still can’t really believe it.” -Michel Bourez-

So as far as the competitive surfing vs. freesurfing debate goes, it’s pretty simple….there’s plenty of room in my world for both. Hopefully this is the case for you as well. Both aspects of surfing are full of stories, images, history and so much more, all of which you don’t want to miss.

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Tahiti’s Michel Bourez wins Reef Hawaiian Pro

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

michel bourez wins reef hawaiian pro

In 2005, Tahiti’s Michel Bourez won a small surfing contest that was held in the Canary Islands. Until Saturday, that victory has served as Bourez’ best result to date. By putting on an absolutely stellar display of surfing at Haleiwa, the 22 yr. old Bourez can now lay claim to winning the first leg of the Vans Triple Crown, the 2008 Reef Hawaiian Pro.

While conditions at Haleiwa weren’t quite up to the standard set in earlier rounds of the event, the final day of action still saw plenty of opportunities for some of the world’s best surfers to let loose. And that’s exactly what Bourez did. In doing so, Bourez not only took home $15,000, bragging rights, and an early lead on the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing series ratings, he also took a no. 2 ranking in the WQS standings and a guaranteed spot on the 2009 ASP World Tour. “It means a lot to just qualify for the World Tour. I’ve been dreaming about this my whole life since I started to surf. I’ve been watching all the best surfers, like Kelly Slater and Rob Machado, all those guys. And, right now I can surf with them. It’s a good opportunity for me and all the Tahitian surfers. I’m stoked for Tahiti.”

dusty payne reef hawaiian pro

The final day at Haleiwa offered up a good number of deep barrels for the surfers, something Haleiwa is not generally known for. I don’t really think you’ll find any of the riders complaining about this though, everyone looked like they were just really digging the opportunity to get shacked at one of the world’s most prestigious events. Bourez especially looked right at home from the semi-final on. “That semi was maybe the best heat of my life,” said Bourez. “Everybody was getting barreled I was screaming my head off. It was so sick. I was having so much fun out there and that’s what I call a good contest.” In the process of screaming and having as much fun as he was, Bourez posted the highest wave and heat scores of the entire event: 18.96 points out of 20 for the heat, and 9.93 out of 10 for his top tube ride.

Congratulations Michel Bourez, winner of the 2008 Reef Hawaiian Pro!


1st. Michel Bourez (Tahiti) – 16.77 out of 20 (9.77 & 7.0) – $15,000
2nd. Jihad Khodr (Brazil) – 16.5 (8.5 & 8.0)- $7,500
3rd. Kekoa Bacalso (Hawaii) 15.83 (9.0 & 6.83) – $4,500
4th. Dusty Payne (Hawaii) 4.67 (2.67 & 2.0) – $4,400

H1: Michel Bourez (PYF), Kekoa Bacalso (HI), Nic Muscroft (Aus), Brett Simpson (CA)
H2: Jihad Khodr (Brz), Dusty Payne (HI), Joel Parkinson (Aus), Bede Durbidge (Aus)

H1: Kekoa Bacalso (HI), Michel Bourez (PYF), Evan Valiere (HI), Greg Emslie (SAf)
H2: Nic Muscroft (Aus), Brett Simpson (CA), Sunny Garcia (HI), Kieren Perrow (Aus)
H3: Bede Durbidge (Aus), Dusty Payne (HI), Chris Ward (CA), Dayyan Neve (Aus)
H4: Jihad Khodr (Brz), Joel Parkinson (Aus), Dustin Barca (HI), Tim Reyes (CA)

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ASP announces 2009 Schedule, Brazil and Fiji see Changes

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

asp world tour logoWith the Billabong Pipeline Masters being all that remains in the 2008 ASP World Tour, one that saw the world title essentially locked up coming out of the Australian leg, the 2009 Dream Tour is already starting to take shape.

Who will be there? Many of the spots have already been locked up and Hawaii will resolve the rest over the next few weeks. Where will the events take place? The ASP handled that bit today by releasing their 2009 WCT schedule.

While much of the tour remains the same, there are a couple of noticeable differences on tap for ‘09. The Brazil event has (thank god) been moved up to June. After the mess that was this years Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro, and the overall disinterest in the event in general, a change was needed. Who knows if this move will actually make a difference, but anything is better than what it has been.
The other change is the removal of the Globe Pro Fiji. No motive was given for the omission from 2009, but while the event saw incredible surf this year it seems that the political climate and logistics of running the event in Fiji have apparently proved themselves as too much to overcome.

Here is the 2009 ASP World Tour schedule, check it out and start making plans to attend any event possible-

Men’s ASP World Tour 2009 Schedule:
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast: Feb 28 – Mar 11, 2009
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: Apr 7 – 19, 2009
Billabong Pro Teahupoo: May 9 – 20, 2009
Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro: Jun 27 – Jul 5, 2009
Billabong Pro J-Bay: Jul 9 – 19, 2009
Boost Mobile Pro pres by Hurley: Sept 11 – 20, 2009
Quiksilver Pro France: Sept 23 – Oct 4, 2009
Billabong Pro Mundaka: Oct 5 – 17, 2009
Rip Curl Pro Search: Oct 19 – 28, 2009
Billabong Pipeline Masters: Dec 8 – 20, 2009

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The ASP Dream Tour and WQS Current World Rankings

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Winds of change are coming for the 2009 Dream Tour and should make things a bit more interesting. There are still two events left in 2008; here is how the Top 10 is checking out….

Current ASP World Tour Top 10
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 8042 points*(world champion)
2. Taj Burrow (AUS) 6324 points
3. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 6180 points
4. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 5990 points
5. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 5748 points
6. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 5760 points
7. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 5730 points
8. Mick Fanning (AUS) 5310 points
9. Bobby Martinez (USA) 5282 points
10. Luke Stedman (AUS) 4696 points

…Pretty much just the big Hawai’i 6-star events left for the QS’ers following Nat’s big win at Steamer Lane. With that in mind, WQS guru Al Hunt doesn’t expect a whole lot of movement between now and the end of the year-

Current ASP WQS Top 20
1. Nathaniel Curran (USA) 13200
2. Chris Davidson (AUS) 12525
3. Gabe Kling (USA) 12301
4. Josh Kerr (AUS) 12075
5. Tim Boal (FRA) 11888
6. Tiago Pires (PRT) 11750
7. Drew Courtney (AUS) 11600
8. Greg Emslie (ZAF) 11463
9. Marlon Lipke (DEU) 11450
10. David Weare (ZAF) 11450
11. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 11438
12. Phillip MacDonald (AUS) 11263
13. Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 11125
14. Nic Muscroft (AUS) 11075
15. Simao Romao (BRA) 11000
16. Michel Bourez (PYF) 10900
17. Dustin Barca (HAW) 10826
18. Jadson Andre (BRA) 10738
19. Yadin Nicol (AUS) 10675
20. Jihad Khodr (BRA) 10575

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Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro Underway

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

The first round of action was completed in Brazil today as the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro kicked off. There were hopes for the sake of the event, as well as those who actually decided to show up, that the conditions at Imbituba would be in top form, that the story would be more about the brilliant surfing taking place than the fact that an astounding 13 out of the ASP Top 44 surfers have pulled out of the event for various reasons. That wasn’t the case however. The crumbling beach-break we’ve come to expect at the Santa Catarina Pro was in full effect.

The second to last stop on the Dream Tour was dealt an even bigger blow when world no. 5 surfer, Brazil’s own Adriano de Souza pulled out of the event at the last minute with a twisted ankle. “I’m not feeling good ,” de Souza said. I’m just getting better from a twisted ankle I injured in the Rio de Janeiro WQS, so I am not 100% which is very unlucky because I was looking to get a good result in Brazil.” That left only half of the Top 10 to take part in the event. Overall, 20 of the 48 surfers in the event hail from Brazil.
Bede Durbige, Fred Patacchia, Jeremy Flores, and Jordy Smith were among the standouts in Rd. 1. Jordy had the wave of the day with a 9.59 score after throwing two airs on the same wave. However as a result of two late interference calls, both of which could be attributed to the unpredictable surf, Jordy now finds himself in the dreaded loser’s round.

Rd. 2 will likely get going tomorrow morning. Stay tuned for more updates on the 2008 Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro

Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Taylor Knox (USA) 14.83, Ben Bourgeois (USA) 14.43, Fabio Gouveia (BRA) 7.50
Heat 2: Marco Polo (BRA) 13.27, Royden Bryson (ZAF) 11.34, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 10.60
Heat 3: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 16.50, Tanio Barreto (BRA) 12.84, Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 9.83
Heat 4: Kai Otton (AUS) 14.67, Jay Thompson (AUS) 12.33, Gustavo Fernandes (BRA) 7.67
Heat 5: Marcio Farney (BRA) 12.00, Luke Stedman (AUS) 11.73, Heitor Alves (BRA) 11.43
Heat 6: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 16.03, Peterson Rosa (BRA) 14.84, Tiago Pires (PRT) 5.60
Heat 7: Mikael Picon (FRA) 13.67, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.66, Jano Belo (BRA) 10.70
Heat 8: Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.33, Carybean Heleodoro (BRA) 12.67, Roy Powers (HAW) 7.63
Heat 9: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.33, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 14.57, Damien Hobgood (USA) 12.90
Heat 10: Mick Campbell (AUS) 13.90, CJ Hobgood (USA) 13.03, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 10.33
Heat 11: Leonardo Neves (BRA) 13.17, Tom Whitaker (AUS) 9.33, Pedro Henrique (BRA) 8.93
Heat 12: Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 14.83, Travis Logie (ZAF) 9.00, Chris Ward (USA) N/S
Heat 13: Bernardo Miranda (BRA) 10.73, Dayyan Neve (AUS) 10.33, Jihad Khodr (BRA) 7.27
Heat 14: Daniel Ross (AUS) 13.07, Tim Reyes (USA) 12.16, William Cardoso (BRA) 10.16
Heat 15: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 16.00, Simao Romao (BRA) 12.16, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 0.00
Heat 16: Ben Dunn (AUS) 15.37, Bruno Santos (BRA) 11.47, Ricky Basnett (ZAF) 10.54

Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro Round 2 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Carybean Heleodoro (BRA)
Heat 2: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 3: Luke Stedman (AUS) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 4: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Jano Belo (BRA)
Heat 5: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. Peterson Rosa (BRA)
Heat 6: Chris Ward (USA) vs. Gustavo Fernandes (BRA)
Heat 7: Dayyan Neve (AUS) vs. Tanio Barreto (BRA)
Heat 8: Tim Reyes (USA) vs. Fabio Gouveia (BRA)
Heat 9: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Pedro Henrique (BRA)
Heat 10: Roy Powers (HAW) vs. William Cardoso (BRA)
Heat 11: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Simao Romao (BRA)
Heat 12: Tiago Pires (PRT) vs. Bruno Santos (BRA)
Heat 13: Heitor Alves (BRA) vs. Ricky Basnett (ZAF)
Heat 14: Jay Thompson (AUS) vs. Jihad Khodr (BRA)
Heat 15: Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 16: Royden Bryson (ZAF) vs. Ben Bourgeois (USA)

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Quote of the Day: Taj Burrow

Monday, October 27th, 2008

taj burrow“It’s part of the tour and it’s an event that is there for taking. Winning contests is the most amazing feeling so why would I miss that opportunity. I can’t wait.” – Taj Burrow

It’s always cool to see when a professional surfer ‘gets it’. When he realizes that this small window he has to surf for a living is something special, something that was made possible by the hard work of many before him, and takes full advantage of it. When he realizes that there are thousands of fans, the very people who make this dream job possible, who look forward to watching him perform at each event whether it be live at the beach or via webcast.

The Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro will be starting tomorrow. For reasons varying from injuries and illnesses to personal matters and burnout, the event will be without 11 of the Top 45 ASP World Tour surfers, 4 of which are currently sitting in the Top 10. If there is anyone who has reason to be legitimately frustrated at this point of the year, it’s Taj Burrow. Taj has had arguably his best year on tour, yet he is destined to once again finish as runner-up. Had Kelly Slater not decided to go mental on the ‘08 Dream Tour, Taj would most likely be on his way to his 1st world championship, something he has been working his ass off for this year. Knowing that goal is now out of reach, Taj still recognizes, as Bobby Martinez did before Spain, the incredible opportunity this is for him and everyone else on tour. One that won’t be around forever.

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C.J. Hobgood Wins Billabong Pro Mundaka

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

cj hobgood wins billabong pro

C.J. Hobgood kept the party for Florida surfers rolling today with a last-minute victory over Joel Parkinson, a victory that saw him become the 2008 Billabong Pro Mundaka champion.

Although Dream Tour events in which an overall world champion is crowned early on sometimes end up with a funky, anti-climatic feel to them, the remaining contestants didn´t appear to be affected by all of the Slater-hoopla and put on quite a show at Mundaka. Mundaka itself held up rather well and, although spotty and inconsistent at times, made it´s case for remaining on the European leg of the 2009 world tour.

It´s been one of those years for Parko. It looked like he was on his way to ending his two-year victory drought before C.J. picked up a barrel-induced, buzzer-beating 8.57 to claim the victory in Spain. Having seen his good friend Mick Fanning win the ´07 world title, an inspired Parko came into the 2008 year chomping at the bit. Although coming close several times, the Gold Coast surfer has just been unable to lock down a win on tour this year. Just seconds away from ending his dry-spell, Parkinson took off on the first wave of the final set at Mundaka and left C.J. all alone to grab the winning wave.

Following the event, Parko praised Hobgood for grabbing the win and graciously gave him all the credit for the come from behind win. Hobgood deserved every bit of it, and with the win the former world champion now sits at #6 in the overall ASP standings, just a shade behind Adriano de Souza.
Congratulations C.J. Hobgood… winner of the 2008 Billabong Pro Mundaka

Billabong Pro Mundaka Final Results:
Final: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 18.50 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.83

Billabong Pro Mundaka Semifinal Heat Results:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.80 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.50
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 14.66 def. Luke Stedman (AUS) 6.70

Billabong Pro Mundaka Quarterfinal Heat Results:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.34 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 6.17
Heat 2: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.83 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 7.40
Heat 3: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 15.34 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 8.10
Heat 4: Luke Stedman (AUS) 13.16 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 10.24

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Kelly Slater Wins 9th World Championship

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

kelly slater 9th world championship

Kelly Slater defeated surfer Eneko Acero today in Rd. 3 of the Billabong Pro Mundaka to once again take his spot atop the surfing world. 16 years after becoming the youngest ever to win a world title at just 20 years of age, the 36 yr. old out of Cocoa Beach, Florida became the oldest ASP World Champion ever with his unprecedented 9th world championship.

Congratulations Kelly Slater… The 2008 ASP World Champion!

Stay tuned to 5ones for more info on all the action at the Billabong Pro Mundaka!

ASP Records Held by Kelly Slater:
Most ASP World Titles: Nine (2008, 2006, 2005, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1992)
Most ASP World Tour Victories: 39
Oldest ASP World Champion: 36-years-old (2008)
Youngest ASP World Champion: 20-year-old (1992)
Highest Heat Total: Only perfect 20 out of 20 ever earned (Tahiti – 2005)
Most Event Wins in a Season: Seven in 1996

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Kelly Slater One Heat Away

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

kelly slater billabong pro mundaka

That’s all that separates the greatest all-around surfer from an unprecedented 9th world championship. With his Rd. 1 heat victory at the Billabong Pro Mundaka today, Kelly Slater is now sitting just a single heat victory away from officially becoming the 2008 ASP world champion. While Taylor Knox and wildcard contestant Reubyn Ash(as well as many of the other surfers) had a brutal time figuring out the sloppy Sopelana beachbreak, Slater looked right at home in the Florida-esque bump and crumble. His 9.0 wave, which was highlighted by a massive punt, ended up as the overall high score of the day. “Where I surfed, the waves were better,” Slater said. “I had more options. I couldn’t really hear the scores, but once I did I could tell that Taylor was kind of struggling. Then I found a right with a nice open face and a big air section and that was my 9.00.”

Sopelana was messy and all over the place today. But with the forecast showing that Mundaka could be working tomorrow, Contest Director Mike Parsons left the decision to run today in the hands of the surfers. A vote was taken and the majority decided to go ahead an open the event. And why not? With Mundaka expected to come alive tomorrow you know these guys would much rather surf with only one other contestant out there competing for waves.

Action at the Billabong Pro Mundaka is expected to continue tomorrow. Everything is shaping up for the move over to Mundaka. There definitely needs to be a “kudos” sent over to Billabong and Go211 for their smooth webcast. That hasn’t always been the case with the tour this year so it was great to be able to catch the action from a functioning webcast. Stay tuned for more on Kelly’s 9th and the Billabong Pro Mundaka.

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