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ASP Top 10 Heading into Rip Curl Pro Search

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

ASP World Tour LogoCurrent ASP World Tour Top 10 as we head into the Rip Curl Pro Somewhere in Indo.

1. Kelly Slater (USA) 5210 points
2. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 3948 points
3. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 3782 points
4. Mick Fanning (AUS) 3753 points
5. Taj Burrow (AUS) 3638 points
6. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 3540 points
7. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 3460 points
8. Andy Irons (HAW) 3338 points
9. Bobby Martinez (USA) 3028 points
10. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 2884 points

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Billabong Pro J-Bay: Kelly Slater Wins…. Again

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Kelly Slater Wins Billabong Pro JBayWhile we are only about half-way through the 2008 ASP World Tour, we are already becoming witnesses to one of the all-time great performances throughout the course of the surfing year. Eight-time world champion Kelly Slater defeated last year’s champ Mick Fanning in the final of the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay earlier today for his fourth victory at the prestigious South African break.

Slater has now won 4 out of the first 5 events in 2008, and with the victory at J-Bay he has all but essentially sealed his record 9th world title. A gracious Slater had this to say following his 38th tour victory – “I didn’t realize I was going to be overwhelmed by it, but I haven’t been in this position before, at this point of the year, with this many wins, there are great things going on in my life so I’m just trying to soak it up and be appreciative.”

The morning started off with classic Jeffreys Bay conditions keeping the 4-6 ft swell in almost perfect shape. However, after just a few heats in the morning, the wind turned onshore for the quarters, semis, and final. Both Slater and Fanning had issues adjusting to the bump and crumble that was being offered up. “It was really challenging,” Slater said. “You really have to change your frame of mind because we were looking at waves the other day where we were getting 30-45 second rides and doing six to eight maneuvers and now we’re looking at waves where if you get three moves it’s a good score. It’s really hard to change your perception on how you are going to surf a wave. I didn’t really catch on until the very end of that heat when I realized I could get a three move wave and probably seal it.” Fanning appeared uncharacteristically sloppy, even falling on waves that held opportunities for high scores. While the Billabong broadcast team wondered aloud if it was equipment issues, an obviously Fanning quickly put that all to rest. “I surfed like an idiot,” Fanning said. “I had the opportunity to win the whole thing and I fell and I don’t know why. I don’t know what happened, I just had a shocker. I was feeling great, I just couldn’t stay on my board.”

Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Kelly Slater

With the rest of the Top 44 now with deflated hopes for a world championship, it will be intriguing to see how the year plays out. Aside from Fanning’s bid to repeat, Taj Burrow, Joel Parkinson, and Andy Irons all came into the year with very high aspirations to come out on top. They are all very aware of the difficult, if not impossible, task that now lies in front of them. “Kelly wins another final, enough said, unbelievable.” Burrow said. “The door is really closing as far as I can see it. He’s got a ridiculous amount of keepers now so… how many events left? Not enough!”

It sure does appear that way. Congratulations Kelly Slater, winner of the 2008 Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay!

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2008 Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay: Update

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Billabong Pro Jeffreys BayRounds 1 and 2 of the 2008 Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay have come and gone. The second straight lay day has been called and surfers and event organizers alike are licking their lips with the forthcoming swell said to be on its way by forecasters. While the opening rounds of the Dream Tour events may at times lack the drama and story-lines of the later rounds, Jeffreys Bay showed once again why it is one of the premier waves in the world. Watching some of the worlds best on one of the worlds best in the opening rounds has been incredible to see. The surfing that has taken place to this point is only a sign of things to come as the event moves into the business rounds.

The opening round performance of Taylor Knox was a site to behold. The 37 yr. old out of Carlsbad, Ca. looked as youthful as ever and appeared to be in complete harmony with J-Bay. Knox’s speed and synergy with the wave netted him the highest combined heat score in Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay history with an almost perfect 19.70. World No. 2 Joel Parkinson did his best to match the level that Knox was performing at, thus providing the South African crowd, as well as all the webcast junkies watching at home, one of the classic 1st round performances of all time. “It’s really enjoyable to be in a heat like that, it was unreal.” Knox said. “It was exciting, because Parko got the first wave and I could see that it was such a good wave and I knew that once it went by me it would barrel. Right then I saw a big one out the back and just thought, ‘I’m going to get barreled.’”

Round 1 also saw the unusual opening round match-up of Bruce and Andy Irons in the same heat. With Bruce set to leave the WCT following the year, there’s a high probability that this is one of the final time the Irons brothers will go head to head in a ‘CT event. The match-up saw Bruce narrowly edge out his big brother and move onto Rd. 3. However the 3x world champion Andy took out his Hawaiian counterpart Granger Larsen on his way to a 3rd round meeting with Brazil’s Heitor Alves.

Stay tuned for the call on rounds 3 and beyond of the 2008 Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay.

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Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Upon Us

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

jeffreys bayThere are few breaks in the world that contain the prestige and history of South Africa’s Jeffreys Bay. Its a wave unlike any other that has been known to bring out the best in many of the greatest surfers to ever step foot on a board. Tomson, Curren, Occy, Slater, and so many other surf legends have seen J-Bay be the site of some of their most impressive and inspired performances. And now with the arrival of the 2008 Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay upon us this week, we have another opportunity to witness a few of the worlds best on one of its greatest waves.

The holding period for the Billabong Pro J-Bay, the fifth of 11 events on the 2008 ASP World Tour, is set to open on July 10. While for us it means a chance to see the top 44 and others do work at Jeffreys Bay , for everyone taking part in the tour it only means one thing – possibly the last hope to putting an end to Kelly Slater cruising through to his 9th world championship.

Current world No. 2, Joel Parkinson knows this better than anyone, and is even hoping for the Aussie legend Mark Occhilupo to help stop the damage that Slater has been inflicting. “When it comes down to perfect 6 foot J-Bay, you know Occy has still got it. He is in the trials, so hopefully he gets into the main event and helps the rest of us by taking Kelly out early,” said Parko. Parkinson himself is extremely well suited for the long burly right, and Slater knows that he will be one of his biggest obstacles standing in front of his 4th win at J-Bay, as well as his fourth victory on the ‘08 tour. “JBay has been one of my best events,” Slater said. “I’ve had three wins out there, but it’s obviously a good event for Taj, a good event for Parko, a good event for Andy and it suits Bede really well.”

The stop at Jeffreys Bay has solidified itself years ago as one of the truly special events of each year. The chance to see another round of memorable performances is something that shouldn’t be passed up. Even those who aren’t huge WCT followers can appreciate the magic of seeing these guys carve up the endless walls that J-Bay is known and loved for.

You can give it a peep for yourself as the 2008 Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay will be webcast live on aspworldtour.com as well as billabongpro.com

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Current ASP World Tour Top 10 Rankings

Monday, July 7th, 2008

ASP World Tour LogoTop 10 ASP World Tour Rankings After 4 Events:

1. Kelly Slater (USA) 4010 points
2. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 3072 points
3. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 3050 points
4. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 2808 points
5. Taj Burrow (AUS) 2762 points
6. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 2728 points
7. Mick Fanning (AUS) 2721 points
8. Andy Irons (HAW) 2606 points
9. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 2474 points
10. Bobby Martinez (USA) 2428 points

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Bruce Irons Set to Leave WCT

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Bruce Irons“Bruce Irons – It’s hard to say what’s going on with Bruce. The bottom line is he is way too talented of a surfer to consistently be going out in the early rounds. He seemed particularly disinterested in his third round loss to Adrian Buchan at Snapper. How sick would it be to see him go the path of Jamie O’brien and just completely dedicate himself to the freestyle thing? Those two alone are surfing as progressively as any, and would serve as worthy pioneers for a new freestyle movement for surfing.” – March 24, 2008

It has been pretty clear watching Bruce Irons on the ‘CT this year that his heart wasn’t 100% into competitive surfing. When I wrote the paragraph above during this years Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach it was from my perspective as a huge fan of Bruce and his style of surfing. His body language in the majority of his heats this year has screamed that something just wasn’t clicking for him as a competitive surfer. He had the appearance of a caged-animal, someone who was ready and wanting to unleash but was trapped by everything that comes along with being on the ASP Tour. Apparently Bruce has had his fill of the ‘Dream Tour’ and has now made it official – 2008 will be his last full-time year on the WCT. “I’m going back to being a freesurfer,” Bruce says, “It’s what I was meant to do.”

(more…)

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Top 10 ASP World Tour Point Leaders Going Into Globe Pro Fiji

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

ASP World Tour Logo
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 2810 points
2. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 2340 points
3. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 2318 points
4. Andy Irons (HAW) 2196 points
5. Mick Fanning (AUS) 1989 points
6. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 1932 points
7. Taj Burrow (AUS) 1886 points
8. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 1874 points
9. Kai Otton (AUS) 1800 points
10. Dane Reynolds (USA) 1742 points

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Globe Pro Fiji Likely to Begin Sunday

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

Cloudbreak, Globe Pro FijiWhile the lack of swell in the opening days of the Billabong Pro Tahiti provided an opportunity for a lot of the guys on tour to enjoy all that Tahiti has to offer and then some, it also made it a bit more challenging to be ready for action once the waves arrived. With the Globe Pro Fiji getting set to kick-off its holding period this Sunday, it’s looks looking very likely the ‘CT surfers won’t have to worry about any rust setting in from multiple waiting days.

According to the official Globe Pro Fiji forecasters at WaveWatch, conditions are expected to be in the double overhead and higher range through the weekend. “I spoke to the Globe crew who are preparing everything for a likely Day 1 start in Fiji,” Contest Director Steve Roberts said.

For the second straight event Damien Hobgood will be the defending champion. He won here in 2006 (the Globe Pro Fiji wasn’t held in 2007) and feels healed enough from his pounding at Teahupoo to defend his crown. “It was really hard not surfing Tahiti but I know it was the right decision if I wanted to be able to surf Fiji and the rest of the year,” Hobgood said.

With the top 5 surfers all bowing out very early at ‘Chopes you can be sure to look for all of them to come out firing in the open rounds. Andy Irons has quietly crept up to 4th in the standings and has yet to be in top form. Top rookie, Dane Reynolds is has moved into the top 10 and will have a real opportunity at Restaurants and Cloudbreak to climb the standings even more. All in all, it’s looking like the Globe Pro Fiji is setting up to be one hell of an event.

Remember, the action is most likely going to begin Sunday so be ready to check out the webcast.

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Bruno Santos Wins Billabong Pro Tahiti

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

billabong pro bruni santosIt was the wildcards, Manoa Drollet and Bruno Santos, that stole the show today at the Billabong Pro Tahiti. Ultimately it was Bruno Santos who won the event after defeating Teahupoo local Monoa Drollet in a very undramatic final. Big congratulations goes out to the Brazilian, Bruno Santos, as he was an absolute giant slayer defeating Mick Fanning, Taj Burrow, CJ Hobgood, and others on his way to winning one of the biggest events on the ASP World Tour.

It was a long-slow day at Teahupoo as one of the most notorious waves in the world failed to deliver any kind of a consistent swell. The heats throughout the day were very slow as the 2-3 ft swell was on the decrease which made for long waits between sets. Unfortunately, that left many of the surfers unable to find any kind of decent waves in their heats, often times seeing competitors catch one or less decent wave in a 30 minute period.

It’s unfortunate that a contest of this caliber at a break this heavy has to be decided in small waves like this. It would’ve been interesting to see what would have happened had mother nature cooperated. We can’t take anything away from Bruno Santos though as he rightfully deserves the victory he earned today. Here’s to hoping Fiji’s pumping!

teahupoowctasp world tourbillabong

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Slater, Burrow, Durbidge, and Smith out at Billabong Pro

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

billabong pro manao drolletA lot of big names bowed out early at the Billabong Pro Tahiti today as Kelly Slater, Taj Burrow, Bede Durbidge, and Jordy Smith were all defeated in round 3 action at 4-6 foot Teahupoo.

Kelly Slater wasn’t looking too sharp again and was caught a couple times dropping in too deep, getting drilled in the head by one of the heaviest waves in the world. It didn’t matter though, as he suffered an early interference penalty and was literally surfing a heat he couldn’t possibly win. It seems there’s something about going up against local favorite Manoa Drollet that gets in Slater’s head, as he performed similarly when then two competed against each other in rd. 1 action. “This is just one of many events, you’re going to have throw-aways,” said Slater.

The highly anticipated matchup between Jordy Smith and Dane Reynolds saw Smith go down as Dane was on absolute fire. If he continues to surf like he did in round three, Dane could possibly in serious contention for his first ever ‘CT victory, only three events into his rookie season. He was looking good. CJ Hobgood is another surfer to watch this event. He posted an amazing 19.64 in round three and has been looking awfully good here at ‘Chopes. Seems super-confident as well when you listen to his interviews and he no doubt wants to keep the Billabong Pro Tahiti title in the Hobgood family.

Andy Irons and Joel Parkinson – who are both tied for current world #6 – can definitely smell blood. All five surfers ahead of them exited early from this event and now they’ll definitely be taking advantage and looking to gain as many points as possible. Look to both of these guys to make a run at winning this event.

kelly slatertaj burrowteahupoojordy smithbede durbidgewct

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