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WQS: The Final 15, Marlon Lipke Awaits

Monday, December 8th, 2008

asp world tour logoAfter a full year on the 2008 ASP WQS Tour, the final 15 surfers that find themselves at the top of the rankings have guaranteed themselves spots on the 2009 Dream Tour. It’s a hell of an accomplishment for all of these guys; the ‘QS can be a grueling tour and a lot of sacrifices have to be made just to make it through the entire year, let alone finish in the top 15.

The man at #16, German shredder Marlon Lipke, has a couple of outside, although very possible scenarios in which he could sneak on to next year’s WCT. Dream Tour surfer Tiago Pires could possibly double qualify, meaning he has already sealed his spot for next year by finishing #13 on the ‘QS. He’s at #30 on the ‘CT going into the Pipeline Masters. A solid finish would boost into the top 27 and allow Lipke in. There has also been speculation about whether or not Andy Irons will participate in next year’s tour. I personally hope he doesn’t and just takes the year off to freesurf and film. There’s never enough fresh footage of Andy surfing; I’m guessing Marlon Lipke feels the same way.

Final 2008 ASP WQS Top 16
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
16. Marlon Lipke GER

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Sunset Beach Heaving for O’Neill World Cup of Surfing

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

The prestigious Sunset Beach has a way of separating the men from the boys. And that’s exactly what the famous North Shore right-hander is doing for the early rounds of the 2008 O’Neill World Cup of Surfing.

sunset beach

The scene at Sunset today was heavy. A building swell was adding to the already 7-10 ft. waves that were rolling through the wind and the rain. It was the type of Sunset that leaves many of the contestants wondering why in the hell they even signed up for this event in the first place. And that’s just how the Occy’s, Bruce’s, Sunny’s, and Kamalei Alexander’s of the world like it.

Those four, along with a couple of young hawaiian upstarts in the form of Dusty Payne and Torry Meister, stood out from the rest today as the second leg of the Vans Triple Crown got moving. The first two rounds of the event are now in the books and Rd. 3 will likely get the call tomorrow morning. Forecasters expect the swell to continue building throughout the night. If the weather clears up, we could be looking at an epic Sunset tomorrow. With some juicy heats on tap and everyone scratching for points in the final WQS 6-star event of the year, here is to hoping Mother Nature cooperates.

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WQS Top 20: Movement All Around Following Haleiwa

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

asp world tour logoIn what was supposed to be an event that saw those atop the WQS standings solidify their positions and inch ever closer to a 2009 Dream Tour berth, the Reef Hawaiian Pro instead saw opportunities open up for those still trying to make their way into the Top 15. With half of the 32 top seeds for the event in Haleiwa crashing in the Round of 64, the doors flew open and surfers like Dusty Payne, Kekoa Bacalso, Jihad Khodr, and Reef Hawaiian Pro winner Michel Bourez all took advantage of the valuable ‘QS points left on the table by the surfers who bowed out early in the event.

Time is running out on the year, and the WQS situation just got a whole lot more interesting. Here is how things are looking now for those trying to seal their spot on the 2009 Dream Tour-

The current WQS ratings Top 20 are:

1 Curran,Nathaniel USA 13200
2 Bourez,Michel PYF 12775
3 Davidson,Chris AUS 12525
4 Kling,Gabe USA 12476
5 Khodr,Jihad BRA 12150
6 Kerr,Josh AUS 12075
7 Bacalso,Kekoa HAW 11913
8 Muscroft,Nic AUS 11900
9 Boal,Tim FRA 11888
10 Pires,Tiago PRT 11750
11 Barca,Dustin HAW 11726
12 Emslie,Greg ZAF 11626
13 Courtney,Drew AUS 11600
14 Lipke,Marlon DEU 11450
14 Weare,David ZAF 11450
16 Gudauskas,Patrick USA 11438
17 MacDonald,Phillip AUS 11263
18 Bettero,Hizunome BRA 11125
19 Romao,Simao BRA 11000
20 Simpson,Brett USA 10838

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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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Reef Hawaiian Pro Rolling, Carissa Moore Top Female at Haleiwa

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

bede durbidge reef hawaiian pro

The list of surfers vying for a win in opening leg of the Van’s Triple Crown of Surfing is being whittled down. At the moment, the Reef Hawaiian Pro is currently in the 4th round of action in a pretty fun looking 3-4 ft. swell at Haleiwa. For the most part the top surfers coming into the event have held their ground.

Taj Burrow, Joel Parkinson, and Bede Durbidge are the remaining surfers from the WCT Top 10. Both Mick Fanning and C.J. Hobgood got clipped early on in the 4th. Defending champion Roy Powers is on top of his game again at Haleiwa and looking like he intends on going back to back. With the first jewel in the Triple Crown and end of season WQS points on the line, the competition is sure to intensify as the event winds down. Be sure to catch the webcast as we get into the business end of the competition.

On another note, we just want to throw a huge congratulations out to Carissa Moore. Carissa killed it at Haleiea today, taking out living-legend Layne Beachley on her way to winning the women’s side of the event. With news of Carissa’s big new deal with Red Bull and Nike 6.0 recently breaking, The 16 yr. old Carissa has had herself a pretty smooth past couple of weeks

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Triple Crown Underway: Haleiwa on Fire (Video)

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

reef hawaiian pro

A high surf advisory was issued by the National Weather Service at this morning for the north-facing shores of Oahu. Sounds like a perfect time to get the ball rolling on the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa, the first leg of the 2008 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.

“The Reef Hawaiian Pro sets the tone for the rest of the Triple Crown events to follow,” says Randy Rarick, Director of the Vans Triple Crown. “Both the Men and Women who do well at Haleiwa, put their stamp on the start of the North Shore competitive season and are destined to have their names etched in the record books.”

And for the surfers who already have their names firmly engraved in the record books Mr. Rarick speaks of, Haleiwa and the Vans Triple Crown overall serve as the perfect chance to remind everyone else that they are still forces to be reckoned with as far as competitive surfing goes. As I write this, Triple Crown legend Mark Occhilupo is just putting the finishing touches on an absolutely stellar opening heat. Although looking a little more filled out in his retirement days, Occy and the North Shore is clearly still as potent a combination as any. While Occy can surf the Triple Crown pressure free, another Triple Crown legend, Sunny Garcia, is actually searching for valuable WQS points at Haleiwa in hopes of making back to the Dream Tour. Sunny currently sits at 20th on the ‘QS. Although that’s a bit outside where he needs to be come years end (top 15 make it), Sunny’s gotta be loving the position he’s in on his quest to return.

The webcast is looking super smooth and there is sure to loads of incredible surfing to watch as the event progresses. You can catch all the live action here so be sure to tune in. As always, 5ones will keep you posted on all of the happenings at the Reef Hawaiian Pro and Vans Triple Crown.

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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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WQS Top 20: O’Neill’s Cold Water Classic On Tap

Monday, October 6th, 2008

asp world tour logoWith only two more events on the ASP World Tour remaining following the completion of the Billabong Pro Mundaka, the picture is becoming clearer for many of the WQS hopefuls. The Top 27 from the ‘08 World Tour and the Top 15 ASP WQS surfers, plus three wildcards, will make up the Dream Tour Top 45 for 2009.

Of note for the month of October on the WQS is the ever-popular O’Neill Cold Water Classic in Santa Cruz. The 4-star event at California’s legendary Steamer Lane will get underway in just a couple of weeks. O’Neill has bumped the overall prize money for the Cold Water Classic to a cool $80,000. That’s up $5,000 from last years event, one that saw their own Jordy Smith come away with the victory and join the likes of Tom Curren, Bobby Martinez, Taylor Knox, Martin Potter, Joel Parkinson as past winners of the O’Neill Cold Water Classic.

Stay tuned…

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

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Phil MacDonald’s Big Buondi Win, Current WQS Standings

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

phil macdonaldIt may not have been the most spectacular victory, but Phil MacDonald will gladly take it. “I placed 2nd many times in my career but to eventually win a big event is just amazing,” MacDonald said. “It was one of the smallest contests in a long time but a win is always a win and I am stoked I finally got the boys to hold me up in the air and get that feeling at last. It was a tough contest, kind of nerving testing with the tricky waves all weekend.”

With his recent victory at the WQS 6-star Buondi Billabong Pro, the 29 yr. old from Sydney, Aus. did wonders for increasing his chances to return onto the WCT in 2009. Moving from no. 31 to no. 14 in the WQS standings, another year on the ‘CT is now looking like a reachable opportunity following what has been a slow start to the year. “I was not really into it when the year started and I did not want to put any pressure on myself,” MacDonald said. “With these two good results I guess I will start thinking of the possibility to make it back on the Dream Tour but I would need a couple of big scores still. I will see how things go.”

Carlsbad, Ca. surfer Pat Gudauskas finished runner-up to MacDonald at Buondi and earned himself big points toward his quest for next years WCT. With the waves being meager and fickle at best, Gudauskas was pumped on making another final heat. “I was so excited to make another final after the one in Florida in January but the waves were tricky and it was not an easy heat,” Gudauskas said. “Phil got that one excellent wave and with inconsistency of the swell there was not much I could do. I am still stoked.”

Nathaniel Curran still sits atop the WQS standings following the Buondi Billabong Pro. Here are the current rankings as the tour moves onto Spain:

ASP WQS Top 20 (Top 15 advance to WCT at year’s end):
1.Curran,Nathaniel (USA) 13200
2.Davidson,Chris (AUS) 12525
3.Kerr,Josh (AUS) 11325
4.Gudauskas,Patrick (USA) 11207
5.Boal,Tim (FRA) 10938
6.Nicol,Yadin (AUS) 10500
7.Courtney,Drew (AUS) 10475
8.Weare,David (ZAF) 10450
9.Lipke,Marlon (DEU) 10375
10.Henrique,Pedro (BRA) 10263
11.Khodr,Jihad (BRA) 9888
12.Pires,Tiago (PRT) 9663
13.Paulino,Pablo (BRA) 9600
14.MacDonald,Phillip (AUS) 9450
15.Bettero,Hizunome (BRA) 9400
16.Emslie,Greg (ZAF) 9375
17.Garcia,Sunny (HAW) 9350
18.Gossmann,Shaun (AUS) 9276
19.Monteiro,Raoni (BRA) 9275
20.Simpson,Brett (USA) 9200

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WQS Reaches Midway Point Following Mr. Price Pro

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

The ASP WQS Tour hit the midway point following the completion of the Mr. Price Pro, which was held in Durban, South Africa last week. Australia’s Chris Davidson pulled out the big victory with a win over the crowd-favorite, South African Travis Logie. “I’m stoked I made the final and beat the local boy,” Davidson said. “It was tough for Travis surfing little right-handers on his backside so it definitely favored me. I’ve got tens here in the past, but I was the underdog out there today, so it felt good to come home with the win.”

The win puts Davidson at 7th on the WQS standings as the tour gets set to begin the business end of the year with the upcoming U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach on July 18-27. Patrick Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA) nabbed a 3rd in Durban and now finds himself once again atop the ‘QS rankings. It’s still early, but with the strong result and subsequent rise in the standings, Gudauskas is looking like a solid bet to end up with a spot on the 2009 Dream Tour. “I’ve never done well in Durban so to get a third today is a great result for me,” Gudauskas said. “I’m really excited to be back at No. 1, it’s a very long season so I just want to continue bettering my results.”

World champion Sunny Garcia’s quest to return to the WCT next year continues on. He has made no secret of his strong desire to make another run on the ‘CT, and with his current 8th place standing the powerful Hawaiian is in a strong position to finish in the top 15 and do exactly that. He has had quite a bit of success at Huntington Beach and is undoubtedly looking forward to the opportunity of solidifying his position with a solid result at the nation’s only ASP WQS 6-Star event.

Current WQS Standings after the 6-Star Mr Price Pro:

1. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 9119
2. David Weare (ZAF) 8688
3. Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 8650
4. Nathaniel Curran (USA) 8600
5. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 8363
6. Drew Courtney (AUS) 8356
7. Chris Davidson (AUS) 8332
8. Sunny Garcia (HAW) 8162
9. Nathan Yeomans (USA) 8100
10. Austin Ware (USA) 7838

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