Florence Wins Vans World Cup to Take Vans Triple Crown Lead

SUNSET BEACH, Oahu/Hawaii (Friday, December 2, 2011) — Hawaii’s John John Florence has stood on the sand here at Sunset Beach watching the crowning of surfing champions since he was 6-years-old. Today, at 19, he stood on the podium, having realized his childhood dream of winning the Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach, and taking the lead on the coveted Vans Triple Crown presented by Rockstar Energy Drink series ratings. It was an overwhelming victory for Florence, who surfed in his first Vans Triple Crown event at the tender age of 12.

Today was also a dream come true for the Vans family, who brought John and the Florences into the fold when he was eight years old. At that time they recognized a child with prodigious talent, a gentle nature, and a genuine appreciation for the ocean and the fortunate opportunities it represented.

“Vans has a long tradition of family, from the Van Dorens to the Florences, and John has been part of our family since he first learned to surf,” said Doug Palladini, Vans’ VP of Marketing. “We are so proud of what John accomplished today, what he has done to live up to his potential this year, and we marvel at the possible impact he will ultimately have on surfing beyond his 19th year.”

In the final, Florence led a spectacular tube-riding battle in perfect 10-foot surf against Michel Bourez (Tahiti, 2nd), Adam Melling (Australia, 3rd), and Hank Gaskell (Maui, 4th) to win $40,000. His two-wave heat total of 17 points (9.5, 7.5) eclipsed the field, leaving the other three in need of a two-wave combination of scores to overtake the lead.

Florence began his Vans Triple Crown campaign two weeks ago at Haleiwa, where he placed fifth. The third and final leg of the Vans Triple Crown now awaits him on his home doorstep at Pipeline. The Billabong Pipe Masters will get underway on December 8. Florence began his 2011 campaign at the Banzai Pipeline in February, winning the 5-star Pipeline Pro. From there, he leapt off onto the global ASP tour with hopes of securing a berth among the elite Top 32. He has achieved that, now ranked 19th in the world.

“I’m having fun, I surf for a living and that’s a dream in itself,” said Florence.

“This is my first 6 star Prime win, it’s at home, it’s one of my home breaks and all my family and friends are here, so it’s one of the best moments of my life, for sure. It means everything. I’ve watched these guys since I was so little growing up here and coming to events when I was six years old, getting their autographs.”

On the upcoming Pipe Masters: “I live right there at Pipe and I surf there almost every day in all conditions. Its going to be fun, for sure.”

There was as much adrenaline on the beach as there was on the waves for the final. Sunset turned on like a giant wave machine, pumping out a succession of rides that saw every finalist get barreled. But Florence’s performance was astounding; he covered an expansive lineup seemingly picking off waves at will with every one of them offering an impossible amount of tube time. Bourez and Melling fought hard to catch him in the 30-minute final. At one point, Melling found himself inside a game-changer of a tube ride, traveling for more than 100 yards and disappearing for six seconds, but he failed to emerge through the curtain of whitewater. After his runner-up finish at Haleiwa, and his third here today, Melling is ranked second on the Vans Triple Crown ratings and will follow John John to Pipe.

“It would have been good to go one better than the last contest, but I guess that’s how it is,” said Melling, from Australia’s Lennox Head. “But if there’s barrels and John John’s around I’m sure he’s in them somewhere.”

On his tube ride that was the longest of the final: “It wasn’t that great! I didn’t make it! But it would have been good. I was coming through it, I raced, and I got through one hard bit and then just into the next and it dropped out on me. I thought I had it there for a little bit. It would have been nice to come out of it.

“The Triple Crown means everything. Since I was young coming over here I’ve always wanted to win it, which would be amazing. Last year I did alright out at Pipe but I’m guessing this year’s going to be a little bit different. I think it’s going to be big Pipe. I’ll have to get out there this week and get a bit of practice in.”

Bourez is the most successful Tahitian surfer in the 29-year history of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. A former champion of the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa, his powerful surfing style is a natural fit for the North Shore’s famous winter waves. Now rated third on the Vans Triple Crown rankings, and headed to Pipe, 2011 has seen him reach a new high.

“It’s such a good feeling just to be on the stage right now, to have made the final with all the boys,” said Bourez. “I’m just glad to be on tour and be in the final with them today.

“My first wave, oh my god, that was a bomb. Just right at the end I didn’t make it and I thought if I made that one, it was close to a 10 maybe. To start the heat with a 10 would have put so much pressure on the others, but it didn’t happen.”

Fourth-placed Hank Gaskell is an underdog fairytale. A quiet achiever who doesn’t travel on the tour, Hank lives for waves like those he rode at Sunset today. From the neighboring island of Maui, Gaskell found his way into the Triple Crown by virtue of winning the local Hawaii series this year. He made good on the opportunity and now gets his second wildcard to Pipeline.

“This is really special to me,” Gaskell said. “I’m going to remember this for the rest of my life. I’ve never done this well in the Triple Crown before so I’m so happy to do this good and make a final. Now Pipe. I’ve got to get psyched for that. I think I’m ready. I’ve surfed in Pipe twice before, not in a few years tho so I’m really happy to be back in that event. I’ve had a little luck and put in a lot of hard work, so it’s paying off. I’m proud of myself.”

Brazil’s Raoni Monteiro, the defending champion of this event, lost out in the semi-finals to Florence and Gaskell, placing equal 7th overall.

Florida’s Evan Geiselman, 18, was eliminated in the round of 32 today but emerged as the JN Automotive Rookie of the Vans Triple Crown – a prestigious title that signals a stellar surfing future.

The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing presented by Rockstar Energy Drink is a three-event series staged on Oahu’s North Shore. It is famous for its three equally challenging venues of Haleiwa, Sunset Beach and Pipeline that represent the ultimate test of a surfer’s ability. To win the Vans Triple Crown is second only to winning the ASP World Title.


1st —
 John John Florence (HAW) 17.00pts, $40,000

2nd — Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.30pts, $20,000

3rd – Adam Melling (AUS) 11.96pts, $12,000

4th — Hank Gaskell (HAW) 11.53pts, $10,000


HEAT 1 : 
Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.03pts ; Adam Melling (AUS) 8.00 ; Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 7.60pts ; Dusty Payne (HAW) 4.60pts

HEAT 2 : John John Florence (HAW) 18.40pts ; Hank Gaskell (HAW) 14.50pts ; Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.57pts ; Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 9.77pts


HEAT 1 :
 Adam Melling (AUS) 12.86pts ; Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.33pts ; Evan Valiere (HAW) 7.16pts ; Nat Young (USA) 7.16pts

HEAT 2 : Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 17.83pts ; Dusty Payne (HAW) 17.50pts ; Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.16pts ; Travis Logie (ZAF) 6.16pts

HEAT 3 : Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 14.77pts ; Hank Gaskell (HAW) 11.67pts ; CJ Hobgood (USA) 11.50pts ; Joel Centeio (HAW) 4.87pts

HEAT 4 : Adrien Buchan (AUS) 14.84 ; John John Florence (HAW) 14.23pts ; Ian Walsh (HAW) 13.37pts ; Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 9.43pts


HEAT 1 :
 Evan Valiere (HAW) 12.53pts ; Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.40pts ; Jesse Mendes (BRA) 6.57 ; Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 6.50pts

HEAT 2 : Adam Melling (AUS) 14.84pts ; Dusty Payne (HAW) 9.97pts ; Heath Joske (AUS) 6.50pts ; Josh Kerr (AUS) 6.23pts

HEAT 3 : Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 12.90pts ; Michel Bourez (PYF) 8.47pts ; Kai Otton (AUS) 7.40pts ; Kieren Perrow (AUS) 5.10pts

HEAT 4 : Travis Logie (ZAF) 13.23pts ; Nat Young (USA) 10.77pts ; Evan Geiselman (USA) 8.30pts ; Taj Burrow (AUS) 6.94pts

HEAT 5 : CJ Hobgood (USA) 12.27pts ; Ian Walsh (HAW) 9.50pts ; Dane Gudauskas (USA) 8.66 ; Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 3.10pts

HEAT 6 : Joel Centeio (HAW) 13.54pts ; Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.03pts ; Damien Hobgood (USA) 10.50pts ; Tonino Benson (HAW) 7.14pts

HEAT 7 : Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.26pts ; Hank Gaskell (HAW) 10.27pts ; Chris Davidson (AUS) 8.63 ; Sunny Garcia (HAW) 7.96pts

HEAT 8 : John John Florence (HAW) 16.33pts ; Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 12.83pts ; Mitchel Coleborn (AUS) 11.67pts ; Dane Reynolds (USA) 9.83pts


Perrow Wins Billabong Pipe Masters, Florence Takes Vans Triple Crown

BANZAI PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii (Saturday, December 10, 2011) – Kieren Perrow (AUS), 34, has won his inaugural ASP World Tour event, taking out the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons over fellow countrymen Joel Parkinson (AUS), 30, in four-to-six foot waves. John John Florence (HAW), 19, also found his way to the podium as the overall winner of the 2011 Vans Triple Crown.

Perrow, who finished runner-up to Jeremy Flores (FRA), 23, in last year’s Billabong Pipe Masters, returned to form again this year and charged the massive Pipeline conditions on the opening two days of competition to solidify his position on the 2012 ASP World Tour. The Australian was equally deadly in the smaller conditions on the final day and commanded the Final against Parkinson in a backdoor shootout to secure his maiden ASP World Tour victory.

“It took me up until now to get over getting second to Jeremy last year” Perrow said. “It’s so good to get back here. I just felt so comfortable the whole time. I’ve had such a great event anyway and coming in to today, it was just amazing. The waves have been phenomenal. I haven’t surfed Pipe like that in my entire career. This is pretty much the pinnacle for me.”

Parkinson, a multiple Vans Triple Crown Winner, came close to clinching his first Billabong Pipe Masters Title, but was unable to find a rhythm in the Final against Perrow.

“It’s a hard one to lose because you’ve only got one guy to beat and you’ve beaten so many, but it’s the hardest one to win,” Parkinson said. “I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving than Kieren (Perrow). He’s a true Pipe Master and one of the best guys out there and I’m so glad he won.”

Parkinson battled his way into the Final with a hard fought victory over Kelly Slater (USA), 39, in their Semifinals clash. After a series of exciting exchanges, the Australian was in need of an 8.21 with just minutes remaining and Parkinson drove through a barrel on his backhand to secure an 8.60 and his Final berth.

“I knew my work was cut out for me,” Parkinson said. “Surfing against Kelly (Slater) is the biggest thing you can do. After he got that 9, I thought, ‘here we go.’ I thought he peaked against John John and he was just at it again. That wave just came to me. It was one of those situations where you forget about everything else, am I in the right position, am I doing anything right. Conditions are not perfect at all, but there are some really good waves.”

Kelly Slater took an amazing come from behind heat win in his Quarterfinals matchup against lethal Pipeline local John John Florence (HAW), 19. The Floridian was in need of a combination of 16.70 to overtake Florence with just three minutes remaining on the clock, and maintained his composure, threading the needle on two back-to-back backdoor barrels for a 9.70 and a 7.83 to surpass the young Hawaiian en route to the Semifinals.

“I was just going to try and have some fun because I didn’t want to run and I thought we’d find another day,” Slater said. “I figured I’d try and get in that head space and I’d ride a short board and I actually got a really good left and my board was wrong for it. I thought it was going to cost me the heat. It just came to me in last three-or-four minutes. I’m just trying to hold John John (Florence)at bay because he’s going to rule Pipe for the next 20 years. I just want to get a couple before I’m done. He’s been the man to beat out here. He’s had two 10s and a couple of high 9’s.”

Slater put on another strong effort in his Semifinals clash against Parkinson, but was unable to surpass the Gold Coast native and finished equal 3rd overall.

“Joel controlled it from the beginning with a 7 to start,” Slater said. “He was holding position from there. I got the 5 and we were in the cycle where he had priority besides that one that I got that 9 on. I’m super surprised that he got both of his good scores on the lefts because we’re usually looking at the right on days like today. He was just in sync with it and there’s not much you can do about that.”

Michel Bourez (PYF), 25, who was rated 3rd on the Vans Triple Crown ratings entering the Billabong Pipe Masters, needed to advance to the Final to surpass Florence on the ratings, but finished painfully close when he lost to Perrow in the Semifinals. Despite falling short of the Vans Triple Crown Title, the equal 3rd place finish marks the Tahitian’s best result of the year.

“It was a painful way to lose, especially when there weren’t many waves out there,” Bourez said. “I wish I won the Triple Crown, but it happens sometimes. It’s good for the confidence and a good result for the end of the year. It’s good to make the Semifinals, but I just wanted one good barrel out there and it never happened.”

John John Florence put on an amazing show at this year’s Billabong Pipe Masters, taking the event’s only two perfect 10-point rides, but fell to Slater in the Quarterfinals. Florence’s overall effort including a win at the Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach and a 5th place at the Reef Hawaiian Pro secured his first Vans Triple Crown win, making him the youngest competitor in history to win the prestigious series.

“I’m so stoked to be here, I’ve been surfing these waves my entire life and watching everyone over the years,” Florence said. “I’m so happy that I won this and to have my name with everyone else who has won over the years. I just want to say thanks to my Mom and Pancho Sullivan and John Pyzel and all my sponsors. Thanks to everyone.”

For highlights of the 2011 Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons log on to www.vanstriplecrownofsurfing.com/billabongpipemasters2011

Billabong Pipe Masters Final Result:

1 – 
Kieren Perrow (AUS) 13.17

2 – Joel Parkinson (AUS) 7.00

Billabong Pipe Masters Semifinals Results:

SF 1: 
Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.23 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 16.83

SF 2: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 12.00 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 4.07

Billabong Pipe Masters Quarterfinals Results:

QF 1: 
Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.00 def. Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 9.43

QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.53 def. John John Florence (HAW) 16.70

QF 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) 7.70 def. Evan Valiere (HAW) 3.66

QF 4: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 17.23 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 9.26


Burrow and Gilmore Claim Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast, Take ASP World Title Race Leads

SNAPPER ROCKS, Queensland/Australia (Sunday, March 4, 2012) – The final day of the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast presented by Land Rover culminated today with perennial ASP World Title threat Taj Burrow (AUS), 33, and four-time ASP Women’s World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 24, taking the respective wins in clean two-to-three foot (1 metre) waves at the primary venue of Snapper Rocks.

The opening stop on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour, the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast enjoyed sunny weather, light winds and a capacity crowd for the final day of competition, with the world’s best surfers putting on a spectacular display of high-performance surfing.

Burrow defeated dangerous South American Adriano De Souza (BRA), 25, in a Final that came down to the wire. De Souza caught a wave in the dying minutes and launched into a massive air-reverse, requiring a 7.87 out of a possible 10 to take the lead. The judges deliberated until after the siren sounded and when it was announced that De Souza came a mere 0.27 short, Burrow was chaired up the beach and declared the 2012 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast champion.

“I feel so good now!” Burrow said. “I had a really good event last year, but came up short in the Final against Kelly (Slater). Then today when I found myself against Adriano (De Souza), I was really nervous because he got me in a Final in Brazil last year. He’s really tough and I don’t like competing against him to be honest. There was a lot of weight on my shoulders in that Final so it’s pretty rewarding to come out on top.”

The ASP World Championship Tour will next head to Victoria, Australia for the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, stop no. 2 of 10 in the race for the 2012 ASP World Title.

“I’ve been going for the ASP World Title for a while now,” Burrow said. “I don’t know what to say. I just want to surf my best and hope that the rest falls into place. I love Bells. I love throwing on a full wetsuit and doing some big arcs in the Bells Bowl.”

De Souza finished runner-up at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast for the second time, after coming 2nd to Joel Parkinson (AUS), 30, in 2009. De Souza was easily one of the event’s top performers this season with gouging turns and inverted aerials taking him to a podium finish.

“I’m really happy with my result here today,” De Souza said. “It was such an amazing Final. Last year Taj (Burrow) and I had such a great heat here as well. It was one of the best heats of my life and he beat me. It’s amazing to be on the podium here again. In 2009, it was me and Joel (Parkinson). It’s a great way to start the year and I’m happy to be back up here.”

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 24, reigning four-time ASP Women’s World Champion, her fourth Roxy Pro Gold Coast title after defeating ASP Top 17 sophomore Laura Enever (AUS), 20, in a hard-fought Final. Gilmore was dominant throughout the event, posting scores in the excellent range in every encounter throughout the draw. Gilmore jumps back to No. 1 on the ASP Women’s World Championship Tour ratings, a spot she lost at this event last year after holding it for four years.

“To be carried up the beach with your friends underneath you with thousands of people around has got to be one of the best feelings in the world,” Gilmore said. “It took me back to 2005 when I won here as a grom. Last year went so quickly and it felt like I didn’t even exist on the rankings and that fire wasn’t really there. This year it’s so good to have that back! My cheeks are so sore from smiling already.”

Enever, who defeated Gilmore in the Quarterfinals of the Roxy Pro Gold Coast last year, today was unable to replicate last year’s magic but managed a career-best Runner-Up today against Gilmore. This is the first ASP Women’s World Tour final appearance for Enever, who finished 10th on last year’s ratings.

“Coming into this event I felt like a new competitor,” Enever said. “I’m so stoked to make it all the way to the Final. It was so good to be out there with Steph (Gilmore). She’s coming back now which is great to see. It’s a good way to start off the year. I’m in the ASP Women’s World Title race and it’s not a fluke. I want to be up here for the rest of the year and hopefully go one better next event.”

Kelly Slater (USA), 40, reigning 11-time ASP World Champion and last year’s Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast winner was eliminated in the Quarterfinals this morning by Josh Kerr (AUS), 27. Slater had previously defeated Kerr four times on the 2011 ASP World Championship Tour and was a favourite to take the heat today. However, it was Kerr who advanced thanks to one of a massive forehand air-reverse in the final minutes of the heat.

“If the waves were better I would be really bummed that I lost,” Slater said. “I got one at the end that I thought would be good, I went for the carving 360 and got stuck. Then I turned around and Josh (Kerr) was on a pretty nice one and he got that air at the end. He’s always going to be a threat in conditions like this where he can throw big airs. I got Josh a few times last year, we had four Quarterfinal battles last year where I got him, so he owed me a couple. It never feels good to lose, but I’m happy for Josh. I’m not sure if I’m going to Bells. I’m just going to go find some good waves in the next few weeks. Then I’ll figure out what I’m going to do for the year.”

Highlights from the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast are available via www.quiksilverlive.com/progoldcoast/2012

The next stop on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour will be the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach presented by Ford from April 3 – 14, 2012.

For more information, check out www.ASPWorldTour.com


1 – 
Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.86

2 – Adriano De Souza (BRA) 15.60


SF 1: 
Adriano De Souza (BRA) 14.16 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.57

SF 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.56 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.20


QF 1: 
Adriano De Souza (BRA) 16.43 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 13.73

QF 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.43 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 13.04

QF 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.56 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 11.30

QF 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.86 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.97

CURRENT ASP TOP 5 (After Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast):

Taj Burrow (AUS) 10,000 pts

2. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 8,000 pts

3. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 6,500 pts

3. Josh Kerr (AUS) 6,500 pts

5. Kelly Slater (USA) 5,200 pts

5. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 5,200 pts

5. Owen Wright (AUS) 5,200 pts

5. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 5,200 pts


1 – 
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.37

2 – Laura Enever (AUS) 14.20


SF 1: 
Laura Enever (AUS) 16.70 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 16.17

SF 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 18.30 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.00

CURRENT ASP WOMEN’S TOP 3 (After Roxy Pro Gold Coast):

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 10,000 pts

2. Laura Enever (AUS) 8,000 pts

3. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 6,500 pts

3. Tyler Wright (AUS) 6,500 pts


Mick Fanning Claims Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, Slater Takes ASP Ratings’ Lead

BELLS BEACH, Victoria/Australia (Friday, April 6, 2012) – Mick Fanning (AUS), 30, has claimed the 2012 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach presented by Ford Ranger over reigning 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 40, in offshore three-to-five foot (1 – 1.5 metre) waves at Bells Beach.

Event No. 2 of 10 on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach culminated in dramatic fashion today with pundits calling it the “best Final in event history.”

The Australian and American went blow for blow throughout the 35-minute bout, exchanging massive scores and the lead several times before the dust settled.

“I’m so pumped,” Fanning said. “Kelly (Slater) did that Hail Mary for the 10 and I thought, ‘oh, here we go.’ I just caught waves and I’m stoked it all paid off. I’m really at a loss for words and I’m just pumped. It doesn’t get any sweeter. The crowd’s been amazing with the whole amphitheater and the history that comes with it. I always picture this event and have had some seconds over the years, so to get this one, I’m so pumped.”

Today’s win marked Fanning’s 14th elite tour win and his first Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach win since 2001. It also brings the Australian’s record with Slater closer to even at 7 to Kelly’s 8 in their heat matchup history.

“I’m just stoked because it’s been so long,” Fanning said. “It doesn’t seem strange that it’s taken so long to win another one when you’ve got guys like Joel (Parkinson), Jordy (Smith) and Kelly (Slater) on tour and I usually come up just a bit short. Usually against Joel, but I got him today!”

This year’s Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach was dedicated to the memory of three-time event winner Michael Peterson (AUS), who tragically passed away last week, and the Final was preceded by a minute’s applause in memory of the great Australian.

“I was on the verge of tears out the back,” Fanning said. “I just sat out the back before the Final and just took in the whole crowd. It’s not everyday you’ve got the crowd cheering and I could have paddled in after that, but I’m glad I didn’t though.”

Although finishing an uncharacteristic 13th at his homebreak on the Gold Coast, today’s victory rockets Fanning to No. 3 on the ASP World Championship Tour rankings heading into the next event.

“I had a bit of a meltdown at the first event,” Fanning said. “I knew everything was working well. I knew I just needed to go and simple things up. I took the headphones off and had a lot more fun. I knew there were going to be a lot of waves with the tide dropping out and I guess I just wanted to be on the good ones. You’ve got to just believe in your judgment and I’m stoked.”

Slater fought back from an early combination situation with an incredible full-rotation aerial for a Perfect 10. The legendary natural-footer backed it up moments later with an 8.07 to take the lead, but would only hold it briefly after an assault from Fanning.

“I was moving around trying to get active and I was just finding my feet,” Slater said. “I knew Mick (Fanning) was going to be real patient. I knew he got that start and then I tried to talk to him and he put his serious head on and pissed me off, so I thought I’d throw a big rotator on him and it wasn’t enough. That was pretty exciting for me. Even when he had the 9 and 8-something, I had a feeling I was in it. I felt like something good was going to come my way and it started to. I had one more chance and that was about it. I knew it was going to be a bit of a struggle with the waves out there, with the long intervals and long lulls, but that’s just the way it goes.”

Slater’s Runner-Up finish moves him back to the No. 1 spot on the ASP World Championship Tour ratings.

Joel Parkinson (AUS), 30, defending Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach winner, was a standout throughout the entire event, dominating the Bells Bowl and Rincon sections with an unmatched affinity. However, the stylish natural-footer would fall to Gold Coast stable mate Fanning in the Semifinals despite an impressive array of scores.

“I told Mick (Fanning) to ring that thing,” Parkinson said. “He beat me and I hope he beats Kelly (Slater). No one is more deserving. He’s come close so many times and put more time in here than anyone. If it wasn’t me, I couldn’t think of anyone else I’d want to see win it. We’ve had lots of battles and today I couldn’t get a good turn in. I was hoping for more waves and I was hoping to surf it out rather than sit it out. It’d be great to see Mick win it today. He’s a Kirra boy and he deserves it in memory of him, Michael (Peterson) was such a Kirra legend and Mick too, and I couldn’t think of a more fitting end to the day.”

Parkinson’s Equal 3rd today bumps him to No. 4 on the ASP World Championship Tour ratings heading into the next event.

Jeremy Flores (FRA), 23, posted two massive wins today over lethal rookie John John Florence (AUS), 19, and form goofy-footer Owen Wright (AUS), 22. The young Frenchmen dissected the Bells walls with unmatched precision, but a priority interference in his Semifinal bout with reigning 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 40, would see Flores bundled out with an Equal 3rd.

“I’m disappointed with the result,” Flores said. “I feel like I was surfing really well and I didn’t agree with the interference call. That’s surfing though so I just have to brush it off and focus on the next one.”

Highlights from the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach will be available via http://live.ripcurl.com

Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7am and assess conditions for a possible 7:30am start to the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach presented by Ford Fiesta.

For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com


1 – 
Mick Fanning (AUS) 18.80

2 – Kelly Slater (USA) 18.07


SF 1: 
Kelly Slater (USA) 15.10 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 7.83

SF 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.83 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.43


QF 1: 
Jeremy Flores (FRA) 14.06 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 13.66

QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.97 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 16.10

QF 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) 18.00 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 10.27

QF 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.63 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.63


Heat 1: 
Jeremy Flores (FRA) 14.93 def. John John Florence (HAW) 14.00

Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 17.40 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.36

Heat 3: Kai Otton (AUS) 14.27 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 12.90

Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.27 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 9.04

CURRENT ASP TOP 3 (After Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach):

Kelly Slater (USA) 13,200 pts

2. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12,000 pts

3. Taj Burrow (AUS) 11,750 pts

3. Mick Fanning (AUS) 11,750 pts


Heat 1: 
Sarah Mason (NZL) 15.84 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 13.94

Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 17.17 def. Laura Enever (AUS) 8.90

Heat 3: Coco Ho (HAW) 15.77 def. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.50

Heat 4: Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.43 def. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 11.73


QF 1: 
Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Sarah Mason (NZL)

QF 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)

QF 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Coco Ho (HAW)

QF 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA)

For additional Rip Curl videos and images please visit https://ripcurl.box.com/2012ripcurlprobellsbeach

Fitzgibbons Wins Billabong Rio Pro, Closes ASP World Title Gap

BARRA DA TIJUCA, Rio de Janeiro/Brazil (Sunday, May 13, 2012) – Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 21, has taken out the Billabong Women’s Rio Pro over Coco Ho (HAW), 21, by a score of 14.10 to 14.03 in peaky one-to-three foot (.5 metre) waves at the primary venue of Barra da Tijuca.

Event No. 5 of 7 on the 2012 ASP Women’s World Championship Tour, the Billabong Pro Rio culminated in a thrilling fashion this afternoon with both Fitzgibbons and Ho exchanging the Final’s lead multiple times before the hooter sounded..
 In need of a high 7-point ride with just minutes remaining in the heat, Fitzgibbons bashed a blowing lefthander on her backside, notching a 7.93 out of 10 to take the elite win, her second of the year.
“That was so crazy and Coco (Ho) had me on the ropes for sure,” Fitzgibbons said. “I just had my fingers crossed and knew there would be one towards the end. I made a few mistakes and it happens in Finals but I was able to recover there at the end. I’m so excited.”
Fitzgibbons, current No. 2 on the ASP Women’s WCT, has significantly narrowed the gap between her and current ASP frontrunner Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 24, but remained humble in regards to her chase for the 2012 ASP World Title.
“This makes the World Title race more interesting, but thinking ahead, it’s still pretty far to go,” Fitzgibbons said. “There are still a couple of events, but to get a win, it’s an amazing result. To win at Bells too, it’s been an awesome year so far.”
 Ho, who was ranked 12th on the ASP Women’s WCT ratings before the Billabong Rio Pro, had yet to advance beyond the Quarterfinals this year, but her Runner-Up finish to Fitzgibbons vaults the young Hawaiian to 9th in the world and restores her confidence to appropriate levels.
“This result really opens things up for me,” Ho said. “I’ve been having a really tough year and I’m stoked to get into this Final. This is my best result of the year and this has been an important event for me. Congrats to Sally on her win.”
Carissa Moore (HAW), 19, last year’s Billabong Rio Pro winner and reigning ASP Women’s World Champion, was edged out of a hard-fought battle against Fitzgibbons in their high-scoring Semifinal affair. Both competitors posted big-scores in the dying seconds of the heat, but it was Fitzgibbons who earned the best of the exchange, handing Moore and equal 3rd place result.
“I think we all want to make the Final and it’s disappointing,” Moore said. “I’ve lost to Sally (Fitzgibbons)twice this year and I’ve just got to keep trying in the next couple of events and that’s it.”
Moore, who was dominant over the course of 2011, has yet to find a win this year, but remains focused on attaining a strong performance to end out the season..
“I think it’s been a bunch of things this year,” Moore said. “I think finding the right waves is one thing overall and I need to switch it up and bring something different out.”
coco ho
Alessa Quizon (HAW), 18, Billabong Rio Pro wildcard, put in an incredible performance at this year’s event, tearing through the world’s best female surfers and finding her way into the Semifinals. Quizon put up a good fight against fellow Hawaiian Coco Ho, but ultimately fell during last minute exchange, finishing with a respectable equal 3rd place finish overall.
“This has been an amazing event for me,” Quizon said. “I had nothing to lose and it’s been a great learning experience for me and I’m happy that I made it to the Semifinals. I could tell that Coco (Ho) was getting the scores that she needed and I was looking for one big score and I just didn’t find it. Sometimes it happens that way.”
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7am local time for a possible recommencement to men’s Billabong Rio Pro competition. For all of the LIVE action log on to www.billabongpro.com
 The Billabong Rio Pro is proudly supported by Monster Energy Drink and Xperia Sony Smartphone.
The next stop on the 2012 ASP Women’s World Championship Tour is the Roxy Pro Biarritz from July 10 – 14, 2012
1 — Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.10 
2 — Coco Ho (HAW) 14.03 
SF 1: Coco Ho (HAW) 14.16 def. Alessa Quizon (HAW) 10.94 
SF 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.47 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.36 
CURRENT ASP WOMEN’S WCT TOP 5 (After Billabong Rio Pro): 
1. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 38,400 pts 
2. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 36,900 pts 
3. Carissa Moore (HAW) 30,200 pts 
4. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 29,600 pts 
5. Tyler Wright (AUS) 28,700 pts

John John Florence Wins Billabong Rio Pro, Parkinson Takes Ratings’ Lead

BARRA DA TIJUCA, Rio de Janeiro/Brazil (Wednesday, May 16, 2012) – John John Florence (HAW), 19, has won his maiden ASP ASP World Championship Tour event, taking out the Billabong Rio Pro over Joel Parkinson (AUS), 31, in barreling three-to-four foot (1 metre) waves at Barra da Tijuca.

Florence, currently in his rookie year on the ASP WCT, proved unstoppable on the final day of Billabong Rio Pro competition, topping prodigious Australian Julian Wilson (AUS), 23, and Josh Kerr (AUS), 27, on his way to triumph over Parkinson.

“This is the best feeling in the world,” Florence said. “I had that bad heat at Arpoador to start and we had a couple of lay days and I had to just sit and think about it. I can’t even believe this right now. I’m in shock. I was just sticking to my game plan and not thinking about the other guys. I’m so happy right now.”

Florence, who now sits at No. 6 on the ASP WCT, will look to carry the momentum from today’s massive victory to the upcoming ASP WCT events in Fiji and Tahiti.

“This helps my confidence so much,” Florence said. “I have a lot of confidence going into events with barreling waves like Pipe. Obviously I have a lot of confidence in barrels from my experience at Pipe, but coming here, I wasn’t expecting a big result. I was just hoping to make a few heats.”

Parkinson utilized his complete skill set at Barra Da Tijuca, driving through barrels, lofting airs and unloading powerful carves en route to his Finals berth, but was unable to find a rhythm against Florence and finished runner-up overall.

“I’m a little bit disappointed as I never really got a start in that final, but overall, I’m stoked,” Parkinson said. “The quality of waves here were unreal. Yesterday, we had full barrels and good sections for turns and airs, it was good for the event.”

Parkinson’s finish today propels the Australian into the frontrunner position for the ASP World Title, but Parkinson was humble in claiming his spot atop the rankings.

“It’s a good feeling I suppose,” Parkinson said. “It’s a long way to go and I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but I’m stoked. I’ve had a couple of really nice consistent results. I have been in this position before though so I’m hoping to maintain my performance level throughout the rest of the year.”

Josh Kerr (AUS), 27, put in an amazing performance at the Billabong Rio Pro with an astounding array of barrels and airs to take an equal 3rd place finish. Kerr surfed strong on the Final day of competition, but was unable to surpass Florence in their Semifinal bout.

“I tried an air on the first wave I got and turned around and saw John John (Florence said) in the most perfect barrel,” Kerr said. “Out here in this beachbreak you’ve got to keep an open mind. The wind came up from the south in my heat so I was looking for the backhand airs. John John got the perfect barrel and there’s not much I could do about that.”

Kerr’s equal 3rd place finish at the Billabong Rio Pro matches his career-best result as he continues to build momentum against the world’s best surfers.

“I’ve had three Semifinals now, but it’s better than no Semifinals,” Kerr said. “I’ve had three back-to-back results and for me, going from 33rds on my previous years on tour until last year, it’s good progress and hopefully I can keep it going.”

Kerr was responsible for a big upset in the Quarterfinals, eliminating 2011 Billabong Rio Pro champion and local favorite Adriano de Souza (BRA), 25, when he took to the air in the back half of their bout.

“I was definitely on the back foot,” Kerr said. “Adriano (de Souza) had a 14 point heat total and I just relaxed and figured it’s a couple of 7s. I knew my airs could get me those scores. I was lucky to land that one at the end. I knew I had to launch into the flats because there’s no soft landing, it just dumps. I was lucky to keep it steady under my feet.”

Mick Fanning (AUS), 30, two-time ASP World Champion, eliminated Brazilian Alejo Muniz (BRA), 22, in the Quarterfinals but lost a hard-fought heat to close friend Joel Parkinson in the Semifinals to finish equal 3rd overall.

“It’s always fun surfing against Joel and we started out bang-for-bang,” Fanning said. “That’s just the way it goes, but it’s always fun. Even though you lose, your friend’s in the Final, so you win. I would have liked to make the Final but I just didn’t get the right waves and Joel (Parkinson) surfed great.”

Kelly Slater (USA), 40, reigning 11-time ASP World Champion, was absent from the Billabong Rio Pro, citing an ankle injury. The Floridian’s absence relinquished his former frontrunner status on the ratings and Slater now sits at ASP World No. 8.

To watch highlights from the Billabong Rio Pro log on to http://wctbrasil.com/

The Billabong Rio Pro is proudly supported by Monster Energy Drink and Xperia Sony Smartphone.

The next stop on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour will be the Volcom Fiji Pro, which holds a waiting period from June 3 through 15, 2012.

For additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com


1 –
 John John Florence (HAW) 16.37

2 – Joel Parkinson (AUS) 11.44


SF 1: 
Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.83 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.00

SF 2: John John Florence (HAW) 17.94 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.86


QF 1: 
Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.90 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 12.60

QF 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.57 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 5.90

QF 3: John John Florence (HAW) 14.94 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 9.43

QF 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.84 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.27

Current ASP WCT Top 10 (After Billabong Rio Pro):

 Joel Parkinson (AUS) 19700 pts

2. Mick Fanning (AUS) 18250 pts

3. Josh Kerr (AUS) 18200 pts

4. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 17200 pts

5. Taj Burrow (AUS) 15750 pts

6. John John Florence (HAW) 15750 pts

7. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15700 pts

8. Kelly Slater (USA) 13700 pts

9. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12250 pts

10. Owen Wright (AUS) 12150 pts

Kelly Slater Wins Volcom Fiji Pro, Mick Fanning Takes ASP Ratings’ Lead

CLOUDBREAK, Tavarua/Fiji (Monday, June 11, 2012) – Kelly Slater (USA), 40, reigning 11-time ASP World Champion, claimed his 49th elite tour victory today, taking out the Volcom Fiji Pro over Gabriel Medina (BRA), 19, in pumping four-to-six foot (1.5 – 2 metre) surf at Cloudbreak.

 Event No. 4 of 10 on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour, the Volcom Fiji Pro culminated in exciting fashion today, with Slater and Medina each pushing the limits of high-performance surfing at the famed, oceanic lefthander.
 Slater wasted no time in the Final against his young opponent, grabbing an 8.33 and a 9.83 in the opening half of the bout to put Medina on the ropes. The Brazilian, however, would not back down, claiming an 8.60 to put himself back in the hunt. Slater limited his scoreline to his two opening rides, and it proved enough for the Floridian to scalp the win as well as his first man-on-man victory over Medina. 
“It’s about time I got him,” Slater said. “He had my number in the back half of last year and he’ll probably go on to beat everyone for the next 20 years. He can do it all and I think he proved that to a lot of people this week at Restaurants and out here at Cloudbreak.” 
Slater sent his first shots across the bow today during the Semifinals when the phenomenal natural-footer posted his second Perfect 10 of the event for a series of deep tube rides and critical turns. 
“That’s probably the best I could surf out here,” Slater said. “The barrel and the turn sections just lined up for me and I was able to do what I did. That was a perfect canvas for me.” 
After an absence at the previous event in Rio de Janeiro, Slater’s win in Fiji bolts him up from 8th to 2nd on the ASP World Championship Tour ratings. 
“I think everyone who competes on tour is here to win,” Slater said. “If you’re winning events, then you’re winning world titles. At this point in my career, I’m probably more focused on surfing well though. The waves just pumped today. Some guys win, some guys lose, but everyone is happy if the waves are good.” 
Medina’s Runner-Up finish at the Volcom Fiji Pro rockets the young goofy-footer from 29th to 13th on the elite ASP World Championship Tour ratings. 
“I’m pretty happy with my result,” Medina said. “The waves here have been so good all week and it has been a great trip. I haven’t had the best season in terms of results but I’m very happy to make the Final and congrats to Kelly (Slater) – he was surfing amazing all event.” 
Mick Fanning (AUS), 30, two-time ASP World Champion, has taken over the ASP WCT ratings’ lead with his Equal 3rd place finish at the Volcom Fiji Pro. A standout performer throughout the event, even having a crack at Cloudbreak during Friday’s mega swell, Fanning was unable to find a rhythm in this morning’s Semifinal bout with Medina. “Found myself on the wrong side of the rhythm this morning,” Fanning said. “It’s a bummer, but those heats happen. The ratings’ lead is great, but it’s so early in the season that it doesn’t necessarily mean anything at this point. That said, I’m feeling good and feel like I’m surfing well so I’m pumped.” 
C.J. Hobgood (USA), 32, who along with his brother Damien are both hugely respected for their prowess in Fijian waters, went on a tear in his Quarterfinal bout against Adriano de Souza (BRA), 25, this morning, scoring a 9.97 in the dying moments to advance through to the Quarterfinals.
“It was a blessing that wave came and it did,” Hobgood said. “I knew Adriano (de Souza) was going to post huge scores and he did. I wasn’t on my game at first. I should have sat up top and Adriano had me on the ropes. He’s been surfing so well this year and I don’t think he’s had a worse event than the Semis. That wave came and I just put my head down. That feeling when they read out the score, it just feels good.”
Hobgood’s momentum, however, would run out in the Semifinals against eventual winner Slater. His Equal 3rd place finish moves him from 15th to 12th on the ASP World Championship Tour ratings.
Highlights from the Volcom Fiji Pro will be available at www.volcom.com/fijipro
The next stop on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour will be the Billabong Pro Teahupoo from August 16 – 27, 2012. 
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com 
1– Kelly Slater (USA) 18.16
2 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 10.87
SF 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.93 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 6.57 
SF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.50 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.50 
QF 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.60 def. John John Florence (HAW) 9.10
QF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.60 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 10.46
QF 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.57 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 7.76 
QF 4: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 16.14 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.76 
1. Mick Fanning (AUS) 24,750 pts 
2. Kelly Slater (USA) 23,700 pts 
3. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 23,700 pts 
4. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 22,400 pts 
5. Taj Burrow (AUS) 20,950 pts

Stephanie Gilmore Claims 5th ASP Women’s World Title at Roxy Pro Biarritz

GRANDE PLAGE, Biarritz/France (Saturday, July 14, 2012) – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 24, has claimed her 5th ASP Women’s World Title today, winning the Roxy Pro Biarritz over Tyler Wright (AUS), 18.

 “I woke up this morning and thought it wouldn’t happen today,” Gilmore said. “But as the day progressed, and things fell into place, I began to believe it could happen. France is such a special place and having so many people on the beach watching us surf today is really emotional. I think I’m going to cry.”
 Gilmore set an ASP record by being the first surfer ever to win four titles from four attempts (2007 – 2010), but fell back to ASP Women’s World No. 3 in 2011. Today’s emotional win is a reassertion of her dominance as one of the greatest icons in women’s sports.
“This year for me was all about improving my consistency and having fun with my surfing,” Gilmore said. “From when I started five years ago to where we are now, women’s surfing has improved so much. It’s an honor to be back up top as these girls push me everyday and are all incredible surfers.”
 Today’s incredible achievement puts the young natural-footer in an elite class of surfers to win five or more ASP World Titles, overtaking women’s records set by Freida Zamba (USA), Wendy Botha (AUS) and Lisa Andersen (USA). The only other two surfers in history to claim five or more titles are Kelly Slater (USA) and Layne Beachley (AUS).
 “I have an amazing support team between my family, friends, my shaper Darren Handley, my sponsors and all the people at Quiksilver,” Gilmore said. “To be able to do what we do and make a life out of surfing is a really blessed thing. Surfing is what motivates me to wake up each day and attempt to better myself.”
 2012 ASP Women’s World Championship Tour Results: Roxy Pro Gold Coast: WINNER Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach: Runner-Up TSB Bank New Zealand Surf Festival: WINNER Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic: Equal 5th Billabong Rio Pro: Equal 5th Roxy Pro Biarritz: WINNER Nike US Open of Surfing: TBD
 Fellow finalist Wright put on an impressive display of surfing throughout the Roxy Pro Biarritz, besting Courtney Conlogue (USA), 19, and Coco Ho (HAW), 19, en route to today’s Finals. Unfortunately for Wright, her momentum didn’t transcend into the Final bout against Gilmore, but the tour sophomore was happy with her performance nonetheless.
 “I feel pretty good,” Wright said. “I was so excited for Steph (Gilmore). She was ahead of me the whole time and with five minutes to go I was like, ‘you’ve done it!’ It’s incredible – she ripped the whole contest and didn’t lose one heat, she was shredding!”
Today’s Runner-Up finish at Grande Plage is a season best for Wright and vaults her from 5th to 3rd on the elite ASP Women’s World Championship Tour rankings.
 “I’m happy with how that season went,” Wright said. “I’m just enjoying myself! I feel it’s funner when I just messing around rather than be too serious. You know I love surfing and that’s about it.”
 Carissa Moore (HAW) 19, was stopped in her effort to send the ASP Women’s World Title race to the final event in California by eventual winner and newly-crowned Champion Stephanie Gilmore in a very exciting Semifinal that saw the lead change hands several times before the Australian managed to find two high-scoring rides, putting a nail in Moore’s coffin. The Hawaiian placing third in Biarritz has reduced the gap between her and the second place on the ASP Women’s World Championship Tour rankings and she looking forward to the last event of 2012.
 “I’m pretty happy,” Moore said. “Obviously I would have loved to surf another final but it’s still pretty good. I think the women’s level has come a long way, but honestly today it was more a matter of being in the right spot and getting in a good rythmn and it’s tough if you don’t get to find the good opportunities and another person does. I’m always looking forward to competing so I’m really looking forward to going to the US Open and hopefully I’ll get a good performance there.”
 Coco Ho (HAW) 21, was responsible for the biggest upset today when she defeated Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 21, in this morning’s Quarterfinals. Ho was later stopped by runner-up Tyler Wright in the semis, not able to find the highest scoring rides in a wind affected line-up. Finishing equal third in Biarritz, Ho confirms her newly found rythmn after a brilliant second place in the previous event in Brazil.
 “I’m stoked it feels good to be able to get through those tough first rounds and be able to back up my last good result”, Ho said. “It was close but I’m stoked with the overall result. We’re really lucky the conditions came together for us today, ‘Grande Plage’ offered us some really good potential and it was just a matter of positioning so we’re stoked we’re really lucky.”
 After a slow start to her fourth season at the elite level, Ho recently regrouped and started showing consistence placing fifth in Sydney, second in Rio and third today in France improving on her quarter-final result in the same event last year.
 “Starting this year I had two 13th and I never even had that result before so it was pretty frustrating. I think it kind of just woke me up, made me put my head down and really fight for it!”
 Highlights from the Roxy Pro Biarritz will be available via http://roxylive.com/roxyprobiarritz/2012/
 The next stop on the ASP Women’s World Championship Tour will be the Nike US Open of Surfing from July 30 – August 5, 2012.
 For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
1 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 18.53 2 – Tyler Wright (AUS) 13.10 
SF 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 14.66 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 9.37 
SF 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 17.10 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 12.50 
QF 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 11.37 def. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 10.53 
QF 2: Coco Ho (HAW) 12.60 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 8.76 
QF 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.57 def. Malia Manuel (HAW) 10.00 
QF 4: Carissa Moore (HAW) 16.33 def. Laura Enever (AUS) 12.07 
Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 11.40 def. Lakey Peterson (USA) 9.50 
Heat 2: Coco Ho (HAW) 11.67 def. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 8.77 
Heat 3: Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.10 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 9.16 
Heat 4: Laura Enever (AUS) 12.13 def. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 8.66 
CURRENT ASP WOMEN’S WCT TOP 5 (After Roxy Pro Biarritz): 
1. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 48,400 pts 
2. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 42,100 pts 
3. Carissa Moore (HAW) 36,700 pts 
3. Tyler Wright (AUS) 36,700 pts 
5. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 34,800 pts

Mick Fanning Claims Billabong Pro Tahiti, Cements ASP WCT Rankings’ Lead

TEAHUPO’O, Taiarapu/Tahiti (Monday, August 27, 2012) – Mick Fanning (AUS), 31, has claimed the 2012 Billabong Pro Tahiti over compatriot and Gold Coast stablemate Joel Parkinson (AUS), 31, in classic four-to-six foot (1 – 1.5 metre) waves at Teahupo’o.

Event No. 5 of 10 on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour, the Billabong Pro Tahiti culminated in dynamic fashion today, with swell pulsing for the all-Australian Final.

Fanning was put on the ropes early in the Final bout with Parkinson collecting a 9.50 and an 8.87 on his opening two rides. However, former event runner-up fought back mid-heat with an impressive 9.37 before backing it up with a nail-biting 9.50 to take the lead and hold it as the buzzer ran out. With today’s win, Fanning has become the first Australian since Mark Occhilupo (AUS), 46, in 1999 to claim the Billabong Pro Tahiti title and has further cemented himself into the frontrunner spot on the 2012 ASP WCT rankings.

“It’s a 35 minute Final so I knew the waves were going to come,” Fanning said. “I just had to be patient. It’s Teahupo’o so it goes on and off. You can get two 10s in two minutes so I knew I just needed to keep my composure throughout the Final. Joel (Parkinson) is such an incredible surfer and he’s gotten so good out here. He raced out to an early lead and I knew I needed to focus on my own game plan. I got that good score about mid-heat and then was able to sell him when he had priority on one that didn’t pan out for him. The second wave was the one and it’s an incredible feeling to come back and get the win. I’m stoked.”

Today’s win marks the 15th elite victory of Fanning’s career, and the second of this season (after a win at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach in April). The two-time ASP World Champion is now firmly in the frontrunner spot on the ASP WCT ratings heading into the back half of the season. 

“Teahupo’o is one of the spots that I’ve worked hard on throughout my career to improve at,” Fanning said. “I made a Final out here before, but to come away with the win is great for my confidence and I’m in a good position heading into the next half of the year. Early days though and there are a lot of guys right up there. It’s still anyone’s game at this point.”

Throughout the event, Parkinson consistently established himself as one of the preeminent backhand tube-riders on the planet. Despite an early lead in the Final, Parkinson priority decision in the dying moments opened the door for Fanning to pounce.

“I held the lead in a 35-minute Final until the four minute mark,” Parkinson said. “It’s frustrating to lose that way, but you cannot fault Mick (Fanning). He’s been a true champion through the event and has proven that he’s one to watch out at Teahupo’o for sure.”

Parkinson currently sits at No. 2 on the ASP WCT rankings at the halfway mark on the 2012 season.

“It’s the second Final of the year for me and another good result,” Parkinson said. “I feel like I’m strong at all the remaining events on tour and I’ll shake this one off and start focusing on Trestles.”

John John Florence (HAW), 19, competing in his first-ever Billabong Pro Tahiti, led the rookie charge at this year’s installment, confidently cruising into the Semifinals where he matched up with Parkinson. Despite locking in an impressive 9.67 out of a possible 10 for an impressive backhand tube, Florence was unable to find a solid backup score and finished the event with an Equal 3rd.

“I’m stoked to have made the Semifinals,” Florence said. “I would have loved to make the Finals and it’s not the funnest way to lose without a lot of waves in the heat, but it’s still a good result for me. Thanks to all the Tahitians for letting us come here and surf their wave for the week. It’s a beautiful place and I always love coming here.”

Florence moves from 5th to 3rd on the current ASP WCT rankings.

Owen Wright (AUS), 22, last year’s event runner-up, looked poised for another Final’s berth today, posting an 18.96 to eliminate compatriot Julian Wilson (AUS), 23, and an 18.90 to oust former champ C.J. Hobgood (USA), 33, en route to his Semifinal match against Fanning. The young Australian continued his forehand dominance at Teahupo’o, netting an 18.10 in the process, but was unable to overtake the current ASP WCT frontrunner.

“The waves were so perfect today that you can’t really be to disappointed in a loss,” Wright said. “I felt like I was surfing well all day and I put up a couple of 9s in my heat against Mick (Fanning) so there’s not too much to be upset about. Congrats to Mick on the win though. He’s been super impressive all event with his backhand tube-riding and hopefully I get the opportunity to return the favor at the next stop at Trestles.”

Wright’s Equal 3rd finish today moves the young goofy-footer from 9th to 7th on the current ASP WCT rankings.

Ricardo dos Santos (AUS), two time Trials winner and wildcard into the Billabong Pro Tahiti, was awarded the Andy Irons Forever Award for his inspirational performance at Teahupo’o this year. Despite bowing out in the Quarterfinals this morning to Fanning, Dos Santos was very emotional upon being awarded the prestigious honor.

“Andy (Irons) was…is my hero,” Dos Santos said. “This Award means just as much, if not more than, winning the event for me. He is my inspiration and he is the reason I surf. He is the reason I surf Teahupo’o. To be awarded this by the Irons’ family is the biggest honor. Thank you.”

Highlights from the Billabong Pro Tahiti will be available via http://www.billabongpro.com

The Billabong Pro, Tahiti is made possible with the valued support of international partners Air Tahiti Nui, Sony, Xperia Sony Smartphone and Red Bull, along with our friends at Nixon, VonZipper, Mana and Hyundai.

The next stop on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour will be the Hurley Pro at Trestles from September 16 – 22, 2012.

For more information, log onto www.ASPWorldTour.com


1 – Mick Fanning (AUS) 18.87

2 – Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.37


QF 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 18.93 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 18.10

QF 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.14 def. John John Florence (HAW) 15.17


QF 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 19.07 def. Ricardo dos Santos (BRA) 18.64

QF 2: Owen Wright (AUS) 18.90 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 15.60

QF 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.50 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 16.43

QF 4: John John Florence (HAW) 16.17 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 4.17


Heat 1: Ricardo dos Santos (BRA) 16.17 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 10.27

Heat 2: Owen Wright (AUS) 18.96 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.70

Heat 3: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.66 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 9.50

Heat 4: John John Florence (HAW) 16.66 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 14.64

CURRENT ASP WCT TOP 5 (After Billabong Pro Tahiti)

1. Mick Fanning (AUS) 34,750 pts

2. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 31,700 pts

3. John John Florence (HAW) 27,450 pts

4. Kelly Slater (USA) 25,450 pts

5. Taj Burrow (AUS) 24,950 pts

Kelly Slater Claims 50th ASP WCT Win at Hurley Pro at Trestles

LOWER TRESTLES, California/USA (Thursday, September 20, 2012) – Kelly Slater (USA), 40, reigning 11-time ASP World Champion has claimed the Hurley Pro at Trestles over Joel Parkinson (AUS), 31, in clean three-to-five foot (1 – 1.5 metre) waves at Lower Trestles, marking the iconic Floridian’s 50th elite ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) win of his career.

Event No. 6 of 10 on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour, the Hurley Pro at Trestles culminated in dramatic fashion today with the world’s best going head-to-head in pristine Southern California conditions.

Slater got off to a quick start in the Final bout against Parkinson, electing smaller inside waves, surfing them impeccably and moving from strength-to-strength throughout the heat. Surfing on a four-fin “Quad” surfboard, Slater’s juggernaut momentum and searing performance would prove too much for the in-form Parkinson as he confidently took his sixth event title at Lower Trestles, his third consecutive.

“I know I went out there feeling like I didn’t have anything to lose because Parko (Joel Parkinson) was the form guy,” Slater said. “He was pretty much the standout in every round. He schooled Medina (Gabriel Medina) yesterday somehow and was combo’ing everybody. I just figured I had to get myself on the best waves and let go a little bit, but it got really quiet out there. It was the first time something really felt like it went my way when they (the judges) took my priority away. By the time they announced it, Joel was above the wave and couldn’t catch it. That was the turning point for me. Every contest I’ve won, there’s some moment where things go my way.”

Slater, who now sits at 3rd on the ASP WCT ratings, views today’s victory as a turning point in the 2012 season and will look to carry his recent momentum throughout the upcoming European leg of competition.

“I knew that heat would either make or break me for the year,” Slater said. “I would have let Parko (Joel Parkinson) have those extra 2,000 points if he’d won and it would look very different on the ratings. It’s nice heading into Europe. I feel like I’ve had so many good years at Lowers and the pressure is really on every year to make the Final – I feel like it’s been like that since I’ve been on tour. It’s cool to win the 50th here. I won my first event as a pro here and it’s great to get this win.”

Parkinson was dominant throughout the entirety of the Hurley Pro at Trestles, consistently posting high scores in every round of competition. The stylish Australian was unable to find the set waves he had been able to in previous rounds, but today’s Runner-Up finish against Slater cements his position as ASP WCT No. 2 heading into Europe.

“A Final is a good result,” Parkinson said. “Tahiti kind of hurt a lot. I felt like I was on a bit of a good one this week. It was all going well. Every time I paddled out, I had a lot of waves and Kelly (Slater) had those heats where he had no waves and I was thinking, ‘my mojo is stronger.’ Sure enough, the Final was a slow one. It was one of those ones where you feel like you’re on point all week and Mother Nature just lets you down.”

Mick Fanning (AUS), 31, two-time ASP World Champion and current ASP WCT No. 1, was another standout at Lower Trestles this week, consistently lacerating the righthand Lowers walls with powerful combinations. However, Fanning was unable to find a rhythm in his Semifinal bout against Slater, exiting the Hurley Pro at Trestles with an Equal 3rd place finish.

“Even when he had those first two waves, I was confident that I could come back if the waves came,” Fanning said. “It just stopped. That’s the nature of our game. You can’t really fight back if there is nothing there and I sort of thought after I didn’t break the combo with that one wave, I was thinking there had to be a flurry or it was pretty much done.”

Fanning, who entered the Hurley Pro at Trestles fresh off of a victory in Tahiti, knew advancing over Slater would have strengthened his lead in the hunt for the 2012 ASP World Title, but admitted that an equal 3rd place result is a strong addition to this season’s campaign.

“Kelly (Slater) and I both knew what was going on and if I got on top from there the title race would have just been further away,” Fanning said. “He surfed a really smart heat and threw caution to the wind and it paid off. I was just unlucky. The ocean didn’t really cooperate with me, but a third is a keeper. It’s another result I don’t have to worry about and I learned a lot of things at this event.”

Adriano de Souza (BRA), 25, current ASP WCT No. 5, led the South American contingent, eliminating fellow countryman and event standout Gabriel Medina (BRA), 18, in Round 5 and John John Florence (HAW), 19, in their Quarterfinals match, but was unable to surpass Parkinson’s rampage in the Semifinals, finishing equal 3rd overall.

“I had a nice heat against Gabriel (Medina) a few months ago at the US Open and he beat me,” De Souza said after his Quarterfinals win. “Gabriel’s such a good guy and a good competitor, he’s going to battle for the world title soon and I just got lucky. I was trying to find a few waves at the beginning to put pressure on him.”

Hurley Pro at Trestles highlights available via www.hurley.com/hurleypro

The next stop on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour will be the Quiksilver Pro France from September 28 through October 8, 2012.

For additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com


1 – Kelly Slater (USA) 16.50

2 – Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.00


SF 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.27 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 9.34

SF 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.26 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.43


QF 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.60 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.50

QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.17 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.93

QF 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.16 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.04

QF 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.60 def. John John Florence (HAW) 11.60


Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.90 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.76

Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.94 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.44

Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.93 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 9.57

Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 18.30 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 9.57

CURRENT ASP WCT TOP 5 (After Hurley Pro at Trestles):

1. Mick Fanning (AUS) 41,250 pts

2. Joel Parkinson (AUS)

3. Kelly Slater (USA)

4. John John Florence (HAW)

5. Adriano de Souza (BRA)