Longboard Champion crowned this week
The ASP World Longboard Tour will crown the 2008 ASP World Longboard Champion this week at the Oxbow World Longboard Tour event at Southern California’s iconic San Onofre State Beach.
With a rich surfing history surrounding the venue, this week’s World Longboard Tour event is sure to enhance San Onofre State Beach’s legendary place in surf culture. The event marks the last of two ASP WLT events, running from November 5-9, with all of the finest longboarding competitors out to claim the title of ASP World Longboard Champion. The event is a new addition to the ASP WLT, as it was not included in last year’s series.
The first ASP WLT event saw Harley Ingleby (Coffs Harbour, AUS), 25, take a win at the World Longboard Tour event at Les Cavalliers in Anglet, France last May and will be out to defend his ratings lead in the final contest at San Onofre State Beach. The talented Australian has yet to compete at the new event location, but hopes there will be a solid swell on tap while he works towards claiming his first ASP WLT title.
“San Onofre State Beach can definitely be a fun wave to surf when there is a bit of swell running,” Ingleby said. “It’s a great place to hang out all day with your friends. I've surfed San Onofre State Beach a bit in the last six or so summers that I have spent over in California, but I haven't surfed it in any competitions yet.”
Colin McPhillips (San Clemente, CA), 33, former three-time ASP World Longboard Champion and current No. 5 on the ASP WLT, is the local favorite entering the event, and the seasoned longboarding professional sees the addition of the World Longboard Tour event at San Onofre State Beach as a significant event for up-and-coming professionals to establish themselves amongst the world’s finest competitive longboarders.
“The significance of having a World Longboard Tour for the guys is huge,” McPhillips said. “It gives the young guys something to strive for. Most top guys growing up want to be able to get out there and show their stuff. This gives them the opportunity to go head to head with the best guys around the world.”
Josh Baxter (San Clemente, CA), 38, former three-time regional longboard champion, is another local excited to have an ASP WLT event in his hometown.
“I think Oxbow is awesome!” Baxter said. “Over the past twenty years, they’ve really been the only company that has supported longboarding. They stage their world championships every year and allow us to have an ASP World Longboard Champion. They believe in longboarding so much that I would really like to see them make it in the U.S. We have such a strong longboarding community here – it’s a much more family-oriented sport and it would be great to see people supporting since they’ve been putting money up and supporting us for so long.”
Although suffering an early exit from May’s World Longboard Tour event and taking himself out of contention for the 2008 ASP World Longboarding Title, Baxter remains motivated, driven to utilize his local knowledge to secure an event victory at San Onofre State Beach.
“I had a pretty bad result in France so I’m pretty much out of the running for the ASP World Title,” Baxter said. “Still though, I think it’s made me that much hungrier to put in my best performance and walk away with the money off that beach.”
The Oxbow World Longboard Tour event will begin Wednesday, November 5, 2008 and will run through Sunday, November 9, 2008.
This week’s World Longboard Tour event will decide the 2008 ASP World Longboard Champion.
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Stop No. 10 of 11 finished with the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro. America’s finest competitive surfers were unable to escape Round 4, as they were eliminated by the stacked field of international talent that make up the top 45 on the ASP World Tour.
Bede Durbidge (AUS), 25, claimed his third ASP World Tour career win with a victory at the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro in Imbituba, Brazil. Durbidge beat France’s Jeremy Flores 17.76 to 9.86.