re-sized ASP world tour

World Class Surfers … We are not invincible!

We always show the surfers at their best, but it is worth remembering that even they make mistakes!

Thank you ASPWorldTour for the video.

But what a great year it was for the ASP World Tour contestants.

Mike Fanning of Australia was crowned ASP World Champion 2009 after a dramatic late season run, winning an incredible 3 out of the last 5 events.  What made it all the more interesting was that early in the year, Fanning’s good friend and fellow Coolangatta resident Joel Parkinson won three of the first five events. All eyes were on the two friends on the last event of the season at the Billabong Pipeline Masters on Hawaii’s North Shore (tristan10brito).

The ASP Surfing Champion award is a title awarded annually to the best competition surfer for the year, today based on points earned for placings at events on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour. A qualification system decides who can compete on the tour, for a total of 44 men (called the top 44) and 16 women.

Australia ruled the day… Stephanie Gilmore was crowned the ASP Womens Champion.

World titles began as early as 1964 and America and Australia have dominated the score tables with South Africa coming a distant third:

Country  ↓Total  ↓
United States49
South Africa3
United Kingdom1

The ASP itself was only formed in 1982.

As with almost every any sport there’s an element of luck needed in surfing competitions – surfing perhaps more than most. The competition format, types of waves and human judging all have an effect, which leaves plenty of room for speculation about excellent surfers who never won a title, or could have won more.

Four months ago Joel Parkinson seemed unstoppable winning the first two WCT events at the outset, followed by a ninth and a third. When he took his third victory with perfect scores at big Jeffery’s Bay South Africa, the media pundits dubbed 2009 “The year of Joel”. But fate, as so often happens, had other things in mind – in this case, a nagging ankle injury that would break Parko’s stride mid-season and Fanning moved steadily to the front of the pack eventually overtaking Parko with event wins at Lowers, France, and Portugal.

Stephanie Gilmore, meanwhile, at the age of 21, has claimed her third consecutive ASP Women’s World Title today, making history as the only surfer ever to win the prestigious crown each year they have competed at the elite ASP World Tour level (men’s or women’s).

On the last day of the competition there were 6 women in contention for the ultimate prize which makes Stephanie’s win all that more commendable. With each heat advancement and the narrowing of the field at the Gidget Pro Sunset Beach, Event No. 6 of 7 on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour, the irrepressible Gilmore navigated her way to her third ASP Dream Tour Title.

“It’s surreal to win for a third time,” Gilmore said. “It’s amazing! I woke up this morning and knew it was going to be a good day. The waves were building and you sort of get that fuzzy feeling throughout the day. I really don’t even know what to think about it. I just want to thank everyone for the support that I’ve had throughout the whole year.”

She is the most dominant female surfer in the world at the moment.

Steph and Mike come from the same town – isn’t that surreal!

Congratulations to them both for a sterling year.

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