Following four straight days of competition in mostly good surf and with the promise of a nice swell on the horizon, officials at the Globe Sebastian Inlet Pro Presented by Ron Jon and the Gallaz Surf Jam Presented by Ron Jon opted for a lay day today.
The 4-star ASP WQS event is kicking off the 2006 season with an international field of 224 men and 32 women. Despite often cold weather, the event has drawn thousands of spectators to the beach on each day of competition.
Conditions for last Thursday’s opening round up until yesterday have ranged from waist-to-head high peaks to similarly-sized heaving wedges. Three boards have been broken during the event and a few more just outside the competition area.
Rounds of 224, 192, 160 and 128 have been completed with strong performances coming from Californians Nick Rozsa, Jason Collins, Mike Losness and Cory Arrambide. Also looking good are Inlet locals Bryan Hewitson and Eric Taylor as well as Indonesian surfer Dede Suryana. Competition heats up on Tuesday with the start of the mens round of 96 and the subsequent introduction of top-seeded surfers.
The women’s Gallaz Surf Jam Presented by Ron Jon got underway Sunday with the running of the round of 32 and the quarter-finals. Most American surfers were quickly weeded from the pack, but four standouts were Lindsay Baldwin, Leilani Gryde, Karina Petroni and Hawaii’s Melanie Bartels. The best international performances came from Caroline Surran of France, South Aftica’s Rosanne Hodge and Australians Rebecca Woods and Sheridan Shields. All eight women will compete in the semi-finals on Wednesday, with the finals set for the same day.
The biggest highlight of the week came on Saturday with the second running of the Red Bull Tow-At. The first ever professional Tow-At surfing event happened at the 2005 Globe Sebastian Inlet Pro when Red Bull hosted the inaugural event. Tow-At surfing is one of the fastest-growing and visually exciting parts of the sport. Towed behind Sea-Doo personal watercraft, surfers are whipped into waves at speeds of up to 20-miles-per-hour. Using the wave like a skateboard ramp, surfers are able to perform aerials and power moves not possible through traditional surfing methods.
The nine-man invite list included 2005 Red Bull Tow-At champ Ben Bourgeois, Ola Eleogram, Clay Marzo, Adam Wickwire, Peter Mendia, Geoff Brack, Brett Simpson, Josh Kerr and Cheyne Magnussen. All of the surfers excelled, but the loudest cheers went to Josh Kerr, Clay Marzo, Cheyne Magnussen and Ola Eleogram.
The winner is to receive a 2006 Sea-Doo personal watercraft courtesy of Sea-Doo and will be announced this Friday during the contest’s official awards ceremony at the semi-annual Surf Expo show in Orlando.
The event schedule, results and live scores are available through the event website, globepro.com
The Globe Sebastian Inlet Pro and Gallaz Surf Jam are owned and operated by Board Sports Management, the surfing world’s leading athlete and event management firm.