WQS Update With Al Hunt

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While the big boys were in Indo getting barreled in serious surf at the 2008 Rip Curl Pro Search event, the ASP WQS'ers were in Japan at Akabane for the ASP WQS 6-Star Yumeya Billabong Pro Tahara in what started out with great waves but ended up clean and small over the final two days.

The women meanwhile were the other side of the world in Cascais, Portugal at the ASP WQS 6-Star Billabong Festival and all the juniors, both boys and girls were in Sopelana, Spain at the Island Style Pro Junior.

At the Rip Curl Pro Search event, the early departure of Kelly Slater meant that the possible contenders had a great chance to make up ground but unfortunately for Fanning, Durbidge, Burrow and Parkinson, they also all lost quite early leaving Kelly with the same lead.

Kelly cannot take the ASP World Title at Trestles now, but could possibly take it in Hossegor if the others bow out early and Kelly has two wins in a row, otherwise it's off to Mundaka, which is the most likely scenario.

Congratulations to Hawaii's Bruce Irons, the eventual Rip Curl Pro Search Champion, who defeated Freddy Patacchia to collect his first ASP World Tour victory.

In Japan at the ASP WQS event the eventual winner was Hawaii's Dustin Cuizon defeating Brazilian Pedro Henrique with Semifinalists Jadson Andre (BRA) and South Africa's Greg Emslie. For Dustin, it was his 2nd ASP WQS win, the last being at the Trestles 4-Star in 2006.

Cuizon has jumped from 46th to 21st on the ratings, Pedro a huge jump from 17th to 4th, Jadson from 69th to 43rd and Greg from 20th to 11th.

The current ASP WQS Top 10 remain unchanged except for Pedro replacing fellow Brazilian Raoni Monteiro. Nathaniel Curran still in 1st, Patrick Guduaskas in 2nd, Hizunome Bettero up from 5th to 3rd, Pedro into 4th, David Weare s from 3rd to 5th, Chris Davidson from 4th to 6th, Sunny and Drew Courtney both pick up a spot in 7th and 8th, while Nate Yeomans and Brett Simpson both three spots into 9th and 10th.

Other big movers were Shaun Gossman 23rd to 15th and Marlon Lipke from 28th to 17th.There were no major losers except maybe Shaun Cansdell from 12th to 19th.

Next week is the ASP WQS 5-Star Rip Curl Boardmasters in Newquay, England and from there onwards are ASP WQS 6-Star or 6-Star Prime events all the way until the end of the year, nearly every week.

In the women's event, Jacqueline Silva from Brazil was victorious defeating Australia's Rebecca Woods and moving into 7th spot on the ratings. Semifinalists were Airini Mason from New Zealand and Australia's Jessi Miley-Dyer. This was Jacqueline's 9th career ASP WQS win and she also has two ASP Women's World Tour wins.

In the women's ASP WQS ratings, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) still has a commanding lead of around 2,{{{200}}} points on 9,695, while Jessi with her 3rd place has jumped into 2nd slot, with 3rd Rosanne Hodge ping down from 2nd, 4th Rebecca Woods up from 9th and 5th Paige Hareb down from 3rd. Other than these, there was very little movement in the ratings, just a couple of spots up or down here and there.

At the Island Style Pro Junior in Spain, Medi Veminardi was victorious in the boys and Alizee Arnaud in the girls. These were both surfers' first titles.

We're up and running so expect much more to be coming down the track.