Local Hopes at Boardmasters
Four surfers from Cornwall will feature in the opening round of the Rip Curl Boardmasters in Newquay. Past champion Russell Winter leads the Cornish charge at his home break.
It will be the first time in more than five years of staging the 5 Star World Qualifying Series event in the county that the UK does not have a seeded surfer in the world's Top 100.
Newquay's Russell Winter is returning after breaking a wrist during a surfing accident at Porthleven.
Newquay's Russell Winter
The 33-year-old has been fighting back to competition fitness, although he is lacking full-blown top flight competition this season on the world tour.
After several years of being given an automatic third round entry, Winter is forced to surf from round one at Fistral Beach.
The British 'Bulldog', who is the current British Cup title holder, can take comfort from the fact that former world champion Sunny Garcia and tour leader Nathanian Curren won't be competing at England's richest surfing contest.
Hawaiian Garcia cancelled his entry while Curren, from mainland America, is focusing in on the French leg of the tour which follows the Boardmasters.
Winter, a former Dream Tour competitor, is up against American pair Shaun Burrell and Kellen Ellison and Rafael Ayme, from the Reunion Islands.
The first two heat finishers will go through the last 96.
Fellow Newquay surfer Alan Stokes has been warming up for his Boardmasters assault by fulfilling his surf coaching commitments in north Cornwall.
Stokesy will be looking to repeat the form which earned him a fourth place finish at the British championship against his first round opponents Australian Michael Marjanovic and Frenchman Thomas Bady.
Jayce Robinson, from St Ives - a member of the British surf team - has a tough opener against Australian Matt Capel, who lives in South Devon, Parrish Byrne and South African David Richards.
Perranporth-based Sam Lamiroy, a prolific British and UK title holder, will be looking to start the ball rolling for British success.
He will one of the first four surfers to paddle out at the competition and drawn in heat one against Spaniard Txaber Trojaola and Simon Marchand, from France.
Organisers of the Boardmasters, which runs from 5-10 August, have yet to fill six places in the first round draw.
Matt Capel is taking part
The tournament does boast a top international field including runner-up of the recent Tahara Pro in Japan Pedro Henrique, current tour number three Hizunome Bettero and 5th-placed David Weare, from South Africa.
The Far East result catapulted Brazilian Henrique up into fourth place on the WQS tour and his opponents in round two are New Zealander Bonny Hansen and France's Romain Cloitre.
Fellow South American Bettero will be aiming to close the gap on Curren at the top of the ratings. He is up against France's Eric Rebiere and Australian Stuart Kennedy is his second round opener.
Weare, meanwhile, can expect no favours from fellow South African Gavin Roberts and WCT wildcard Australian Owen Wright.
Wright was defeated in round two at Uluwatu by fellow Aussie Bede Durbridge, but showed touches of brilliance on the dredging left-hand reefbreak.
Check out daily updates and photo's from the Rip Curl Boardmasters here on the BBC Cornwall website:
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last updated: 04/08/2008 at 08:26