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Storm Swells Challenge Surfers at the Piping Hot Surf Festival in Victoria

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Torquay, VIC/AUS (Monday, January 6, 2014) – It was “victory at sea” type conditions for day 4 of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Piping Hot Surf Festival in Victoria today with 30 to 40 knot onshore winds and stormy 2 meter plus ocean swells testing the talents of many of Australia’s emerging professional surfers.

While the rest of Australia is sweltering in a heat wave, the south west region in Victoria has experienced a few days of extremely stormy weather and rugged oceans, demanding the best ocean skills from the surfers.

Young 16-year-old Victorian surfer Cody Robinson was again dominant in today’s surf, advancing through to the Quarterfinals of the Men’s 1-Star QS. This is Robinson’s first ever experience at an open ASP Qualifying Series event and he’s relishing the opportunity to take on his more experienced competitors.

“Being in my home waters I feel I have an advantage by knowing the waves so well,” said Robinson. “I’m not at all intimidated by the older surfers. It’s a great experience for me and hopefully I can keep going and win the first ever Piping Hot Surf Festival.”

Robinson is through to the Quarterfinals in both the Open and Pro-Junior divisions.

Byron Bay’s Soli Bailey is another surfer who has qualified for the Quarterfinals in both divisions and he was particularly impressive executing a series of powerful move every time he his the water today.

Jay Thompson and Nathan Hedge, the number 1 and 2 seeds, were also extremely powerful and impressive winning through to tomorrow’s final day.

“I’ve thought long and hard about competing this season,” said Thompson after his round three heat win. “And right now I’m committed to the season and aiming to re-qualify for the elite tour.”

The 1-Star Women’s final was scheduled to run today but had to be postponed due to the weather.

While the surfers were handling the extreme conditions in the water as swells built to 2 meters, it was the event infrastructure that was struggling to stay safe so the event was stopped forcing all finals to be run tomorrow.

The Semifinals of the Women’s 1-Star saw West Australia’s Laura Macaulay defeat Sunshine Coast’s Keely Andrew, and in Semifinal 2 Stephanie Single from Lennox Head advanced to the final defeating Laura Poncini who also hails from the Sunshine Coast of Queensland.

Fortunately the weather is forecast to settle down and conditions should be good with left over swells from these radical weather patterns, leaving great conditions for tomorrow’s finals day.

For more information log on to www.PipingHotSurfFestival.com

Piping Hot Surf Festival Men’s 1-Star QS Quarterfinal Match-Ups: (Australian unless otherwise stated)
QF 1: Jay Thompson V Nic Jones
QF 2: Matt King V Nic Squeirs
QF 3: Nathan Hedge V Cody Robinson
QF 4: Kai Hing V Soli Bailey

Piping Hot Surf Festival Women’s 1-Star QS Final Match-Up:
Laura Macaulay V Stephanie Single

Pro Junior Men’s Quarterfinal Match-Ups:
QF 1: Kalani Ball Def Johnnie Keith
QF 2: Elliot Paerata-Reid (NZL) Def Kelly Norris
QF 3: Jacob Wilcox V Sheldon Simkus
QF 4: Soli Bailey V Cody Robinson

Pro Junior Women’s Semifinal Match-Ups:
SF 1: Gace Styman-Lane V Billie Melinz
SF 2: Sophia Bernard V Keely Andrew

The Piping Hot Surf Festival is presented by the Victorian Government, Surfing Victoria, ASP Australasia and supported by Coastalwatch PLUS, K-Rock, Target and Team Up.

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