We've waited all year for this

By ANDREW McKINNON

THE best swell of the year has turned it on this week with an unseasonal low pressure system forming off our south-east corner on Tuesday.

"This is reminiscent of the low pressure systems in the '60s that would develop off our coast" said Jeff Callahan, a Brisbane senior weather forecaster who used to love surfing at Kirra. "The most intense low pressure was the one in June 1967 that washed away Gold Coast beaches. This latest system is not as big but could help push the sand back onto Kirra Point."

According to Jeff and swellnet forecaster Ben Matson, this system will have a second phase on Friday and ensure a steady supply of ESE swell continuing into next week, ending a two week drought of waves. ASP world stars Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson and Dean Morrison have been enjoying their down time from the world tour and scoring some excellent Superbank waves.

The ASP World Tour resumes next month at Trestles California, with Fanning rated No.1, Joel No.5 and Deano No.10.

They are all former Snapper Rocks WCT champions, and as such inspire the many other extremely talented super bank flock. Parko had been considering going away to Moreton or Stradbroke to get away from the Gold Coast crowds, but when the waves are epic at the superbank "Why go anywhere else when the waves are this good at home!"

BURLEIGH'S Jay 'Bottle' Thompson's WQS campaign continues to impress, with an equal ninth at the Sooruz Lacanau Pro won by South African super talent Jordy Smith.

Jay has moved back from 3rd to 4th on the ASP WQS ratings, his latest result is a keeper, while Jordy's win has elevated the world ASP junior champ into No.1 on the WQS.

That makes him a certainty to make the cut for next year's ASP World Tour.

As Rabbit Bartholomew said, this year's WQS has been one of the most competitive battles for qualifying in the top 15 for next year's WCT.

Currently the Rip Curl Pro Super Series is on at Hossegor, France. This event is worth the equivalent of a seven-star. It's followed by a six-star in Portugal, a six-star in Brazil and the two prime six-stars finishing in Hawaii. Rabbit rates Bottle as a certainty, but concedes that mathematically that could change due to the diversity of the results, with no-one dominating.

One thing in Jay's favour is that he excels in Hawaii. Rabbit said the WQS ratings scenario for qualifying (top 15) will be clearer at the end of the Buondi Billabong Pro, from August 28 in Portugal.

WORLD tour surfers Mick Fanning, Mark Occhilupo and Dean Morrison will take time out from their six-week hiatus from the Dream Tour to surf for their respective grassroots boardriding clubs in the Malibu Teams Challenge on the Gold Coast this weekend.

A new ruling from the Association of Surfing Professionals has %given approval for elite tour surfers to compete in either a regional or national teams competition.

World no.1 Fanning, will surf for his longtime club, Kirra Surfriders, while Occhilupo and Morrison will don competition rash vests for %archrivals Snapper Rocks.

Fanning will be Kirra's hired-gun in the $10,000 one-day teams tournament. A win, a second and three third placings in this year's world tour have allowed Fanning to net a formidable lead in the hunt for his first world crown, and it's this form he will unleash for Kirra.

Kirra currently trails defending Queensland Club Surfing Series (QCSS) champions, Snapper, by 180 points with only two events remaining in this year's series. Fanning, 26, is expected to join club mates Dale Richards (Coolangatta), Clancy Dawson (Coolangatta), Matt Hurworth (Cabarita) and Stuart Darcy (Kingscliff) in Kirra's all-star squad for Saturday's event. Snapper will be counting on the legendary powers of Occy and the Dingo to fight them off.



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