TSURIGASAKI BEACH, Ichinomiya, Chiba/Japan (Wednesday, September 22, 2010) - The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 4-Star Billabong TSURIGASAKI Pro commenced this morning at 7:30 with the round of 160. The event will run through Sunday, September 26th, to crown the 2010 event champion. The 2010 edition of the Billabong TSURIGASAKI Pro boasts the total prize money of USD $85,000 on offer which is the largest scale surfing event in Japan for the 2010 season. The local weather was fine as a light offshore breeze fanned 2 foot (1 meter) conditions to create small but excellent conditions for opening day.
Tsurigasaki Pro contest director Toshiyuki Tanaka called the finest athletes at first call this morning and called the Round of 160 to go into action first this morning. The following Round of 128 action was on standby but event organizers postponed Round 2 until tomorrow with weather charts expecting the swell to rise. Tanaka and his first class crew team are on schedule to crown a champion Sunday afternoon.
Clean but small conditions on offer today did not see any excellent scores on the score board for day one. Top single wave score goes to Yukio Ogawa (JPN) for a 7.33 out of 10 and Ogawa also takes top honors of the highest heat score of the day with 13.33 out of 20. 2010 ASP Japan Pro Junior Champion Kaito Ohashi (JPN) followed Ogawa with a single wave score of 6.83 as well as a combined score of 11.33 for the heat.
International surfers who have registered for the 2010 maximum scale surfing event, the Billabong TSURIGASAKI Pro, will come from Australia, Hawaii, USA, Indonesia and many of them with high seeding.
ASP Men’s World Ranking No.54, Drew Courtney (AUS) will surf his 12th event of the 2010 ASP season as the No.1 seed. Courtney will surf in Heat 8 of the Round of 64.
Former elite tour surfer Shea Lopez (USA) makes his first appearance at this event in heat 10 of the round of 128. 2009 event winner and defending event champion Parrish Byrne (AUS) will surf in the Round of 64 in Heat 4 and is thinking positive, but will let his surfing do the talking towards defending his title.
Domestic surfers including two-time ASP Japan Tour Champion Teppei Tajima as well as 2008 ASP Japan Pro Junior Series Champion Nobuyuki Osawa look better than ever.
The event’s main venue Tsurigasaki Beach, which is located right next to Torami beach which hosted an ASP World Tour event in 90′s. Tsurigasaki Beach was also a sight for the ASP World Tour in 2004 as a mobile venue for Round 1.
Tsurigasaki beach boasts the finest and most powerful beach breaks in the area, so don’t miss any of the action.
First call tomorrow morning is at 6:30 and the event may go straight in action for round of 128 starting at 7:00 AM JST.
Billabong TSURIGASAKI Pro will be broadcast live via internet throughout the event via