Ready for action
THE 2006 male and female WCT (world championship tour) season is fast approaching.
Australia will be represented by 29 surfers on both lucrative tours ? 20 on the men's tour and nine on the women's.
Interestingly Jarred Howse will be the first South Australian surfer to compete on the men's WCT and he joins Aussie debutants, Coffs Harbour artistic goofy footer Shaun Cansdell and Central Coast slasher, Adrian Buchan.
World Pro Junior champion Jessi Miley-Dyer is the only Australian newcomer on the women's tour won last season for the first time by Chelsea Georgeson.
While Georgeson and close friend, twice world champion Sofia Mulanovich, will start favourites again this season, and Kelly Slater and Andy Irons in the men's, a hungry horde of pretenders to the titles will be snapping at the feet of the established stars.
Men's WCT seedings
THIS year's men's WCT including seeding is: 1 Kelly Slater, 2 Andy Irons, 3 Mick Fanning, 4 Damien Hobgood, 5 Phillip MacDonald, 6, Trent Munro, 7 Taj Burrow, 8 Nathan Hedge, 9 Bruce Irons, 10 CJ Hobgood, 11 Corey Lopez, 12 Joel Parkinson, 13 Jake Paterson, 14 Frederick Patacchia, 15 Victor Ribas, 16 Dean Morrison, 17 Tom Whitaker, 18 Paulo Moura, 19 Mark Occhilupo, 20 Travis Logie, 21 Daniel Wills, 22 Richard Lovett, 23 Taylor Knox, 24 Troy Brooks, 25 Peterson Rosa, 26 Darren O'Rafferty, 27 Marcelo Nunes, 28 Adriano de Souza, 29 Bobby Martinez, 30 Adrian Buchan, 31 Shaun Cansdell, 32 Pedro Henrique, 33 Luke Stedman, 34 Roy Powers, 35 Pancho Sullivan, 36 Yuri Sodre, 37 Greg Emslie, 38 Raoni Monteiro, 39 David Weare, 40 Tim Reyes, 41 Picon Mikael, 42 Jarrad Howse, 43 Chris Ward, 44 Mick Lowe, 45 Toby Martin, 46 Bede Durbridge, 47 Jihad Kohdr and 48 Lee Winkler.
WQS (world qualifying series) winner Adriano de Souza from Brazil is one surfer tipped to make an immediate impact on the WCT.
The 18-year-old, 62kg, 1.67m from Sao Paulo has strung together an impressive list of achievements with his dynamic brand of surfing and is a former World Pro Junior champion.
Grommets do battle
WHO will be the next Matt Wilkinson and Stephanie Gilmore?
Some of the most promising young surfers in the nation will converge on Maroubra Beach for event six of the Australian Rip Curl GromSearch Series from today until Tuesday.
Wilkinson and Gilmore are former national champions who came through the GromSearch Series and have subsequently progressed onto the prestigious international arena.