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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

2011 IBA Box Pro




Margaret River, West Australia


April 11th – 20th 2011

The second event on the 2011 IBA Grand Slam Tour will get underway in April at the infamous BOX in the Margaret River region of Western Australia.

There was a point in time when The Box was once thought unrideable. Surfers would check Margaret River’s main break, occasionally casting a gaze north of the river mouth to catch a momentary glimpse of a thick, round barrel spitting into the channel. Too quick, too shallow, too dangerous; or so they thought.

It’s another of those waves that was custom- built for performance bodyboarding. A right-hand reef where swells come out of deep water on to a short and shallow shelf, making the wave heave as wide as it is high. There’s a whole lot of ocean behind and the power is not to be underestimated.

“ This event is going to be jaw dropping, Pipe was a great way to launch the tour but this will be the first event that IBA will showcase the new format so its going to be amazing to watch history in the making” ” said IBA Tour manager Terry McKenna.
The format will see the Top 22 riders in the world joined by 3 wildcards and 7 trialists.

For the first time in the sports history the National ranking from the Rebel Sport Pro Tour will count towards qualifying for the Grand Slam series in 2012.]

This innovative move will ensure that the best riders in Australia will come out of the woodwork for the 5 star rating, the maximum points available.


The main event wildcards selected by a committee are Mitch Rawlins (Australia) and Spencer Skipper (Hawaii) and WA charger Chad Jackson (Australia), whilst Surfing WA has issued Lewy Finnegan & Davis Blackwell the local trials wildcard.


“Look at the locations that they have on this years tour” said Rawlins. “You would want to go to all of these spots even if there wasn’t a contest on. “The best riders in the world are following this tour and this is what I want to focus on this year after a few years of making movies and chasing big waves” Mitch added.

After the success of Pipe, the team at Redbull Media House has again backed the event and viewers will be able to watch the action LIVE on www.redbull.com/tv

The event will also be shown live on Fuel TV in Australia as well as on the IBA website at www.ibaworldtour.com

The action will begin on April 11th with a three-day trial at Gas Bay. This event will allow for unlimited riders to compete for the 7 prized trials spots in the main event.

“With 2 of the top 24 riders unavailable, this has opened up 2 additional spots in the main event with Chad Jackson picking up the extra wildcard meaning that there will be 7 spots going through from the trials. This is a chance of a lifetime for aspiring riders who will get the opportunity to compete against the best riders in the world at one of the best performance waves in front of the global media. These spots will be treasured” said McKenna.

The event will offer both GSS (Grand Slam Series) and GQS (Global Qualifying Series) points to the riders. GQS points will start in the trials and carry through to the winner (of trials) with 2000 points up for grabs. In the main event there will be 2000 GSS points available.

The GSS riders will surf a 32 man, 3 round series (4 man heats). There will be a leader board (similar to golf) after R1 & R2 and at the conclusion of R3, the top 16 ranked riders will progress into R4 man-on-man heats. From here the event would continue with man-on-man quarter finals, semi-finals and final.

Example

R1 – 8 x 4 man heats
R2 – 8 x 4 man heats
R3 – 8 x 4 man heats

Top 16 after 3 rounds move into R4 and man on man format

R4 – 8 x 2 man heats
QF – 4 x 2 man heats
SF – 2 x 2 man heats
F – 1 x 2 man heats

GSS Round 1-3 breakdown

Heats would be calculated in R1-R3 in the following fashion

1st Place 6 points
2nd Place 4 points
3rd Place 2 points
4th Place 1 point

This formula would be used to determine the Top 16 after R3. From this point the event will go man on man.


Along with local favorite Ryan Hardy, Hawaiian Jeff Hubbard is coming off a win at Fronton and Pipe and is undoubtedly the man to beat.



“I love this break” said Hubb. “It is the ultimate arena to showcase high performance bodyboarding and I’m pumped” he added.


The event check-in will be on Sunday 10th April (Time & venue TBC) and the trials will be held the following morning at Gas Bay.

Supporting sponsors include: Good Earth Surf Shop Bunbury, Black Dog Institutue

About Margaret River…

Margaret River is a town in the South West of Western Australia, located in the valley of the eponymous Margaret River, 277 kilometres (172 mi) south of Perth, the state capital. Its Local Government Area is the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River. The surrounding area is the Margaret River Wine Region and has become known for its wine production and tourism, attracting an estimated 500,000 visitors annually. In earlier days the area was better known for hardwood timber and agricultural production.