A photographic dedication brought to you each issue, to blow your mind, make you scream WTF, or make the words "That's choice as" roll off your tongue.
Traditionally the European leg of the ASP World Qualifying Series has always been a happy hunting ground for our professional surfers. Maz Quinn and Daniel Kereopa performed well here, with Maz qualifying for the World Tour proper with epic results in Europe, it has almost become a home away from home where our surfers feel comfortable and enjoy themselves. For Billy Stairmand this leg has also delivered fruits in recent years with Bill winning the same event ‘The Pantin Classic’ in 2011 that Maz won years earlier. This year Billy, guided by a romantic connection, decided not to return home in between events saving himself a heap of coin in travelling costs. Instead he based himself in England and competed in events he normally wouldn’t give a thought to pursue and it paid big dividends. After finding himself in a bit of a rut he entered a series of events to just get a few heats under his belt and get his confidence up. First up was the Newquay Boardmasters which Billy won bagging a cool £4000 and also won the expression session for a further £500. With new found confidence Billy headed to France to the 5-Star Pro at Lacanau, and riding the same board and playing the same music, he had found the routine that was working for him and he finished a respectable ninth winning 2500 Euros before heading to Hossegor to score a few pumping waves in between events. He then returned to Pantin to the event he had won two years prior which he couldn’t defend last year due to injury, to arrive at the comp and see Maz and his own name in bold up on the past champions plaque which filled him with confidence. On the same board and feeling level headed he kept his podium finish intact with a second place and $4000US. From there he went on to compete in a memorial comp the Greenaway Pro in England after becoming good mates with a few local boys during his time here who invited him along. Billy also won that event and £700. In between all this contest success and winning a very welcome 19G NZ dollars which he has saved, Billy spent his time in Europe focussing on preparing himself for the rest of the year, the Hawaiian events and is pumped for a return home over summer and the National Champs in Gisborne in January. Now that’s ‘Choice As’.