CHOICE AS

New Zealand Surfing - - Trigger Finger - Billy keep­ing sharp at an English beach break. Photo: Ja­son Feast.

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’.

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