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22 April 2004, 09:13 am
Windsurf Legend to Host First Laureus Beach Festival
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Laureus Sports Awards

Laureus World Sports Academy members, windsurf legend Robby NAISH and cult skateboard star Tony HAWK, will host a spectacular new event in Portugal - the two-day Laureus Beach Festival, to be staged at Guincho Beach on the Lisbon Coast from May 9-10.
The Laureus Beach Festival, which will include surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, bodyboarding, skateboarding and kiteflying, is one of a series of high profile events staged in the build-up to the fifth annual Laureus World Sports Awards which will be unveiled at the Centro Cultural de Belem on the Lisbon Coast on the evening of May 10.

Centrepiece of the two-day festival will be a specially constructed Halfpipe built on Guincho Beach on which Tony HAWK will demonstrate his tricks. Robby NAISH, widely acknowledged as the greatest windsurfer of all time, will also be showing his unsurpassed skills in the Guincho surf.

Guincho is a public beach and spectators will be welcome to come along to watch this sporting extravaganza which will be staged against a background of music, sea and sand.

Naish, who amazed the sporting world by winning his first world championship at 13 and then proceeded to win another 22 world titles over the next 16 years, said: "I'm really happy that we are doing this at Guincho. Guincho is well known for its great wind and waves, and is a favourite spot amongst European windsurfers and surfers. The beach set-up is perfect for spectators, and there are pretty reliable conditions. I competed in a World Cup event at Guincho back in the mid '80s, and I am really looking forward to going back. This should be fun."

Tony HAWK is a skateboarding legend. During his 20-year competitive career, he defied gravity with his outlandish tricks and became a role model to millions of young people around the world.

He said: "This is going to be amazing - Laureus has a real commitment to the entire range of sports and we're excited to demonstrate skateboarding, windsurfing, kitesurfing and bodyboarding to all generations of enthusiasts. The Lisbon Coast is going to enjoy a beach party like no other."

Also displaying their talent on the Halfpipe will be the brilliant Taig KRIS, who has won five skateboard medals in the X Games, including the gold medal in 2001, and three times Bike Vert World Championship runner-up Simon TABRON.

Many of Portugal's leading sport stars will also be appearing in the Laureus Beach Festival:

Windsurf - Luis CALICO (Portuguese Champion), Paulo MEIRA and Francisco FONSECA.

Bodyboard - Manuel CENTENO (World Champion), Hugo PINHEIRO (European Champion), Rui FERREIRA (Portuguese Champion) and Kiki SARAIVA.

Surfing - Justin MUJICA (European Championship runner-up), José GREGÓRIO (Portuguese Champion) and Ruben GONZALES.

Kitesurf - Arnaud DUSSEN (Portuguese Champion), Duarte COELHO and Carlos COELHO.

Guincho is one of the best known beaches near Estoril. The clear waters and the sand dunes make this area a major attraction for the locals as well as visitors to the region. Most of the beaches are long established and ideal for alternative sports. In addition to Guincho, the beaches of São Pedro, Carcavelos and Ericeira are very popular with surfers. The whole region is one big open-air sports complex.

This year, the Estoril & Sintra Coast will once again be hosting a number of important water sports championships - the World Bodyboard Championship at Praia Grande (Aug 10-14), the World Windsurf Championship at Guincho (Aug 22-25) and the World Men's Surfing Championship at Ericeira (Sep 18-26).

The Laureus World Sports Awards has established a unique place in the sporting calendar, honouring the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen from around the world and across all sports. The winners are selected by the ultimate sports jury - the Laureus World Sports Academy which consists of 41 legendary sportsmen and sportswomen.

This year the shortlist for the Laureus World Alternative Sportsperson of the Year Award is one of the strongest ever, including surfing legends Layne BEACHLEY of Australia and Laird HAMILTON from the United States, 14-year-old skateboarder Ryan SHECKLER, American snowboarders Gretchen BLEILER and Shaun WHITE and French mountain biker Anne-Caroline CHAUSSON.

In addition to voting for the winners of the Laureus World Sports Awards, the members of the Laureus World Sports Academy also volunteer their time and effort to support the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation which was set up to fund and promote the use of sport as a tool for social change. Its work focuses on helping young people overcome poverty, homelessness, war, violence, drug abuse, discrimination and AIDS in 24 projects worldwide. Since its formation the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation has influenced the lives of over 100,000 young people.

The Laureus World Sports Awards Ceremony provides a fitting climax to two days of high-profile events, which, in addition to the Laureus Beach Festival, includes the Laureus Tennis Challenge and the Laureus Golf Challenge.

The winners of the fifth Laureus World Sports Awards, as voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy, will be unveiled during a TV ceremony staged at the Centro Cultural de Belem on the Lisbon Coast on May 10, 2004.

Karen Dillon (As Amended by ISAF)
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