Start Date Scheduled for 2006 Xcel Pro Presented by No Fear

Now in its 23 rd year, the 2006 Xcel Pro Presented by No Fear surf contest draws amateurs and aspiring and seasoned professionals to Sunset Beach, one of the world's best surf venues on Oahu's North Shore. For 2006, the event has upgraded to a 4-Star ASP WQS contest with a $75,000 purse.

Round 1 and half of Round 2 of the 2006 Xcel Pro Presented by No Fear are scheduled to run on Sunday, as conditions for Sunset Beach in Oahu, Hawaii look good heading into the weekend. Early indications forecast a north groundswell for Sunset Beach, setting the stage for Hawaii's kick-off event of the North Shore surf season.

Defending champion Ian Walsh knows what a north swell would mean for Sunset Beach. "A north swell can be fun when it breaks at the top of point," says Walsh, facing tough competition this year. "Defending the title will be hard. There are a lot of great surfers, and it has to do with luck. Whoever gets the right wave gets it - it's just one wave at a time."

A low-pressure system developing north of the Hawaiian Islands is forecasted in the next 24 to 36 hours. A north swell (360°) generated by this low is likely to build on Sunday, with the possibility of a few waves out of the north as early as Saturday evening. As long as this storm develops as forecast, Sunday will see a building 6'+ north swell at 10 to 12 seconds. Breaking waves heights will be in the 5' to 8' range, with an occasional 10' wave through the day.

A potential swell this weekend only adds to the anticipation going into the 2006 XCEL Pro. "Sunset is my favorite spot," raves Hawaiian local Nathan Carroll. "Can't wait for the Xcel ... the best way to kick off the season in Hawaii. Looking forward to it!" Watch for Carroll, defending champion Walsh, Joel Centaio, Dustin Barca, and many more once competition gets underway.

The official waiting period for this year's Xcel Pro begins Friday, October 27 and runs through November 10. Action in and out of the water will be streaming live online at the webcast produced by www.SurfingLive.com.

Check online for daily contest and surf condition updates:

www.nofearsurf.com

www.xcelwetsuits.com

www.aspworldtour.com