Oh hello everybody!

First blog on surfeuropemag.com and I'm blogging as qualified! I still can't believe it... I guess I will only properly realize that I'm on the WCT when I'm going to paddle out for my first heat at Snapper end of February. Can't wait.

But first things first cause some of you might not know me. Wait, no, that's not possible... Ha ha ha. Just kidding. Well, basically things looked pretty solid after the last European event in Portugal, but everything came down to Hawaii really and what an emotionally draining trip that was! 9th before Haleiwa. Then the incredible happened: all the guys right behind me got a result, something which never really happened before. Boom, down to 14th place. That was quite a shocker for me and I was really down for a while. It was now all down to Sunset where I had to make two heats to better my points. The waves during the contest at Sunset where massive to say the least and I had a tough heat against Hank Gaskell, CJ Hobgood and Dayan Neve. I caught a couple of good waves and getting out of the water, I felt like I did myself proud, but it wasn't enough. I missed one last turn on my last wave and I didn't get the score I needed. CJ Hobgood then went on to win the event but that was it for me really. Boom, down to 16th! Missed out by one spot! Well, there was one slight chance. Because if Tiago would do well at Pipe he'd double qualify and a place would open up for me. Things were out of my hands though. And then the sms from Tiago when I was already back home in Portugal: "Fu'&, sorry bro, I'm injured, I can't surf, need to pull out of Pipe. So sorry..." I thought well it is not meant to be, but at least I'm the first replacement and I'll probably surf some events during the year. And then the call from my brother while I was out for a few drinks. "Marlon, you're in, they just announced it on the webcast during Pipe!" I couldn't believe it...

Right now I'm in Ericeira, Portugal. I got myself an apartment up here to train with Tiago and to work closely with my shaper Nick from Semente to get my quiver ready. Check out the pad I rented. It's sick (in the photo you can only see the pool house!). I can see the ocean from my bed! Oh, forgot to tell you about a little incident down in Lagos where I live. After a fun night out with my brother and a couple of friends, some idiot looking for trouble punched me right in my face and pretty much floored me... Had to get stitches in the back of my head and was out of the water for over a week with a slight concussion. I put a photo up. Had five stitches...

Alright, that's it from me. I'm off to shoot some photos down here in Ericeira with Damien "Dom" Wills from Australia. What a crazy guy! Loves to charge. Gony is here for a day as well. Sick waves at a little beachie not far from here. Oh yes, and I need to film a little more for a documentary, which will air on Fuel TV in the US and in Europe at the end of Feb! Watch this space!

Happy New Year and talk soon!

Marlon