Boardmasters continued today in two-to-three foot surf and a wind-affected lineup. Men and women of both the QS and longboard divisions took it to the water and made the most of the conditions on offer as competition winds down towards the man-on-man final battles.
In the Quiksilver Open, Daiki Tanaka (JPN) crushed the competition in Round Three, finding two excellent scores to post the highest heat total of the event so far, an impressive 16.24. The Japanese regular foot managed to fit multiple vertical turns, going lightning fast in the mushy surf. He’ll be looking to advance past the next round to improve on his equal 13th best finish in Newquay.
“My board felt great and I found some super fun waves,” Tanaka stated. “It’s my third year coming here and I really enjoy it. I’m traveling with a couple of friends and we usually try to go check out the festival too when we’re out of the event, so hopefully not before Sunday!”
Newquay’s Luke Dillon (GBR) advanced into Round Four as well, Jay Quinn (GBR) continued to dominate and Pedro Coelho (PRT) was the surprise second biggest scorer of the Round.
In the Roxy Open, Justine Dupont (FRA) was once again the strongest surfer in the water, closely followed by Rachel Presti (USA), Vahine Fierro (PYF) and Juliette Lacome (FRA).
Junior surfer Ellie Turner (GBR) scraped through a slow scoring matchup at low tide and managed to advance into the Quarters where she’ll carry the British hopes. The Bude local is continuously improving and starting to challenge the best European juniors for the top spots.
“It’s always nice to be surfing here and being able to go home after a day competing,” Turner said. “It was actually quite fun, there some good sections out there, they’re hard to find but they’re out there! I feel quite good about my surfing at the moment so I’m hoping I can make a few more heats here.”
With the top seeds only entering in Round Two of the UGG Men’s Longboard Pro, the first four heats gave us a glimpse at the local hopefuls, new and former competitors, coming to rub elbows and challenge the best European surfers.
Elliot Dudley (GBR) posted the round’s best scores and showcased his flow and nose ride skills at high tide. The Welsh surfer, a former amateur European champion, gracefully navigated his 9’8 single-fin along the rights and lefts of Fistral. In the next round, he’ll be sharing the lineup with other Brits, including current rankings No. 4 Jack Unsworth (GBR).
“I used to come here a lot when I was younger, but I haven’t competed for probably about ten years,” Dudley said. “I really wanted to see everyone and see if I could still surf well against the guys. I’m trying to concentrate on flow and glide and I guess my board allows that, especially in these sort of conditions that are not perfect.”
2018 European Longboard Champion Justine Dupont (FRA) unsurprisingly took out the opening heat of the UGG Women’s Longboard Pro. Nienke Duinmeijer (NLD), currently second on the regional rankings posted the second highest single score of the round and advanced into the Quarters as well.
“I haven’t really surfed a longboard since the event in Biarritz and it took me a while to get my footing back,” Dupont explained. “But I’m very happy to win heats, especially in those difficult conditions. I have great boards and that definitely helps a lot. I hope I can keep going like that and the vibe here is really cool as always.”
Longboarders will be back early Saturday for the 8 a.m call while QS surfers will be back at 10 a.m.
Boardmasters are scheduled from August 8-12, 2018 at Fistral Beach, Cornwall – England. For all results, photos, video highlights and press releases, log on to worldsurfleague.com.