It’s holiday time for the World Tour guys and gals. Traditionally a welcome break for a bit of downtime and once the batteries are recharged some pre-season training. The off season is now a bit more tense as the new fad is hunting for sponsors who dig the idea of putting their sticker on the beak of your board. It’s tough times for a lot of pros unless they’re talented enough to reside in the gilded John John/Jordy/Medina/Tyler stratosphere.
Folks with massive profiles like Josh Kerr have come down on the wrong side of the balance sheet and for the mid-level pros it’s even harder. Budgets aren’t what they were, there’s lots of newer, smaller brands without the clout to afford a large team so the short version: tough times in pro land. Unless you’re actually hitting the finals and getting those oversized cheques on a regular basis.
Sure being paid to surf is a dream job, available to a few charmed souls, and if you’re not bringing huge exposure and value to your brand then why should you get a lavish free lunch? If you’re not in the top 16 on tour or get Dane/Ando/JOB/Dion video views then a six figure salary is unlikely.
Managing a surf team is tricky biz for any brand, ideally you’d want a marquee freesurfer or two, a top CT guy and girl and a big wave dude. Then a top level domestic guy/girl in the countries you operate in to support the local market and media; that and a few promising groms on product/travel deals to help the next gen. Anything past that is going to be frowned at by the accountants department. Every pro needs a niche now, and to be a one man production team, giving the brand a return on their investment is more essential than ever. Seeking out sponsors outside of surfing is also vital.
So is the news that the WSL boss Paul Speaker is kicking out of the WSL a harbinger of doom or just innocent boardroom restructuring? The temporary CEO taking over the reins is Dirk Ziff, the benefactor and co-owner of the WSL with pockets so deep you need caving gear to reach the bottom, it’s his families ample funds and interest that keeps the wheels turning at the WSL. So thanks DZ!
There’s no question the WSL is going in the right direction, sure we were all suspicious of the motives and ‘sports!’ branding when it changed from the ASP to the WSL. The webcasts are now consistent and polished, way ahead of the game when it comes to live streaming even if we headbutt our phones occasionally with the mangled English that sometimes emits from the commentators. The flip side: commentating on a live event is ridiculously hard. Just think about the reality of trying to bring colour, commentary and insight all day when sat in a metal box out the back of the event site watching the same feed as everyone else. It’s a hard job. The whole production team delivers, whatever the locale.
The structure of the WSL is strong, the events are delivering, as to viewing figures, who knows. No surfer watches them all but most of us will tune in for events and surfers that pique our interest. The mainstream will, of course, never tune in. It’s like expecting someone that has no interest in tennis watching every Grand Slam. When personally I might watch Murray in the Wimbledon final.
Read the release below, draw your own conclusion. One key paragraph: I am incredibly excited for our future. The Kelly Slater Wave Company offers a tremendous and unprecedented opportunity for the League to dramatically shift the landscape of high-performance surfing around the world with guaranteed conditions, total fairness for the competitors, greatly enhanced live viewing, and major television coverage at a scheduled time. Our sport’s inclusion in the 2020 Olympics is a testament to the continuing rise of surfing as a global participatory and spectator sport, and will allow WSL athletes to represent and compete for their countries for the first time ever on arguably the greatest sporting stage in the world.
Interesting times lay ahead for professional surfing. We’re not so sure contests in pools are the answer…
To the WSL community:
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with family and friends, and is looking forward to 2017. For many of us, the turning of the calendar is a time for reflection, and sometimes, a time for decisions.
Holding co-ownership and CEO positions at the World Surf League over the last five years has been an incredible honor for me. It has also been an awesome task that has required long hours, heavy travel and family sacrifice. It has always been my intention to pass the baton to someone at the right time to lead the next phase of what we have all created. I believe that time is now. With the acquisition of the Kelly Slater Wave Company, we are at a remarkable inflection point in the League’s history and we are ready for a new leader who can guide the organization to even greater accomplishments.
It is with this in mind that I have decided to step down as the CEO of the WSL at the end of January. I will continue to be a co-owner of the League and will work with the ownership group and Board of Directors to ensure a smooth transition until a new CEO is in place. As many of you are aware, Dirk Ziff has been a deeply committed and passionate co-owner of our League and he has agreed to bring that commitment to the role of interim CEO until a new chief executive is brought on board. Dirk and I have a close and collaborative partnership and will work together on a seamless transition.
Nearly five years ago, I journeyed to Australia to meet with the Board of Directors of what was then called the Association of Surfing Professionals to raise the audacious idea of an acquisition. Since the transaction was completed some months later, I have done my best to build an organization with a best-in-class product and culture. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to oversee the transformation of professional surfing into the globally-recognized sport it is today. I have been privileged to share this journey with a great and committed group of people, and I owe so much to all of you who have worked tirelessly to elevate this sport to new heights. Your passion and dedication brought us to where we are today, and will be the driving force of our future success.
Among our many accomplishments together are: the remarkable increase in fan engagement; the highly professional quality of the broadcast; our stellar event production; the various athlete development programs, and the introduction of the sport to a new group of non-endemic corporate partners.
The commitment to our athletes in and out of the water has led us to many firsts for surfing, including: a pension plan for our athletes; the creation of the commissioner’s office to secure the integrity of the sport; prize-purse parity between the men and the women of our championship tour, and the first multi-year surfers’ agreement.
The WSL has pioneered new technologies and digital strategies that have been ahead of the curve, and have led to recognition throughout the sports industry as a first-mover in many areas. With a focus on the fan, surfing is now enjoyed on multiple media platforms around the globe, through traditional broadcast, but most frequently on our mobile app, website, and social media channels. We have also acknowledged the global nature of our sport by delivering our live event broadcast in English, French, Portuguese and Japanese.
I am incredibly excited for our future. The Kelly Slater Wave Company offers a tremendous and unprecedented opportunity for the League to dramatically shift the landscape of high-performance surfing around the world with guaranteed conditions, total fairness for the competitors, greatly enhanced live viewing, and major television coverage at a scheduled time. Our sport’s inclusion in the 2020 Olympics is a testament to the continuing rise of surfing as a global participatory and spectator sport, and will allow WSL athletes to represent and compete for their countries for the first time ever on arguably the greatest sporting stage in the world.
I have enjoyed working with all of you more than you could ever imagine and now I am going to enjoy being a co-owner and a fan and spending time with my family who have been incredibly supportive over the last five years. I will miss you all dearly. You are a dynamic, committed and fun group that in many ways have become an extended family. Please keep up the incredible work.
The Billabong Pro Tahiti, Stop No. 7 of 11 on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour (CT), recommenced today with the 12 heats of Round 2 completed in challenging three-to-five foot (1 – 1.5 metre) conditions at Teahupo’o.
Matt Wilkinson (AUS), current Jeep Ratings Leader, survived elimination in Round 2 against event wildcard Hira Teriinatoofa (PYF). Teriinatoofa took control of the heat with a 6.43 and a 7.07, but Wilkinson fired back with an excellent 8.00 barrel ride. Teriinatoofa, needing a 7.11, had one last opportunity in the dying seconds of the heat, but could not finish the ride to challenge the Australian. Wilkinson will advance to Round 3 where he will surf against Bruno Santos (BRA) in a heated Round 1 rematch.
“I came into Tahiti really psyched,” said Wilkinson. “I went out yesterday and John John [Florence] was in the heat before mine and he got some absolute nuggets. When I went out for my heat, I was so psyched but there was not a proper set in the heat and it was low-scoring. Bruno [Santos] got me and it was frustrating. Going in this morning, I knew it was small and slow, but when they come, there are still some beautiful tubes. I wanted to put some pressure on him. I got that one set that sealed the deal, so I am stoked.”
2016 WSL Rookie Alex Ribeiro (BRA) upset the competition today as he dispatched reigning WSL Champion Adriano de Souza (BRA). The heat saw low scoring rides, but the rookie stayed busy catching eight waves to the veteran’s three. With three minutes left in the heat, Ribeiro took the lead. De Souza only needed a 3.24 to regain control, but fell on his takeoff. De Souza will be eliminated in equal 25th place, his first Round 2 loss this year. The victory marks Ribeiro’s first Round 2 win of the 2016 season.
“I feel happy and stoked to make my heat today,” Ribeiro said. “The conditions out there were really hard. We were waiting and waiting, but there were no barrels coming. Luck was on my side and I am happy to make the next heat. I felt pressure going against Adriano [de Souza] because he is one of the best competitors in the world. The conditions were difficult and I knew I had to maximize my opportunities.”
“The waves are tricky today, but that is no excuse because we are professional athletes,” said De Souza. “We have to perform when it is amazing and when the waves are bad. We have to deal with whatever the ocean brings us. I will go back home and study what I did in this heat and come back strong for Lowers. Well done to Alex [Ribeiro]. He surfed well and best of luck to him and the rest of the team from Brazil.”
Keanu Asing (HAW) eliminated local favorite Michel Bourez (PYF) in Round 2 Heat 3. Asing got to work early in the heat with big carves and snaps to earn a 9.67 two-wave combined heat score. Bourez found a solid tube to earn a 5.70 and counter the Hawaiian. As the time wound down, Bourez searched for a section up the reef for the 3.97 needed to advance. Bourez was not able to find the required score. Bourez will leave the event with a 25th place finish, his worst result this season.
“I am glad I got a heat win,” said Asing. “You have to be smart out here when the conditions are like this. I was against Michel Bourez, who is the Tahitian prince out here. The whole channel is filled with Tahitians rooting for him, but I have to do what I have to do to stay on the CT. Whether I am doing bad on the rankings, I am just trying to do my best. I’ve come here to give it all that I have.”
Joel Parkinson (AUS) blazed through his heat against WSL rookie Jack Freestone (AUS)with a 14.00 combined score. Parkinson, former WSL Champion and event runner-up, posted a 6.67 and 7.33 to dominate the heat. The CT veteran will advance to Round 3 where he will face rookie Kanoa Igarashi (USA), who closed out the last heat of the day against Miguel Pupo (BRA).
“The last few years I have done pretty well here,” Parkinson said. “A couple of heat misses, but that is always expected, especially when conditions are like this. Teahupo’o is one of those places where you have to get in a good rhythm with it. It was hard to do in that heat but I just kept busy. I saw some bomb waves that came through, but just missed them. It is hard going against Jack [Freestone] because I watched him grow up and climb through the ranks. He is someone who I hope to pass the baton to, push and watch him do well.”
Heat 4 saw a heated battle between Julian Wilson (AUS) and 2016 WSL Rookie Ryan Callinan (AUS). Callinan put up a tough fight against Wilson, locking in one of the highest single wave scores of the day, an excellent 8.17. Wilson fired back with clean turns to earn a strong 7.17 and 6.67. On his last attempt, Callinan needed a 5.67, but just fell short with a 5.33. Wilson took the win by a narrow 0.34 margin over the rookie and will advance to Round 3.
“There are not that many opportunities out there and I just really wanted to start my heat well,” Wilson said. “Ryan [Callinan] took a few at the start and we were out of position for the best wave of the heat. I just had to wait for something that looked substantial and where I could get a barrel. That was a great heat against Ryan, who has been performing well all year. He is a good guy and I wish him all the best in the next event. I was happy to get away with a close one against a great competitor.”
Dusty Payne (HAW) scored the highest heat score of the day, a 14.27, which included the critical 7.10 that knocked out rookie Conner Coffin (USA) in the dying seconds of Heat 11. Payne will advance to Round 3 where he will face Josh Kerr (AUS), who won Round 2 Heat 9 against Stuart Kennedy (AUS).
“It probably was an exciting heat to watch,” said Payne. “Conner [Coffin] had a couple of good waves and I had a couple of good ones. We kept going back and forth. I made a priority mistake after going on that one wave and got an upper-cut to my chin. I am so stoked that last wave came. I was not sure if it would be a good barreling wave and it held open. Luckily I was able to sneak in.”
When competition resumes, up first will be Italo Ferreira (BRA) up against Keanu Asing (HAW) in the opening heat of Round 3.
Surfline, official forecasters for the Billabong Pro Tahiti, are calling for:
Stronger SSW swell looks likely to fill in Monday PM and into Tuesday with favorable winds and conditions. Surf eases Wednesday and Thursday. An increase in windswell and swell mix is possible for Friday and into next weekend but local wind conditions look poor at this point.
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. local time for a possible 7:35 a.m. start.
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 2 RESULTS: Heat 1: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.17 def. Hira Teriinatoofa (PYF) 13.50 Heat 2: Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 6.23 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 5.70 Heat 3: Keanu Asing (HAW) 9.67 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 8.57 Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.84 def. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 13.50 Heat 5: Matt Banting (AUS) 10.93 def. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 8.33 Heat 6: Jadson Andre (BRA) 10.43 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 6.63 Heat 7: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 11.17 def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 6.23 Heat 8: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.00 def. Jack Freestone (AUS) 2.03 Heat 9: Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.17 def. Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 11.00 Heat 10: Nat Young (USA) 11.40 def. Davey Cathels (AUS) 10.10 Heat 11: Dusty Payne (HAW) 14.27 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 13.74 Heat 12: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 14.34 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.33
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS: Heat 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW) Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS) Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Matt Banting (AUS) Heat 4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA) Heat 5: Nat Young (USA) vs. Kelly Slater (USA) Heat 6: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Bruno Santos (BRA) Heat 7: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Alex Ribeiro (BRA) Heat 8: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW) Heat 9: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA) Heat 10: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA) Heat 11: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (USA) Heat 12: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
It might be tucked way, way down in the south west of the UK (Newquay’s Fistral Beach, to be more precise), but that doesn’t seem to be halting Boardmasters Festival from going from strength to strength.
Bonomelli continued his tear through the early rounds. – WSL / Laurent Masurel
The Boardmasters, Cornwall resumed in cleaner two-foot surf under a bright Cornish sun and saw competitors from almost all divisions take part in the second day of competition.
The remaining four heats of the QS Men’s Round 3 were first completed and witnessed the surprise eliminations of local favorites Alan Stokes, Luke Dillon and Kit Innes.
In the afternoon, men longboarders entered their final regional event of the season, and while the European title was decided at the previous stop in Galicia, surfers went out just as motivated to conquer the coveted Boardmasters trophy.
Newquay waterman Ben Skinner (GBR), 31, left no chance to his opponents in his opening matchup on home turf, and controlled the heat from start to finish with authority. The former event winner edged out Emilien Fleury to advance into the quarters where he’ll be facing compatriot Adam Griffiths (GBR).
“I’m so stoked just to be at home, it’s so nice after the three events and a lot of travelling,” Skinner commented. “Boardmasters has a 31-year history of some amazing events, as I was a kid it’s always something I looked up to so now to have the longboarders be part of it is amazing. I started surfing this event about eight years ago I think and have won it a couple of times, so I’m definitely looking to add one event title to my resume this year.”
Skinner’s salute to the huge crowds gathered at Fistral. – WSL / Laurent Masurel
“That’s just a whole different feeling being at home and having my wife and kids, and all the support from everyone down here it’s pretty special,” he continued. “There’s a lot going on for sure but I love it, even the distractions.”
Defending event champion Edouard Delpero (FRA), 26, bounced back after an early elimination in the QS division yesterday with a solid win in the over 9-foot board category. The young Frenchman found a better rhythm and negotiated the flat sections perfectly to post an impressive 14.74 heat total for his quarterfinal ticket.
Edouard Delpero knows a thing or two about nose-riding, too. – WSL / Laurent Masurel
“It’s complicated out there and you really have to be active, scouring the lineup to find the little ones that reform and offer a longer wall,” he reflected. “Unfortunately yesterday I couldn’t find the right waves, but today it was a little bit easier on a longboard and I managed to do ok. This event is awesome, very different from what we’re used to and a nice little escape in the summer. I hope I can continue to surf well and maybe even beat my brother for once if we do surf against each other later in the event.”
Said brother, Antoine Delpero (FRA), 30, rounded up the day with an uncharacteristic average performance, but enough to see him move into the quarters as well where he’ll match up with local Brit Sam Bleakley (GBR).
Bleakley will look to upset the current European Champion in the quarters. – WSL / Laurent Masurel
More information on the full festival lineup is available at boardmasters.co.uk.
The Boardmasters, Cornwall are scheduled from August 10-14, 2016 at Fistral Beach, Cornwall – England. For all results, photos, video highlights and press releases, log on to worldsurfleague.com.
The Boardmasters, Cornwall are supported by Surfers Against Sewage, Carve Mag, Corona, Relentless, Cornish Orchid, The Stable and MagicSeaWeed among others.
REMAINING BOARDMASTERS MEN’S QS RD3 RESULTS:
Heat 5: Bruce MacKie (BRB) 11.00, Tristan Guilbaud (FRA) 10.50, Che Allan (BRB) 9.56, Lens Arancibia Avila (FRA) 7.73
Heat 6: Monty Tait (AUS) 15.10, Jake Marshall (USA) 13.24, Chris Friend (AUS) 11.07, Alan Stokes (GBR) 7.60
Heat 7: Angelo Bonomelli (ITA) 10.76, Louis Gillick (AUS) 8.34, Luke Dillon (GBR) 8.10, Shaun Burns (USA) 6.67
Heat 8: Arthur Lassee (FRA) 8.30, Jayce Robinson (GBR) 8.00, Jared Hickel (AUS) 7.30, Kit Innes (GBR) 3.00
UPCOMING BOARDMASTERS MEN’S LQS QUARTERFINAL MATCHUPS:
QF 1: Ben Skinner (GBR) vs. Adam Griffith (GBR)
QF 2: Emilien Fleury (FRA) vs. Josh Le Marquand (JEY)
QF 3: Edouard Delpero (FRA) vs. Ben Howey (GBR)
QF 4: Sam Bleakley (GBR) vs. Antoine Delpero (FRA)
BOARDMASTERS MEN’S LQS RD2 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Ben Skinner (GBR) 14.33, Emilien Fleury (FRA) 14.30, Izaak Lawton (GBR) 7.23, Robin Henry (FRA) 7.17
Heat 2: Josh Le Marquand (JEY) 10.33, Adam Griffith (GBR) 9.84, Joe Hornbuckle (GBR) 7.07, Jordan Zervas (GBR) 5.53
Heat 3: Edouard Delpero (FRA) 14.74, Sam Bleakley (GBR) 10.87, Edward Wilson (GBR) 8.14, Martin John (GBR) 3.74
Heat 4: Antoine Delpero (FRA) 11.23, Ben Howey (GBR) 8.83, Jack Unsworth (GBR) 8.07, Stephan Hudson (GBR) 2.90
BOARDMASTERS MEN’S LQS RD1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Emilien Fleury (FRA) 16.00, Jordan Zervas (GBR) 7.03, Louis Thomas Hudson (GBR) 6.33
Heat 2: Josh Le Marquand (JEY), Robin Henry (FRA)
Heat 3: Martin John (GBR) 4.60, Stephan Hudson (GBR) 3.44, Russel Mullins (GBR) 1.00
Heat 4: Ben Howey (GBR) 14.10, Edward Wilson (GBR) 6.57, Toby Lowe (GBR) 4.13
Jonathan Gonzalez and Ariane Ochoa have won the inaugural QS1,000 Pro A Coruña in shifting three-to-five foot surf at the secondary venue of play de Caion.
The women’s final was first to hit the water, with all surfers opting to sit out the back on the low tide bank instead of in the shore break like the previous heats had seen. The slow matchup witnessed Ariane Ochoa (EUK), 18, capitalize early with a two-turn combo on an outside set to take an early lead. The moving lineup served fast-breaking, short rides only allowing one or two maneuvers and kept all athletes scores in the average range. All following efforts from her opponents proved insufficient and the Basque junior claimed her maiden Qualifying Series win.
“I’m so incredibly happy today, I felt a little bit frustrated with my second place in the Juniors yesterday, I have worked hard for it and I hoped to take it out,” she reflected. “But today I came with a positive frame of mind thinking this was another opportunity so I’m stoked to win. I’ve always looked up to Pauline since I was really young and to surf against her today and win is very special. She’s an amazing surfer and a fantastic person, I hope I get to travel and surf with her again in the future.”
Placing second to Ochoa today was former Championship Tour competitor Pauline Ado (FRA), 25, who couldn’t execute her game plan as expected in the tricky conditions and was left chasing a medium score for the pole position. Today’s second place for Ado comforts her lead in the European title race as surfers will move onto the next event in Portugal in two weeks.
“I’m really disappointed because I thought it would be a great battle out there and with much better scores, I think maybe expecting too much beforehand got me overlooking opportunities,” she analyzed. “I’m happy for Ariane, she’s done really well and definitely deserved her win today.”
The men’s final was a two-way battle between Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY), 35, and Jorgann Couzinet (REU) who immediately put their opponents out of reach of the title with a solid 9 point ride each on similar solid right-handers with huge turns and maximum risk taking.
Gonzalez backed it up with a good 7.17 ride for the lead and despite two very close attempts from the Reunion Island surfer, Canarian Gonzalez stayed on top and claimed his second QS win this season after winning in Zarautz earlier this Spring.
“I wish I could do this good at a QS10,000, but to win two events in Europe is pretty amazing,” he said. “This particular event was incredible, having everyone involved in all categories made it really fun and I’m stoked to take out the first one. That final was really fun, we had big rights and that’s what I prefer, I thought my board was a little bit small for it but it worked out. I’ll move onto the next few events feeling confident and I’ll try to stay relaxed and have fun like I did here, it’s definitely the only way to surf your absolute best.”
Couzinet never backed down and tried his best up until the final horn sounded, but following his excellent first turns, the young surfer couldn’t stick his final maneuver and was forced to place runner-up. A surfer on the rise, Couzinet reached the final of a QS event for the first time in his young career and will be a force to be reckoned with in the near-future.
“I really thought I was going to win that one when I got the 9, but I fell on the two important waves where I could have gotten another big score,” he said. “I think I still lack confidence and maybe take a little too much risk considering the circumstances. But I can feel all the hard work is paying off and I’m close to getting where I want, on top of a podium!”
PRO A CORUÑA MEN’S QS FINAL RESULTS:
1- Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 16.34
2- Jorgann Couzinet (REU) 15.20
3- Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 9.84
4- Marlon Lipke (PRT) 9.76
PRO A CORUÑA WOMEN’S QS FINAL RESULTS:
1- Ariane Ochoa (EUK) 9.77
2- Pauline Ado (FRA) 8.24
3- Maddi Aizpurua (EUK) 6.20
4- Peony Knight (GBR) 6.20
Meanwhile Marco Mignot and Teresa Bonvalot claimed the under-18 titles at the Junior Pro A Coruña in clean, building three-to-five foot surf at playa de Caion.
The men’s junior final rounded up the day’s amazing action with a 25-minute final right at sunset. Marco Mignot (FRA), 15, picked up where he left off and seemed virtually unstoppable in the solid surf at Caion. The young natural footer caught the wave of the heat early on and produced his signature powerful forehand carves, mixing it up with aerial maneuvers to close the deal on his maiden Junior Qualifying Series event win. With his result today, Mignot climbs up to second on the region’s ladder in close distance of current rankings leader Thomas Debierre (GLP).
“To win here is incredible, I started the final well with a big score and managed to get a good second wave to seal it so that was a great heat for me,” he said. “My dad told me earlier this week that I was surfing well and he thought I’d win it so I’m super stoked to prove him right today. My brother won his first junior event in Spain as well so that just adds a little sweetness to this win today. I’m not really thinking title scenarios right now, that would just add pressure on me. I’m rather just enjoying myself, I’m in love with surfing, this final was amazing because everyone had a smile on their face and it’s great to win such a special heat.”
Longboard Pro A Coruña
Antoine Delpero (FRA), 30, once again dominated the longboard field and claimed his third consecutive regional event win, belting the highly coveted European Longboard Champion title in the process. The Frenchman found two excellent waves in the opening minutes of the final heat and surfed them with a mixed approach of classic nose riding and strong closeout hacks for a combined heat total of 15.13.
“It’s been a strange event with really small waves to start with, a lot of waiting to culminate with finals in big closing out surf so it was real complicated,” he said. “I’ve had this cool little routine going into the last few events, I really just want to enjoy myself, surf smart and catch the two waves I need to win heats. I’ve felt less pressure and I feel like I keep improving so that’s very positive. The level here in Europe is really high, we had the chance to welcome international competitors as well and I hope one of us can get that World title soon.”
Reigning World Longboard Champion Rachael Tilly (USA), 18, got a head start on her opponents in the women’s longboard final with a solid 7.17 wave for a lengthy nose ride and the early lead. The quickly building swell served up big chunky sets and very few opportunities for traditional style longboarding as Chloe Calmon (BRA), Lindsay Steinriede (USA) and Justine Dupont (FRA) kept chasing open shoulders and sections to exploit.
PRO A CORUÑA MEN’S LQS FINAL RESULTS:
1- Antoine Delpero (FRA) 15.13
2- Edouard Delpero (FRA) 14.33
3- Augusto Olinto (BRA) 11.33
4- Emilien Fleury (FRA) 5.83
PRO A CORUÑA MEN’S LQS SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Augusto Olinto (BRA) 17.00, Emilien Fleury (FRA) 14.07, Ben Skinner (GBR) 13.67, Daniel Gil (ARG) 10.20
SF2: Antoine Delpero (FRA) 14.07, Edouard Delpero (FRA) 11.87, Martin Coret (REU) 8.43, Joe Hornbuckle (GBR) 7.67
PRO A CORUÑA WOMEN’S LQS FINAL RESULTS:
1- Rachael Tilly (USA) 14.00
2- Chloe Calmon (BRA) 11.67
3- Justine Dupont (FRA) 10.03
4- Lindsay Steinriede (USA) 5.93
The Pro A Coruña Surf Fest is supported by Tag Heuer, Mahou, Nissan, Ayuntamiento de A Coruña, Concello de Laracha, Mondariz, Eleven Yellow, Coca Cola, Siroko, Club Costa Da Morte and Vazva among others.
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