South African Jared Houston has taken out the second event on the 2014 APB World Tour by defeating Pierre Luis Costes (France) in the final.
The final day of the event kicked off in solid 6 feet wedges and a large crowd gathered to watch the worlds best in action.
The beauty of this venue is the proximity of the wave to the shoreline. It’s a thick, heaving slab that gives spectators an intimate view of the competitors.
Heat winners from R7 included
PLC came out of the blocks with all guns blazing in quarter final one against Brazilian Roberto Bruno.
Despite the good form of Bruno Pierre was just too strong and secured the first spot in the semi’s.
In the second quarter it was the “Battle of the Brazilians” with the more experienced GT falling to an in-form Sergio Luis.
Mike Stewart (Hawaii) proved that age is no barrier when he pushed Jared Houston (South Africa) all the way through the heat. But Jared is really surfing as good as he ever has an piped Mike for a win.
“I tell you what,” said Houston.
“I hope I’m still surfing like that when I’m his age,” he added.
In the last of the quarters former World Champion Amaury Laverhne (Reunion Island) out-positioned his opponent Francirley Ferreira (Brazil) to complete the semi’s line up.
By this time the crowds were building and the riders were starting to feel the pressure of competing multiple times in one day in challenging conditions.
Whilst it’s not a long paddle, Itacoatiara can be taxing on the energy levels due to the nature of the wave.
A massive crowd gathered for the first semi final and the parochial crowd cheered on the last remaining Brazilian against Pierre Luis Costes.
The two traded blows but in the end the Frenchman surfed a near perfect heat with a top score of (???) on his best ride.
In semi number two, it was looking likely that two French riders would contest the final as Amaury set about his way, finding some clean slabs to take an early lead.
But Jared Houston was on a roll. His timing was impeccable and his completion rate was flawless and he secured the other spot in the final.
Pierre Luis Costes has won a world title and has achieved his dream, but Jared Houston has yet to feel this emotion.
His hunger for victory was evident in the commitment of his performance and when the final siren blew the South African had not only won Itacoatiara but also moved into the lead on the world rankings.
“Oh man, I am just sooo stoked,” said Houston.
“”I’ve been working hard this year and it feels so good to have a reward like this,” he added.
The APB World Tour will now head to Chile for two events back-to-back at Arica & Antofagasta.