21 AUGUST 2014
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Competitors and event staff arrived at El Gringo just before sunrise for a 6:30am check-in, only to be greeted by howling onshore winds on day five of the 2014 APB Arica Chilean Challenge. The APB staff made the call to postpone the start of the day’s heats for one hour, allowing the hard winds to subside, which turned out to be the right decision. The winds died down, the waves cleaned up, and competition resumed with the remainder of round five.
Starting off the day out in the water was heat six, where spectators watched as 9x World Champion Mike Stewart and 2011 Rookie of the Year Alex Uranga (Basque) advance to the next round. Heat seven turned into what was, essentially, a two man battle with Diego Cabrera (Canary Islands) coming out with all guns blazing, only to have 2011 World Champion Pierre Louis Costes (France) answer back with big air forwards and backflips. Both riders advanced to round six. Finishing out round five, Lewy Finnegan (Australia) won heat eight with Brazilian Roberto Bruno finishing in the second and advancing spot.
Round six transitioned from three-man heats to man-on-man competition, with the winner of each heat earning their place in the quarterfinals. The first person to earn passage to the quarters was local favorite, Chilean Alan Muñoz who won heat one over 2008 World Champion Uri Valadão (Brasil). Heat two saw 2010 World Champion Amaury Lavernhe (Reunion Island) turn in another solid performance to take out Helliton Loureiro (Brazil). Heat three was a battle of champions with 6x World Champion and 2x Arica Chilean Challenge Champion Guilherme Tâmega beating out 3x World Champion and 2x Defending Arica Champion Ben Player (Australia). Heat four saw Brazilian Lucas Nogueira defeat Chilean darkhorse Sebastian Siede.
Continuing on in round six, heat five between Mike Stewart and South African Iain Campbell turned into and epic back-and-forth battle. Stewart continued to impress, even putting Campbell into combination situation (needing two completely new high scores) at one point. Iain battled back, though, scoring a 9.77 (the highest score given in this year’s event so far) on one of the largest barreling set waves of the day. Still, Stewart’s overall combined heat score, which included a 9.27, left Campbell in search of an 8.18 wave score that never came his way. In heat six, Alex Uranga trailed Hawaiian Jacob Romero for most of the heat only to pull a rabbit out of the hat, finding a winning score in the closing seconds to pull off a stunning heat win and secure his position in the quarterfinals. Finishing off round six, Pierre Louis Costes eliminated Roberto Bruno in heat seven, and Lewy Finnegan put a stop to Diego Cabrera’s hard-charging run through competition.
With only the quarterfinals, semifinals, and final remaining the APB is looking to wrap up the 2014 Arica Chilean Challenge and crown this year’s event champion tomorrow. The competition is on call for a 6:30am check-in and an estimated 7am start Arica local time. Stay tuned to APB Tour and Arica Chilean Challenge on Facebook as well as www.apbtour.com for all of the latest news, updates, highlights and live webcast coverage.