20 AUGUST 2014
After two consecutive lay days due to diminished surf conditions, competition resumed with the second half of round four on day four of the 2014 APB Arica Chilean Challenge. Heats were extended today, from twenty five minutes to thirty minutes, to compensate for the inconsistent but rising swell. First in the water was heat five, where 9x World Champion and 2009 Arica Chilean Champion Mike Stewart put the extra five minutes to full use. Stewart strategically picked off the handful of waves he needed to put together two solid scores and take the heat win. South African Iain Campbell put together some solid scores, but just could not catch up with Stewart and would have to settle for the second and advancing position.
In heat six, Jared Houston (South Africa) put forth an extremely impressive performance that had him controlling the heat and taking the top spot to move on to round five. Also advancing out of the heat was Alex Uranga (Basque). In an unexpected turn of events, Brazilian Leonardo Costa was forced to withdraw from competition. This left the two remaining competitors in heat seven, Lewy Finnegan (Australia) and Magno Passos (Brazil), automatically advancing to the next round. Rounding out round four, a hard-charging Diego Cabrera (Canary Islands) won heat eight, with Nicholas Bastos (Brazil) moving on to round five as well.
Moving into round five action, heat one saw a pair of Brazilians advance through with 2008 World Champion Uri Valadão winning the heat and, and Helliton Loureiro finishing in second. In heat two, 2010 World Champion Amaury Lavernhe (Reunion Island) dominated throughout most of the heat to secure the win and advance on to round six. Alan Muñoz, one of only two Chileans left in competition, looked solid out in the water but battled young Hawaiian Tanner McDaniel for the second and advancing position throughout the heat. In the closing moments, McDaniel mistakenly dropped in on Muñoz thinking he had priority and was tagged with the interference penalty, securing the passage of Muñoz into the next round.
Heat three saw 6x World Champion and 2x Arica Chilean Challenge Champion Guilherme Tâmega come out firing and he never let up, staying busy throughout the heat and easily taking the win. One of the interesting stories of this year’s competition is the performance of Chilean Sebastian Siede, who won his round one heat and has made it through each of his heats since. Today, he finished second in his round five heat and punched his ticket to round six. In heat five, Brazilian Lucas Nogueira dialed in a 9.17 on a textbook air forward that helped lead him to the heat win. Meanwhile, 3x World Champion and 2x Arica Chilean Challenge Champion Ben Player (Australia) procured the second advancing position to continue on. In the last heat of the day, the big story was the elimination of MWT #1 ranked Jared Houston from competition, which will most certainly have an effect on the world tour rankings by event’s end. At the conclusion of heat five, it was fellow South African Iain Campbell walking away with the heat win and Hawaiian Jacob Romero advancing in second place.
The remainder of round five is scheduled to resume tomorrow (21 August 2014), with an expected increase in swell size. The competition is on call for a 6:45am check-in and a potential 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.