Niterói (RJ) Brazil – 22nd June 2017
After torrential rain prompted officials to call a lay day for the competition yesterday, the level of performance witnessed on Day 4 continued where it left off in smaller conditions at Itacoatiara Beach.
With a prize purse of USD$30,000.00, this event is one of the biggest of the circuit with 5,000 points going towards the highly-contested rankings. The Brazilian stage of the APB World Tour celebrates its sixth edition this year with a waiting period from June 15th to 25th.
Greeted by clearer skies and a swell with still enough punch and hollowness to provide ample opportunities for high quality riding, competition resumed with South African Iain Campbell (ZA) up against the in-form Brazilian super star Socrates Santana (BR) (who had progressed through from the trials all the way to the main event) in Heat 7 of Round 2. Iain managed to have a much stronger start than Socrates, who was unable to complete some of the larger flips he was attempting in the beginning of the heat. By the end of the heat Santana was well in striking distance of Campbell, but was unable to deliver, seeing the hopes of the local crowd diminish a touch.
All local hope not lost in Round 2 with wildcard Kalani Lattanzi (BR) putting together the highest heat score total of these last remaining heats of Round 2 to edge past Hawaiian Patrick Orr (HA) and progress into the Round 3 elimination round.
The first heat of Round 3 saw Dave Hubbard (HA) put in another dominant performance, seeing him easily dispatch of Reunion Islander Laury Grenier (RE). As if flying the flag for brother Jeff Hubbard (HA), who is unable to be at this leg of the event due to the impending birth of his first child in Hawaii, Dave has been showing that he intends on being in contention for the world title yet again when the Fronton King comes around.
Local hope Dudu Pedra (BR) was then eliminated by Antonio Cardoso (PT) in Heat 2, a trend for the Brazilian contingent in this event who, by the end of Round 3 would all be eliminated from this years’ Itacoatiara Pro, leaving a field of international riders to compete for the title.
Heat 3 saw Tanner McDaniel (HA) put in another dominant performance in this event, dispatching of Julien Miremont (PF) easily. It is clear that Tanner’s apprenticeship with 9-time world champion Mike Stewart (HA) is in its final stages…
In Heat 4 Portugal’s Dino Carmo (PT) would slow down the morning’s Hawaiian dominance by eliminating Jacob Romero (HA) in an extremely close heat. Only 0.20 of a point separating the two riders. Dino would go on to slingshot all the way into the Quarter Finals later in the day.
In Round 1 of the competition there were two 10 point rides awarded: one for a very long barrel ride by Uri Valadao (BR), and the other for one of the biggest reverse spins seen in competition in a while by Tristan Roberts (ZA). These two standout riders would now meet each other in Round 3 and one of them would be leaving the beach with their event finished.
Local expectations were for previous world champion Uri Valadao (BR) to show that experience is all that matters in these critical competitive moments, but Roberts (ZA) overcame this experience by continuing to ride with the exuberance and flair he displayed in Round 1. The Brazilian rout continued…
Tahiti Pro winner and current world tour leader Jared Houston (ZA) entered the water, and after a slow start, managed to launch a nice flip and ride out of a decent-sized barrel onto the dry shore to eliminate Marcelo Faundes (CL).
Last years’ winner of the event the Basque Country’s Alex Uranga (EUK) stayed in control of Heat 7 from start to finish with numerous flips and roll combos to see off Brazilian Joao Paulo (BR).
Heat 8 saw Diego Cabrera (ES) eliminate Eder Luciano (BR), leaving only Brazilian wildcard Kalani Lattanzi (BR) left to fly the flag for the host nation of this event.
Iain Campbell (ZA) continued his dominant form from Round 2 to eliminate Nicolas Chiara (AR) in Heat 9, while Australia’s Lewy Finnegan (AU) edged out Miguel Rodriguez (PE) with the narrowest of margins of 0.45 points in Heat 10.
Maxime Castillo (FR) won another close heat over Matias Dias (CL) in Heat 11, while duel world champion Amaury Lavernhe (RE) eliminated the last remaining Brazilian in the event Kalani Lattanzi (BR) in Heat 12.
The Stadium Format means that Round 4 is a non-elimination round, meaning that riders are given the freedom to let go and put on more of a show for the growing audience at the beach and the thousands of viewers online through YouTube.
Luckily for the riders and spectators alike, Round 4 saw a small pulse in the swell, enabling the riders to find some larger ramps to launch off as the day was nearing dusk.
In Heat 1 of Round 4 Tanner McDaniel (HA) continued his winning streak in this event, defeating the other Hawaiian and in form rider of the event Dave Hubbard (HA) and also relegating Antonio Cardoso (PT) to Round 5 tomorrow.
Going off history and current form, it was expected that Heat 2 would be a battle between the two South Africans Jared Houston (ZA) and Tristan Roberts (ZA), but Portugal’s Dino Carmo (PT) was reading from a different script to the pundits, finding the waves that mattered and completing the moves that mattered too, including this solid ARS you can watch on the APB Tour Instagram now. A heat score of 15 and Dino slingshot himself into the Quarter Finals.
Heat 3 saw the continuation of Iain Campbell’s (ZA) clinical superiority of today’s heats, leaving Alex Uranga (EUK) scratching for a response and Diego Cabrera (ES) waiting until the dying minutes to even catch a wave that had the potential to put him within striking distance of the South African.
Campbell was on a roll in this heat, completing back to back high-scoring rides with priority and without – he was in his own world. The defining manoeuvre of his heat being a tweaked invert out into the flats on one of the larger set waves seen during the day.
If Iain Campbell keeps this up, he will win the event.
The final heat of the round (and the day) was lead for most of its duration by Frenchman Maxime Castillo (FR), who managed to keep momentum going in his direction from the start. Lewy Finnegan (AU) who has been putting in great last-minute performances despite suffering a serious stomach virus that saw him admitted to hospital before the event started put in a fair performance, but his last-minute heroics did not turn up this time.
You can never discount Amaury Lauvernhe (RE) in a competition, and even though momentum seemed to be with Maxime for the entirety of the heat, ‘Moz’ was able to find the wave that mattered in the dying moments of the heat and launch himself into the Quarter Finals.
As the sun set on Day 5 of this year’s event, Brazil would be without a rider left, and South Africa had reason again to celebrate the performance of their riders on the international stage.
Event to potentially finish tomorrow in similar conditions.
With waves forecast for tomorrow but expected to diminish over the weekend, the technical director of the event believes that when the next call happens at 7am tomorrow, the Itacoatiara Pro will enter its final day of competition. By day’s end tomorrow you can expect to see a Men’s, Women’s and Pro Junior champion crowned and a readjustment of the world champion leader board.
Itacoatiara Pro past Champions:
2012 – Dave Winchester (Australia)
2013 – Amaury Lavernhe (Reunion Island)
2014 – Jared Houston (South Africa)
2015 – Amaury Lavernhe (Reunion Island) and Tanner McDaniel (Hawaii – Pro Junior)
2016 – Alex Uranga (Basque Country), Isabela Sousa (Brazil- Women’s) and Diego Gomes (Brazil – Pro Junior)
World Ranking after two stages:
- Jared Houston (South Africa) – 4000
- Garth McGregor (Australia) – 3840
- Jeff Hubbard (Hawaii) – 3440
- Alex Uranga (Basque Country) – 3400
- Mike Stewart (Hawaii) – 3360
- Dave Hubbard (Hawaii) – 2720
- Amaury Lavernhe (Reunion Island) – 2440
- Paul Blaz (Australia) – 2400
- Patrick Orr (Hawaii) – 2320
- Tanner McDaniel (Hawaii) – 2240