Antofagasta Chile – 11th July 2017
The Antofagasta Bodyboard Festival has kicked off in quality 1.5 to 2 metre waves at the very contestable La Cupola reef in Antofagasta. The Playa Llacolen was transformed yesterday from a beach made up of broken shells and sand to a veritable festival setting with designated areas for spectators to sit in the shade and watch the event; a competitors area replete with fresh fruit and water for competitors to stay nourished with; and food trucks, ensuring that visitors can sample some local cuisine too.
The organisers of this event are already showing that they are world class, and the waves are rewarding them for it. APB Tour CEO Alex Leon expressed his pleasure with the great organisation of the team in Antofagasta:
“All I can say is ‘wow!’ Once again, Arturo, Glen and the rest of the team have outdone themselves and proven again that they are the best in the game. Organising events is really hard, but these guys seem to be able to get it right time and again. It sure does make the experience so much better for the riders, spectators and representatives from the APB.”
The trials of the Pro Men’s and the Pro Junior and Pro Women’s divisions all hit the water today with some exceptional riding from all divisions.
Standouts from the Men’s trials included the Chilean trio of Yoshua Toledo, Nelson Flores and Kenny Johnson who all posted excellent scores and commanding heat score totals. Yoshua Toledo (CL) and Nelson Flores (CL) both finished their second round heats with scores of 16.75 each for waves that included large backflips and a variety of combination manoeuvres.
The judges were rewarding large aerial manoeuvres on the outside bowl at La Cupola and Nelson Flores (CL) was happy oblige posting the highest score of the day for a long drawn out bottom turn up towards the lip of a larger set wave, launching a clean backflip that saw him travel metres skyward and out into the shallow flats.
For this wave, Flores (CL) was awarded an excellent score of 9 points, and the crowd went wild. Flores’ performance is more reminiscent of his efforts in Itacoatiara, where he took out the Pro Junior final in spectacular form, finding a scoring ride in the dying seconds. Following an early exit from the Arica Chilean Pro, it is clear that Flores is looking in fine form to be a threat in both the Mens and Pro Junior divisions.
The first round of the women hit the water in the afternoon, and the conditions continued to deliver.
Anais Velis (CL), Valentina Diaz (CL) and Suy-yin Estay (CL) each posted solid heat score totals in their heats of the first round of women’s competition. With Arica not hosting a women’s division, competitors and spectators alike were pleased to see the women in action again, and are very much looking forward to seeing some of the superstars of women’s professional bodyboarding take to the water again this week, with Joana Schenker of Portugal, Ayaka Susuki of Japan, Alexandra Rinder of the Canary Islands and last year’s world champion Isabela Sousa of Brazil all in Antofagasta for the event.
In addition, legendary Brazilian bodyboarder and multiple world champion Neymara Carvalho is also in town for the Antofagasta Bodyboard Festival, and it will be a real thrill to see her compete against the current crop of riders on the tour.
A few heats of the first round of Pro Juniors completed the day, with Iago Nascimento and Igor de Almeida of Brazil progressing to the Quarter Finals, as well as the Chilean trio of Menelik Nazir, Joaquim Soto and Yerko Gonzalez securing places in the next round too. Portugal’s Pedro Veigas also found the scores to join the others in the Quarter finals.
The forecast tomorrow is showing similar conditions for riders, with the swell expected to remain in the 1.5 to 2 metre range. Going off the quality of the waves and the performances of the riders today, tomorrow should be another exceptional day of bodyboarding.
The Live Webcast will start with the Men’s Main Event, so tune into the APB Tour YouTube channel for all the action.