Arica Chile – 6th July 2017
The Arica Chilean Challenge completed the Quarter Finals of the trials and moved into the main event of competition today in 6 – 10 foot clean conditions, compared to what was thrown at the Arican coastline yesterday.
Large waves greeted competitors and organisers early, and after a safety briefing from the Chilean water patrol, the Quarter Finals got under way and the remaining 8 spots in the main event eventually filled.
A diversity of riders were able to capture enough points in the heavy conditions.
Wesley Coetzee (ZA) launched a solid invert and backed it up with another score to finish the Quarter Finals with the highest combined heat score total. Igor Sanchez (ES) also able to find some bombs to advance in second place.
Andre Bernardo (PT) and Yoshua Toledo (CL) were also able to advance through, once again finding the two scores needed to make a decent total. In Heat 3 Brazilian David Barbosa (BR) went on one of the first lefts ridden of the event (in larger swells, the left is a much more challenging wave to read at the take-off), finding a tube and another score, with Australia’s Joshua Burguete-Kirkman (AU) put together an average spin roll combination, and then launched an incomplete invert, giving him enough to find a place in the main round.
Heat 4 of the Trials Quarter Final saw Chileans Christian Fernandez (CL) and Matias Miranda (CL) also advance into the main event, joining Yoshua Toledo (CL), seeing just under half of qualifying trialists originating from the host country.
This is a list of the qualifying trialists:
Wesley Coetzee (ZA)
Igor Sanchez (ES)
Andre Bernardo (PT)
Yoshua Toledo (CL)
David Barbosa (BR)
Joshua Burguete-Kirkman (AU)
Christian Fernandez (CL)
Matias Miranda (CL)
Onto the Main Event!
Winner of the Itacoatiara Pro in Brazil, Diego Cabrera (ES) was unable to overcome the powerful and confident riding of fellow Canary Islander Igor Sanchez (ES) who was able to find a decent tube ride and rollo combination to back up a solid rollo in the early minutes of the heat. Cabrera and Brazilian Roberto Bruno (BR) were relegated to the elimination Round 2 and a jubilant Sanchez advanced through to Round 3.
Heat 2 saw Brazilian charger Dudu Pedra (BR) and Chilean wildcard Diego Sepulveda (CL) defeated by Matias Dias (CL). Neither Dudu or Sepulveda could find a second decent ride to fill out their heat totals, leaving Dias to advance through to Round 3.
Heat 3 saw Chilean superstar Alan Munoz (CL) fend off South Africa’s Iain Campbell (ZA) to be the second Chilean to jump into Round 3. The heat scores were close between the top two placing riders, with trialist Andre Bernardo (PT) taking third.
Heat 4 had plenty more excitement with Jacob Romero (HA) entering the water for the first time to battle it out against Nicolas Chiara (AG) and trialist Welsey Coetzee (ZA). Romero is somewhat of a local star in Chile following his incredible invert launched out of a huge right bowl at Flopos (El Gringo) a few years back. The air is firmly etched in local folklore, and youngsters in the streets literally call out Jacob’s name whenever he walks by.
In his Heat 4 match up, Romero did not disappoint, launching a solid air reverse that was incomplete, and also landing a flip out of the bowl on a smaller right hander. Chiara (AG) and Coetzee (ZA) simply couldn’t come close to Romero, seeing him advance to Round 3 and his legend grow stronger in the local psyche.
Heat 5 saw the fearless Moroccan Brahim Iddouch (MA) take to the lefthander and display a controlled approach to negotiating the barrel on two rides for the win. Up to this point, very few lefts had been attempted in the competition, making his strategy even more impressive. It is great to see Brahim here at the ACC again this year, with him missing the event last year due to it colliding with the holy month of Ramadhan.
Portugal’s Antonio Cardoso (PT) did string together some manoeuvre combinations to come close to Brahim but fell short in the dying moments of the heat, while Tristan Roberts (ZA) was unable to find the rides and ramps that he likes to launch off.
Heat 6 saw current rankings leader Jared Houston (ZA) enter the frigid Chilean waters, up against Puerto Rico’s PJ Tartak (PR) and Chilean Matias Miranda (CL). All eyes were on Houston for the win, but it was to be Tartak’s morning after he once again used the left hander to ride out of some solid barrels for the win. Houston was able to find a large ramp for an invert, but the whitewash wouldn’t let him loose to show that he rode out of it successfully. Miranda (CL) was also unable to reach Tartak’s combined heat total.
Heat 7 saw Chilean Yoshua Toledo (CL) launch out of the right bowl to complete an exceptional forward floater/air to take the win. Brazilian rising star and last year’s Pro Junior World Champion Socrates Santana (BR) and current world number 2 Dave Hubbard (HA) languished in 2nd and 3rd palce.
Heat 8 would turn out to be the final heat of the day. Jet ski problems forcing the event on hold until water safety could be assured. The heat itself was an example of why water safety is so critical in events like these, with Santiago Sanchez (AG) charging the left as expected, finding some crazy barrels, and losing his board in the process. This saw him forced to try and swim to safety in the key hole while the jet ski was experiencing problems.
Aside from this distressing moment (Sanchez was soon assisted by a member of the Union Flopos) former world champion, Brazil’s Uri Valadao (BR) was dominant throughout the heat, finding some large tube rides on the famous left, seeing him complete the heat with a combined heat score total of 16.35, which was the highest of the day so far.
Local rider Sacha Damjanic (CL) was outclassed by Valadao and Sanchez, moving on to the 2nd round along with Santiago Sanchez (AG).
Organisers of the event are ensuring that a back-up jet ski is available for water safety tomorrow, as conditions are expected to be similar to today.