Arica Chile – 7th July 2017
The Arica Chilean Challenge was epic today for the completion of Round 1 and Round 2, with perfect 6 foot plus waves greeting competitors at the famous Flopos (El Gringo). Unlike the larger conditions from the day previous, the famous wave was turning on the left-hander, which is often referred to as the ‘Chilean Pipeline’, with many riders taking to the sky and riding some deep barrels over the shallow ledge.
The waves could not really have been more perfect, and the riders brought their best to match it. Strong performances in the final heats of Round 1 were given by the respective heat winners, which included: Miguel Rodriguez (PE), who launched an incredible invert off the right-hander to land himself a 9 point ride; Tanner McDaniel (HA), who put on a well-rounded display of aerial manoeuvres, tube and pocket riding to defeat an in form Pierre Louis Costes (FR) (this was by far the most competitive heat of the remainder of the round); Joshua Burguete-Kirkman (AU) was awarded 9 points for launching a full-rotation air forward early in the exchange with Patrick Orr (HA) and Alex Uranga (EUK); and Eder Luciano dominated his heat to take the win and progress to the 3rd Round.
Due to the loss of competition hours the day previous due to jet ski malfunction and the possibility of the swell being too large for competition to take place tomorrow (Saturday the 8th of July) APB CEO Alex Leon was forced to adjust the format for the event in order to ensure that it could be completed within the competition window.
“Well, these things happen sometimes. Due to the lost competitive hours on Thursday, we have had to change to 4 person heats instead of the man-on-man format.
Following the completion of Round 1, the competition moved straight into Round 2 and with this being an elimination round, the riders put everything on the line.
Heat 1 saw local brilliance shine bright and a big upset regarding the world title race, with Chilean Sacha Damjanic (CL) dominating the heat, being awarded the first 10 point ride of the competition for a long tube ride on a set wave to eliminate Itacoatiara Pro Champion Diego Cabrera (ES) and last year’s Pro Junior World Champion Socrates Santana (BR). Brazil’s David Barbosa (BR) managed to progress through to Round 3 also with some quality tube-riding and tight pocket surfing.
Heat 2 saw Maxime Castillo (FR) launch an excellent air reverse out of the Flopos end bowl to dominate the heat with a heat score total of 16.50. Iain Campbell (ZA) managed to find the waves he needed to progress through to the 3rd round too, resulting in Argentinian charger Santiago Sanchez (AG) and trialist Wesley Coetzee (ZA) seeing their event finished.
Heat 3 was an intense battle between world champions Jared Houston (ZA) and Pierre Louis Costes (FR), with Argentina’s Nicolas Chiara (AR) providing a late challenge to their domination of the heat. Jared Houston (ZA) took to the air to launch a big invert on the right hander, while PLC (FR) was dominant in the barrel, complimenting long tube rides with some rollo finishes on the shallow end bowl.
Local rider Matias Miranda (CL) did find some decent waves, but was unable to convert, while Nicolas Chiara (AR) just couldn’t quite lift his scores into that excellent range to pose a serious threat to the two world champs.
Heat 4 was a slower heat in terms of frequency of waves, but that didn’t stop Antonio Cardoso (PT) from staying active and hungry throughout the exchange, progressively building a pair of scores that would see him advance to the next round in second place. Roberto Bruno (BR) was the winner of the heat after finding a solid tube ride to roll finish, earning him an excellent score, and backing it up with a second scoring ride.
This performance by the two winning riders was in stark contrast to the heat experienced by Portugal’s Andre Bernardo (PT), who was unable to find the right waves to remain competitive in the heat, and David Hubbard (HA), who did find one big reverse air bowl at one point in the heat, but was unable to hold the landing.
Heat 5 saw the home crowd smiling from ear to ear, with Chilean riders Kevin Torres (CL) and Diego Sepulveda (CL) ending Portugal’s Dino Carmo (PT) and Brazil’s Dudu Pedra’s campaigns. Sepulveda (CL) was the clear standout, with a heat score total of 14 finding some decent tube rides and finishing manoeuvres, with Torres (CL) finishing just in front of Pedra (BR) with a heat score of 13 after launching a big roll to seal the heat (Dudu Pedra finished 0.25 of a point behind).
The joy from the local crowd could be felt in the air (it was electric) only confirming Jared Houston’s (ZA) earlier quote from before the event that it won’t be long until a world champion from Chile is crowned. It was really great to see the locals remain dominant in the Round 3 draw.
The final heat of Round 2 saw Tristan Roberts (ZA) return to the sky with a stylish reverse air and a strong back up score securing him the first position in the critical elimination heat, edging out Basque rider Alex Uranga (EUK) in second place.
After starting the heat strongly with a solid invert on the left end bowl, Uranga was right to be upset when the judges scored his wave as incomplete, due to a split peak situation diverting their attention when the landing of Uranga’s invert took place. The decision going against Uranga (EUK) did affect his performance for a few more waves into the heat until he regained composure and began rebuilding his points. Hawaii’s Patrick Orr (HA) and Christian Fernandez (CL) of Chile were unable to find the waves they needed to be in the race.
After the completion of Round 2 officials reassessed the conditions and decided to go on hold until 7am Saturday morning, when a new 3 metre swell should reach the famous break and deliver some more memorable performances for the bodyboarding history books.
Stay tuned to the website and Facebook page for updates.