Arica Chile – 7th July 2017
A power outage to the event site cut short competition today at the famous Flopo’s (El Gringo) in Arica. A new swell arrived to greet competitors in the morning as expected, with large 10 foot plus waves buffeting the rocky, shellfish encrusted shoreline.
The power outage saw only 3 Heats of Round 3 completed, but what heats they were!
Heat 1 saw plenty of action with Tanner McDaniel (HA) and Antonio Cardoso (PT) staying busy early, building scoring waves in the challenging swell. David Barbosa (BR) found some large set waves, but instead of scoring potential he seemed only to find injury potential.
Midway through the heat David rode towards the second section of the wave at Flopo’s, which can either provide a large ramp to launch off or a backdoor section to find a tube. David chose neither, instead straightening out inside the tube receiving the lip of the 6 to 8 foot wave straight on his head, giving him a one way ticket down to ‘Davey Joneses Locker’… He didn’t seem to find momentum after that, and finished the heat in 4th.
Meanwhile, Roberto Bruno (BR) came into the heat with force, scoring good points for a combination wave including a spin and two solid roles and complimenting that score with a beautiful spin off the lip in the critical part of the wave. His combined score totalled 12.75, giving him enough to take first position.
Antonio Cardoso (PT) improved on his scores with a nice tube ride to also qualify to the Quarter Finals and continue his campaign.
Heat 2 of Round 3 was an exceptional close heat amongst the back 3 riders, with Jacob Romero (HA) finishing a distant first place after improving upon an early invert with his first ever perfect 10 in competition.
Romero (HA) hails from the island of Maui and is well known for having a fearless approach to hitting large sections at the infamous Honolua Bay. Reverse airs being one of his specialities, when he raced towards the 6 foot section at Flopo’s today, the crowd knew what was coming. Connecting with the lip perfectly (which has been difficult to do at this size swell during the event) Romero (HA) launched and spun perfectly, completing the full rotation before impacting with force and beating the whitewash to show that he completed the ride.
The remaining riders, Tristan Roberts (ZA), PJ Tartak (PR) and local Chilean Diego Sepulveda (CL) were left to battle out for second place. Sepulveda (CL) struck early in the heat, launching a large ARS out of the bowl to stamp his authority over the heat, before he was answered back by both Tartak (PR) and Roberts (ZA) who respectively found a decent barrel and a very strong off the lip reverse. But it wasn’t enough, with Sepulveda (CL) finding a decent enough back up score and progressing through to the Quarter Finals with Romero (HA).
Heat 3 had a painfully slow start with no rider catching a wave for the first 7 minutes of the heat. Alex Uranga (EUK) was first to strike, paddling into one of the more difficult left handers but failing to find a decent enough score. He quickly did find a five point ride to build his total after rolling on an inside right hand bowl. Last year’s world champion Pierre Louis Costes (FR) then began building his campaign with a strong rollo and pairing that with a slow rotation backflip on a smaller wave.
Both Joshua Burguete-Kirkman (AU) and Eder Luciano (BR) were in the wilderness until Burguete-Kirkman (AU) paddled into a set wave and stalled into a high line to enter the barrel at the peak of the right hander. He vanished deep in the set wave, with commentators thinking that he was too deep to find an exit, only to pop out before the wave could shut down, even finding a small rollo section to finish his wave off (after a small claim in between…). Still sitting in 3rd place after this high scoring ride, he found himself back in priority position quickly and paddled into one of the larger set waves and executed a clean rollo before exiting.
Within 3 minutes Burguete-Kirkman (AU) leapt past both Costes (FR) and Uranga (EUK) to take a commanding lead. Uranga (EUK) tried to regain a position in the top 2 after launching a large invert off the end bowl, but was unable to handle it. Costes (FR) wasn’t done yet either, scratching into a last minute ride closer to the inside and launching a large invert to take back the first place position.
While the first ten minutes of the heat may have been subdued, the last 10 minutes were electric. Costes (FR) progressing into the Quarter Finals, as well as Burguete-Kirkman (AU) too, who’s journey through this event has been remarkable given that he left the competitive tour over 10 years ago.
Heat 4 was on fire from the beginning, with Jared Houston (ZA) in dominant form, launching a large invert off the end section and riding out clean. Matias Diaz (CL), Miguel Rodriguez (PE) and Yoshua Toledo (CL) all had decent opening rides too, but a sudden power outage put the heat on hold with only 10 minutes remaining.
Due to the source of the outage being beyond the capabilities of the promoter of the event to figure out and solve quickly, the event was put on hold so that professional help could be found of the event promoters and the problem fixed.
Tune in tomorrow for the final day of action in what should be decent-sized swell and clean conditions.