Sintra Pro – Competition Day 1
Day 2 of the 22nd Annual Sintra Pro so competition commence, after the opening day was cancelled due to large, challenging conditions. The swell that greeted officials and competitors this morning in Portugal was significantly smaller and much more user-friendly, with waves breaking on the outside bank in the 1.5 to 2.5 metre range.
The 4 Star Men’s competition hit the water early, with the elimination Round 1 starting proceedings.
The early heats in the water had to contend with strong currents that appear at Praia Grande when the swell is large and the tide high. Even making out the back to the take-off spot had its challenges. For this reason, the paddle out time for competitors was increased from the usual 5 minutes to 10 minutes so that all riders would be assured a spot in the line-up before the hooter would sound for the start of their heats.
There were a number of highlights from this round of competition, as well as a number of very close heats. With elimination assured for those who did not perform, the level of riding was high.
For Hawaiian Sammy Morretino, his riding was high in the literal sense, launching a large invert to dominate his heat, progressing through to Round 2 with a combines heat score total of 15,4. Anas Haddar of Morocco also looked for ramps and high flying manouvers to ensure his progression, also finding some clean end sections to launch inverts and rollos, reminding everyone on the beach that he would be a rider to look out for as the competition continues.
A thick blanket of fog descended onto the beach at one point, making competition impossible. Approximately an hour passed before visibility was good enough for competition to resume.
Other standouts from the opening round of competition also included: Miguel Adão of Portugal, who performed a quite exquisite full rotation, tail-pop reverse followed by a rollo to win his heat in style; Kevin Orihuela also put in a dominant performance against another Morrocan superstar in Brahim Iddouch, who followed Kevin through to the second round; and also Ricardo Rosmaninho of Portugal.
It was especially cool to have two previous champions of the event in the water during the opening round. Nicolas Capdeville of France (who won the event in 2002 and who also now has two of his children competing in the Pro Juniors) and Manuel Centeno of Portugal (who won in 2003) both started from Round 1. Unfortunately, Capdeville was unable to progress, but Centeno was able to find his way into Round 2.
Following the completion of Round 1, it was time for the opening round of the Dropknee Division to enter the water, with an impressively wide variety of nationalities represented in the field. The Dropknee World Champion will be crowned at this event, so riders had a lot on the line. There were a few quite noteworthy performances in this opening round of dropknee competition, particularly coming from the strong Hawaiian contingent at this year’s event.
Pohakukauea Kekaualua, Miles Kauhaahaa and Sammy Morretino all put on clinics for the spectators at Praia Grande, with each of them showing why dropknee has been well-represented by Hawaiians throughout bodyboarding’s history. The performances of Miles Kauhaahaa and Sammy Morretino in particular were spectacular, with Kauhaahaa launching an impressive air in his heat, while Morretino laid down some quality turns on his backside.
Other standouts in the dropknee round included: South African Alex Nutt, who amazed the crowd with his ability to ride frontside in both directions; Italy’s Michele Tognotti, who narrowly edged out Chile’s Francisco Fernandez and Gadiel Ruiz of Puerto Rico for the win; and multiple world champion and previous winner of this dropknee division Amaury Lavernhe, who showed just how wide his range of wave-riding skills is.
Following the completion of the opening round of dropknee, it was back into non-elimination Round 2 of the Pro Men’s division.
Amaury Lavernhe of France was in blistering form in his opening heat, completely dominating the waves from start to finish, leaving no doubt in the minds of those present as to why he is a multiple world champion and previous winner of this event (2010). Lavernhe chose the best waves and took to them with a control and poise that was a sight to behold. Such form left Diego Cabrera of the Canary Islands, Maxime Ausina of France and Arnaldo Vieira of Venezuela without a chance.
Another blistering performance was given by the young South African Tristan Roberts, who found the right ramps for maximum projection and linked manouvers to take a dominant victory over Roberto Bruno (Brazil), Manuel Centeno (Portugal) and Nelson Flores of Chile.
Next it was last year’s world champion Pierre Louis Costes’ turn to dominate a heat, with him launching a clean invert off a large section to finish ahead of last year’s event champion Alan Munoz of Chile, as well as Hawaii’s Sammy Morretino and Portugal’s Miguel Coelho.
Current ratings leader Iain Campbell had a much more challenging path to victory in his heat, edging out Miguel Adao of Portugal, Daniel Quintana from the Canary Islands and Australia’s Lewy Finnegan to progress.
It was both Alex Uranga of the Basque Country and Anas Haddar of Morocco who dominated Heat 5 before it was put on hold due to fog again. Uranga stayed in control of the entire heat from start to finish, launching large rollos and flips to keep ahead of the high-flying Moroccan Haddar. Haddar himself did indeed take the sky, with a large, clean invert and also another huge flip in the mix. It is performances like these from Uranga though that reminds the top 5 who they are dealing with when it comes to the world title race.
Heat 6 saw 3 time winner of this event and former world champion Uri Valadao finish ahead of the pack in what was another close heat. Flips and rollos were traded amongst the top 3 competitors in this heat, with Portugal’s Dino Carmo finishing on 15,1 and Germany’s Nicolas Rosner on 15,8. Valadao grabbed the win with a combined heat score total of 15,8 – heats really don’t get much closer than this.
Eder Luciano grabbed a big win during a fog-affected final heat of the day. Heat stoppages would continue until the very end of competition, but this didn’t affect the Brazilian’s momentum towards a high heat score total of 17, which was achieved due to some large flips and flip roll combos.
The fading light and foggy conditions saw competition for the day halted before the commencement of Heat 8 of Round 2. Day 3 of competition will see this heat completed and the beginning of the women’s competition. Foggy conditions and smaller swell are expected, but stay tuned to the APB webcast for all competition updates.
DK ROUND 1 RESULTS
MEN ROUND 1,2 RESULTS