Iain Campbell goes back to back in Viana
South African bodyboarder Iain Campbell proved that he is without doubt the most consistent and possibly the best bodyboarder in the world at the moment by winning the Viana world bodyboard championship at Arda beach, Affife in Portugal today. Campbell was coming off a win in the previous event in Sintra so he was always going to be the man to beat.
The day started with round five of the Pro men’s division and Brazil’s Uri Valadao was the first winner of the day defeating Nelson Flores from Chile. Heat number two was a great match between Mike Stewart and canary island local Kevin Oriheula. Mike is a superstar in this part of the world and a big crowd assembled to see him in action. It was a tight heat but an incomplete roll on the outside section by Mike on a big set wave was the difference and Kevin rolled into the quarter-finals
Heat three saw the only Australian Lewy Finnegan take on the boy from Brazil Eder Luciano. Eder had been in great form and has a history with the event after taking the title in 2009. But today was Lewy’s day as he selected the premium waves that allowed for high impact manoeuvres.
In the final heat of round five current world champion Pierre Louis Costes disposed of Nazaré local Dino Carmo and looked sharp and hungry in the solid surf. Pierre was looking to make up lost ground after Campbell came to Europe with a hefty lead, and he showed why he is regarded as one of the worlds best.
With an incoming tide organisers decided to roll straight into the quarter-finals because Arda beach was definitely offering better options with more water over the sandbanks. Quarter-final number one saw South African Tristan Roberts take on former world champion Uri Valadao (Brazil) Tristan looked like a warm favourite in the lead up rounds but it was Valadao who used experience to defeat Roberts. Campbell cruised past Kevin Orihuela without breaking a sweat whilst Lewy Finnegan took down Alex Uranga and Pierre defeated Dubb.
In the pro junior quarter-finals both Ethan and Noah Capedville followed in their fathers footsteps with solid performances to book a birth in the semi-finals. Joining them was Bruno Martin (Spain) and Txomin Lopes (France). At this point the crowd was ballooning on the beach and the vibe was pretty cool.
The men’s semi-finals saw both PLC and Campbell dominate over Valadao and Finnegan
The junior semi finals was an awesome glimpse into the future of the sport with Lionel Medina (Canary) and Noah Capdeville (France) wooing the crowd with performances well beyond their maturity
The Pro junior division has been a raging success this year and showcases the stars of tomorrow
By the time the finals of the Men hit the water the surf was windswept and the line-up was shifty to say the least. Iain Campbell started and finished strong and PLC never seemed to hit top gear. Campbell was gracious after his win.
“I just cant believe its happened again” said the Sth African.
Medina was victorious over Capdeville and the 2017 champions were decided.
All in all the event in Viana was a raging success and plans are already underway for a bigger and better event in 2018.
The next event on the APB World Tour starts Tuesday with the Nazare Pro women’s & Pro junior, then the Men’s Grand Slam officially start on Thursday
Images: To’ Mané