William Lujan Martin of the Canary Islands is the Pro Junior Fronton King, and he made sure no one was ever close to challenging his right to this throne. An 8.67 and a 7.17 for some intense barrel riding and strong finishing manoeuvres was a decisive victory over his fellow finalists. As multiple world champion Amaury Lavernhe said while commentating the final: ‘Fronton is happy when it’s kids win here’. And the waves at Fronton were epic for the rest of the day, right up until the size and dropping tide came together to make it no longer safe to contest.
Follow the historic victory of William Lujan Martin in the Final of the Pro Juniors it was on to the trials of the Men’s event to decide who would progress through to the world stage.
The Men’s Trials took place in a building swell and tide for the most part, seeing the morning’s solid 4 foot waves morph into 6 to 8 to even the odd freak set at 10 foot crash onto the shallow ledge at El Fronton. This is what this wave is all about, and the reason why it is such an important stop on the APB World Tour. It is in these conditions where bodyboarding is truly in its element.
Early standouts in the trials were Lionel Medina, Samuel Brito and Carlos Santana, who all found the heavy barrels necessary to secure some excellent scores. In Round 2 of the trials, last year’s third place getter Igor Sanchez was a shock elimination, at the hands of recently crowned Pro Junior Fronton King William Lujan and an in-form Samuel Brito. Aitor Ojeda was also dominant, as was Sergio Quevedo, with Australians Lawrence Tierney and Kyle Ward managing to progress through to Round 3 of the trials also.
The next call for the event will be in the morning, Tuesday the 17th of October. With a building swell and potentially less favourable winds it will be interesting to see what is on offer, and if it can top the action that was experienced today.
Nelson ‘Nacho’ Flores is the new Pro Junior World Champion, despite stumbling in the Quarter Finals of the Fronton King. Nearest rival, Cristobal Fernandez was eliminated in the Quarter Finals also, meaning that Flores had enough points to take the title. It wasn’t without controversy though…
In his Quarter Final heat, Fernandez suffered an interference from a competitor in the previous heat, who dropped in on Fernandez as he was attempting a large backflip. The ride was incomplete, and the interfering rider penalized, but this altercation definitely affected the focus and flow of Fernandez. Unable to recompose himself, Fernandez was unable to make it through to the Semi Finals. A relieved Flores was overwhelmed after realizing he had won.
But this wasn’t the only high (and low) point of what was an exceptional day of bodyboarding.
Some of the other heats of the Pro Juniors saw exceptional riding and high scores from riders such as Armide Soliveres (heat score total of 19.50 for some deep tube rides and flips), Carlos Suarez Martin (17.97), William Lujan Martin (18.50) and Lionel Medina (18.93, launching a Gorf that its inventor Nathan ‘Nugget’ Purcell would have been proud of). The peak of the tide coincided with a pulse in the swell and the conditions were perfect to say the least.
The other big highlight of the day was the performance of the women, in particular Isabella Sousa, who launched the biggest backflip in the history of women’s bodyboarding to earn a perfect 10 in the final and take the win from Alexandra Rinder, who was in scintillating form in her Semi Final.
It cannot be understated how exceptional the commitment and performance of the Semi Finalists was today at El Fronton. Rinder and Sousa were head and shoulders above the competition in both Semi Finals, but the performances of Teresa Padilla and Paloma Freyggan were something special. Both riders committing to large sets on the shallow reef as the swell pulsed, the crowd on the edge of their seats every time they pulled into the heaving barrels. Both riders attempted some serious aerial maneuvers in their heats too, but failing to bridge the gap in both instances.
The women’s final was uncharacteristically one-sided, with Sousa dominating the heat posting a heat score total of 17.17 to Rinder’s 8.50. By all accounts, it was as if Rinder surfed her final in the semi finals. The performances of both Sousa and Rinder today were so strong today that it was as if they were sending a message to the new world champion Joana Schenker (who had been eliminated in the earlier rounds). The message was: you may have won the title, but we are going to be here next year and ready to take it back.
Women’s bodyboarding is healthy indeed.
Competition is set to resume tomorrow with the second semi-final of the Pro Juniors, then final, with the Men’s Trials scheduled to kick off in what should be a building swell in perfect conditions.
It’s gonna be epic!