Fronton King 2017 Day 8
There’s a New King in Town
And his name is Jared Houston, and he took the crown from last year’s king in spectacular style at El Fronton today. A late charge in a final that was for the most part Lavernhe’s to lose, saw Houston take to the sky to steal victory away from Moz in the dying minutes. Elation is an understatement. This was the 4th time that Houston had competed at El Fronton, and marked his first ever win here (he finished 5th in 2010 and 2011, and 2nd in 2012). In addition, it was the first time his parents had ever been present to see him compete in an international competition, and it was also the place where he fell in love with his wife Natasha 8 years ago.
As we said, elation is an understatement…
But Houston’s long overdue victory at Fronton is not the only news from the day. There were plenty of other historic moments for the history books.
In what would have to be one of the greatest heats in the history of the sport of bodyboarding, Amaury Lavernhe and Ryan Hardy traded blows in an El Fronton that was reaching peak ferocity at its zenith during their quarter final heat. Two generations splitting the peak at El Fronton, putting it all on the line for the opportunity to claim a spot in the semi finals, each posting combined heat score totals above 17 points. Deep barrels left and right, then flips left and right, in the end the local knowledge seemed to be the critical defining factor with Lavernhe taking the heat.
A satisfied Hardy returned to an ovation like no other. The adoring fans at El Fronton grateful for his efforts. The competitive flame still glowing brightly in his eyes.
Another highlight of the quarter finals was Pierre Louis Costes’ absolute domination over Diego Cabrera, who was able to launch some crazy flips on the flip, but unable to ride out of them clean enough to satisfy the judges. PLC on the other hand, was in his best form, riding barrels deep and flipping out; launching air forwards like they were easy; flips as throw aways’. It was a reminder that PLC is going to be coming back with a vengeance next year.
The action from both eventual finalists continued into the semi-finals of the competition, with Jared Houston just edging past Jacob Romero despite the high-flying Hawaiian launching an epic air reverse out of the Fronton bowl. Houston was composed throughout the heat, finding the barrels he needed and finishing moves to finish off Romero’s pathway to the podium.
In semi-final two Amaury Lavernhe hit his peak of the day, absolutely dominating his rival and friend PLC to take another high scoring victory. Both riders went deep and shot for the sky during the exchange, with Lavernhe finding the best of it and booking his spot in the final.
The final of the Fronton King was slower than previous heats, with the waves becoming more intermittent and the larger sets from earlier heats almost non-existent. The heat was Lavernhe’s for most of the 30 minutes, but a late charge from Houston saw the tide turn, with the points on his side of the board with 5 minutes to go. The countdown to victory was torturously slow, and as the seconds ticked away, two fists pumped into the air from Houston, with Lavernhe quick to embrace the new king and offer his crown.
Viewers online would have noticed that the livestream during today’s action was less than satisfactory (in fact it was non-existent). The APB’s Alex Leon received word from the promoters that the disruption to the livestream was due to technical problems with a 3rd party internet service provider. The APB understands that the viewers were disappointed with this outcome and assures everyone that 2018 will be bigger and better.