THE ARICA CULTURA BODYBOARD GRAND SLAM TRIALS COMPLETED IN PLAYFUL CONDITIONS AT EL FLOPOS
Arica, Chile 6th June 2018
But let’s get one thing straight – by ‘playful’ we mean ‘great waves for launching big airs over shallow sea-urchin encrusted reef’. El Flopos might have been playful today, but this wave packs a punch and is unforgiving at all sizes.
The remaining trialists were greeted this morning by a larger, but still short period, swell that had built up a little over night. Before competition kicked off, a ‘who’s who’ of the Top 24 seeded riders were in the water getting in some practice before the expected kick-off of the main event on Thursday morning, Chile time.
Round 3 saw the riders you would expect to progress through to the Quarter Finals of the trials stick to the script. Brazil’s Isaias Ravyc, Socrates Santana and veteran rider Hermano Castro all put in solid performances to progress while Chile’s Yoshua Toledo, Eduardo Guzman, Cristobal Fernandez (Easter Island), Nelson Flores, Cristian Tapia and Manuel Cepeda well and truly kept the flag flying at full mast for Chile. International standouts from further afield in Round 3 included Australia’s George Humphries, Tahiti’s Tehei Tahiri, Hawaii’s Sammy Morretino and Canary Islander Kevin Orihuela.
The Quarter Finals saw some expected high performers tumble. Former Pro Junior World Champion Socrates Santana was eliminated by eventual winner Yoshua Toledo and fellow Chilean Christian Fernandez, while APB Tour Rookie of the Year for 2017 Patrick Orr was eliminated following an unfortunate priority interference. Last year’s Pro Junior World Champion Nelson Flores was edged out in a tightly fought contest with Manuel Cepeda and Tahiti’s Tehei Tahiri. Australian George Humphries couldn’t maintain momentum either.
With only 6 places on offer for successful wildcards a lot was at stake.
Semi Final 1 was in the hands of high-performers through the trials, Isias Ravyc and Yoshua Toledo, with Eduardo Guzman taking the 3rd place and qualifying for the Main Event ahead of Christian Fernandez. Semi Final two was a see-sawing battle that was closely contested.
Sammy Moretino stayed active and eager throughout the Semi Final, displaying the thirst he has for competitive glory in the prone style of bodyboarding to match his dropknee world title (crowned in 2017). His enthusiasm was enough to secure him 3rd place and a place in the Main Event, with Manuel Cepeda and Tehei Tahiri taking to the skies to book themselves a place each in the final.
It was a completely dominant display by Yoshua Toledo in the QEST final of the trials. Launching one huge flip followed by a smaller barrel to flip to take complete control of the heat. He was the in-form rider of the entire trials event and his performance a shot over the bow of the top 24 riders to take him very seriously when the GSS event commences Thursday morning in a building swell at Arica. Toledo finished the final with a combined heat score total of 17.5, leaving his fellow competitors in need of a combination of scores to match him.
The final list of Wild Cards for the Main Event of the Arica Cultura Bodyboard Grand Slam are as follows:
1. Yoshua Toledo (Chile)
2. Isaias Ravyc (Brazil)
3. Tehei Tahiri (Tahiti)
4. Manuel Cepeda (Chile)
5. Sammy Morretino (Kauai)
6. Eduardo Guzman (Chile)
Tune into all the live action when competition resumes Thursday morning 7:30am Chile time https://apbtour.com/live/ or watch on facebook/apbtour
Images by: @pablojimenez_photo