Pierre Louis Costes Soars Above the Pack in Viana
The fourth day of the Viana World Bodyboard Championships was marked by not only another 10, but a definitive reassertion that Pierre Louis Costes means business.
The swell might have decreased in size at Viana today, but the quality was at its highest so far. Clean 3 to 4-foot waves marched in towards the sand banks at Praia da Arda all day today and the Saturday crowd at the beach, as well as the thousands of people tuning in online, were not disappointed.
Pierre Louis Costes was the very clear standout of the day at the Viana Pro today, claiming his first 10-point ride of the day and backing it up with excellent scores throughout. His excellent 10-point ride was straight forward yet powerful. Drawing a long clean line from the take-off, PLC struck the lip of a larger left-hand ride and launched a full-body invert into the flats. In the end, PLC finished with a heat score total of 18.5 and his opponent Kevin Orihuela was unable to respond.
Pierre Louis Costs managed to back up this performance in the Quarter Finals, seeing the end of Uri Valadao in competition. Valadao was the only other rider to score a ten-point ride so far, so it was unfortunate that the two met each other this early in the draw, given their performances in the event.
PLC is certainly looking dangerous and the favorite to take the title here in Viana, particularly since current world champion Iain Campbell was eliminated from competition by Basque superstar Alex Uranga.
Pierre Louis Costes in preparation mode. Pic: Tó Mané
Uranga has had somewhat of a hiatus from international competition since his injury at the Arica Cultura Pro In Chile earlier this year. It was unclear at the time, but Uranga had suffered some severe cartilage damage in his ribs and has since been in recovery for many months. His win over Iain Campbell today in competition all but signals his triumphant return to competition.
The Pro Junior field was narrowed to the final 4 contenders for the coveted title.
Armide Soliveres was able to overcome Australian Liam Lucas and Noah Capdeville managed to keep Marco Vieiera at bay. Javier Zerpa was able to narrowly defeat Miguel Ferreira while an upset took place when Luan Tavares eliminated current European Champion Yon Aimar.
Once again it was Soliveres who set the tone for the Pro Juniors, finishing his Quarter Final match up with Liam Lucas with a commanding score of 14.75. He has been the strongest rider all event.
Swell is predicted to reduce slightly tomorrow, but the action will be intense, with Eder Luciano and Alex Uranga facing off in semi-final 1 and Pierre Louis-Costes and Tristan Roberts (who managed to progress through his heat against Dino Carmo with a buzzer beater in the dying seconds) in semi-final 2.
Tune in for all the live action online tomorrow.
All pics by: Tó Mané www.tomanephotos.com