Houston, PLC, Campbell and McDaniel set for dramatic world title showdown in building Nazare swell.
The last round of the APB Tour sessions format was completed today in smaller and shifting conditions at Nazare’s world-famous Praia do Norte, setting up a dramatic world title showdown tomorrow between all four contenders: Iain Campbell, Jared Houston, Tanner McDaniel and Pierre Louis-Costes.
At first light today, organizers were greeted with rainy conditions with a light onshore breeze. Conditions had deteriorated dramatically, and the swell reduced in size compared with the previous day. Despite this deterioration, the waves were certainly contestable. Competition resumed for the third sessions round of the event and much was at stake for riders looking to find a place in the all-important top 16.
Of the world title contenders, it was only Jared Houston who was in a precarious position leading into this final round of the sessions part of the competition. After a slow start to his final session against a very much in form Goncalo Pinheiro and Alex Uranga, as well as Lewy Finnegan, Houston was able to find some quality waves in the latter half of his heat finding him a much needed 7.5 and 6.9. These scores propelled Houston up into 5th place on the final leaderboard standings, keeping his world title dreams alive in the process.
The remaining world title contenders entered their final sessions round in comfortable positions, this didn’t stop them from continuing to amaze the crowd on the beach at Praia do Norte. One such rider who really has shone bright throughout the event so far has been Pierre Louis-Costes, who managed to top the leaderboard and execute a rarely seen ‘Gainer Flip’ in his final session. You can see the trick on the APB Tour Instagram and be amazed yourself.
In every event on tour there are always the outsiders who manage to upset the status quo in these sessions rounds. The format lends itself to such eventualities as it enables pure riding in each session without the competitive, winner-takes-all aspect of elimination heats. In elimination heats, experience and cunning can often have as much to do with the outcome as skills and abilities. In this event so far, there are a few notable additions to the top 16 of the leaderboard who certainly deserve a mention.
Goncalo Pinheiro of Portugal managed to finish strongly on this last day of competition, finishing a very commendable 8th on the leaderboard with a combined total of 20.25. Two of the Three Amigos, George Humphreys and Davis Blackwell managed to finish in 13th and 14th positions respectively with combined totals of 19.25 and 18.8. Diego Cabrera was also a welcome addition to the top 16 of the event after missing most of the tour this year despite being highly ranked from the previous year’s rankings.
With a large swell predicted to build into the afternoon tomorrow, it was decided at the completion of the event today that Round 2 of competition will comprise four 4-man heats and then continue man-on-man to the final.
It is set to be an action-packed day, and by the end of it, a world champion will be crowned and history made once again in bodyboarding.
Nazaré Pro Round 2 Heats (Top 16)
Heat 1: Tristan Roberts (ZAF), Jared Houston (ZAF), Diego Cabrera (ESP), George Humphreys (AUS)
Heat 2: Iain Campbell(ZAF), Amaury Lavernhe(FRA), Antonio Cardoso (POR), Goncalo Pinheiro (POR)
Heat 3: Tanner McDaniel (USA), Eder Luciano (BRA), Uri Valadao (BRA), Dave Hubbard (USA)
Heat 4: Pierre Louis Costes (FRA), Alan Munoz (CHL), Alex Uranga (BSQ), Davis Blackwell (AUS)
Tune into tomorrow at 7:30am (Portugal time) to watch the final day of the 2018 APB World Tour and see who will be crowned the 2018 Nazaré Pro Champion and the 2018 APB WORLD CHAMPION!
www.apbtour.com/live or APB Tour Facebook..