IQUIQUE, CHILE (MONDAY, June 24, 2019): 10 POINTS FOR SUY-YIN ESTAY. DIEGO CABRERA IN DEVESTATING FORM. THE WORLD CHAMPION DELIVERS A MASTER CLASS.
To say that Day 3 of the Bellavista Pro in Iquique will go down in the history books is an understatement. Punta Dos provided consistently perfect waves all day for the riders on the APB Tour with some exceptional performances standing out from the pack across both the Men’s Open and Women’s divisions.
SUY-YIN ESTAY GOT A TUBE AND GOT A TEN
Let’s start with the 10-points awarded to Suy-Yin Estay (CHILE) in her Round 2 match-up with Teresa Padrela (PORTUGAL), Savitri Alvarez (CHILE) and Soraya Valdivieso (CHILE).
The heat started off with some quality exchanges. Savitri Alvarez (CHILE) was charging hard, racing the fast right-handers but unable to find an exit. Padrela (PORTUGAL) was attempting some larger rolls on the shallow end section but was unable to convert either. The women were pushing the limits at Punta Dos and it was keeping the crowd entertained. But these limits were certainly reached in spectacular style when Soraya Valdivieso (CHILE) bottom-turned into a draining right-hand barrel over the shallow reef and was unable to exit.
Minutes after this attempt, the water safety brought Valdivieso (CHILE) to shore and the livestream showed that she had suffered a wound to her face from the urchin-covered rocks at Punta Dos. Valdivieso (CHILE) was able to walk and exit the water without too much assistance but she certainly lost some skin and needed medical treatment, including a few stitches. The APB wishes her a speedy recovery and wants to pay special tribute to her for her efforts.
But these weren’t the only efforts worth celebrating during this heat.
With 11 minutes remaining in the heat, Suy-Yin Estay (CHILE) was only holding a 1.4 and needing something special to bring her into the competition. This opportunity came in the form of a solid left-hand tube that Suy-Yin (CHILE) paddled into late and weaved through several sections to ride into the channel to sounds of rapturous applause. The tube was perfect in every way and Estay (CHILE) rode it exquisitely.
DIEGO CABRERA LOOKING VERY DANGEROUS AT PUNTA DOS
After failing to hold onto a top-seeding on the APB Tour for 2019 Diego Cabrera (CANARY ISLANDS) has had to rely on a wildcard to gain a place in the Main Event of the Itacoatiara Pro held in Brazil last week. His performance there was strong, and it was enough to see him jump back up the rankings to have a seeded position into the Bellavista Pro, seeing Cabrera (CANARY ISLANDS) starting in Round 2 of competition.
Cabrera (CANARY ISLANDS) was in devastating form from the very start of his Round 2 heat with a number of ‘local threats’ including an in-form Matias Diaz (CHILE). Cabrera took apart a number of lefts at Punta Dos, launching some strong flips and ARS’s in his heat to dominate the Chilean opposition and take victory, despite Diaz (CHILE) being awarded 8.5 points for a draining right-hand barrel.
Cabrera’s Round 3 performance was in a non-stop heat that saw all riders finding at least one excellent score. Iain Campbell (SOUTH AFRICA) took the early lead by finding a pair of average scores, combining flips, rollos and inverts to set a good standard. Cabrerra (CANARY ISLANDS) answered back when he found two long barrels on the one wave, that were separated by some precision rail stalling and finalized with a clean backflip to earn himself an 8.75 early in the heat. For the rest of the battle, Cabrera (CANARY ISLANDS) needed to back this score up for the rest of the heat and didn’t get an opportunity until the dying moments.
Meanwhile, Uri Valadao (BRAZIL) was operating on a different frequency, completing multiple flips and rollos on single waves; attempting a huge flip on set-wave on the left-hander that was incomplete; and navigating deep tube rides and finishing with large rollos and flips. His efforts saw him take control for the majority of the heat, until Diego Cabrerra (CANARY ISLANDS) managed to find a large set wave and line up the lip to execute a perfect backflip to send him into a heat winning position in the dying moments. Gabriel Braga (BRAZIL) struggled to find scores during the exchange but was able to find a deep barrel on the buzzer to at least contribute an excellent score to the exchange.
The performance from Diego Cabrera (CANARY ISLANDS) today was a signal to the top riders on the APB Tour that he is definitely not done pursuing his dream of a world title and should be a rider to watch for the rest of the South American leg of the tour.
JARED HOUSTON DELIVERS A MASTER CLASS AS HE NARROWLY DEFEATS DIEGO SEPULVEDA
Jared Houston (SOUTH AFRICA) was not present in Brazil for the Itacoatiara Pro, so his heat today at Punta Dos was heavy with anticipation. After all, he is the defending world champion, so the rest of the riders on tour certainly want to see how he is performing, and the fans want to see the APB champion in action.
Houston (SOUTH AFRICA) started his campaign off strongly with an 8.5 within minutes of the heat starting. This excellent score was awarded for a deep tube that stretched long and wide along the right-hand point of Punta Dos, which Houston finished with a perfectly tweaked invert. This opening ride certainly gave Houston (SOUTH AFRICA) a commanding position to build his scores on, but it didn’t go unanswered, with Sammy Morretino (HAWAII) finding some quality ramps to launch full-body inverts and flips; Diego Sepulveda (CHILE) threading a deep barrel and finishing with a solid rollo immediately behind Houston; and Cristobal Fernandez (EASTER ISLAND) finding the ramps to complete a perfectly styled invert too.
But relying on a single score to take out a heat is never really an option, so Houston (SOUTH AFRICA) needed to find a suitable score to back up his already impressive 8.5. This score came in the form of another set wave that provided Houston with a long barrel ride which Houston finished off with a huge backflip that sent the crowd into overdrive. Sepulveda (CHILE) managed to find another strong score to try and jump past Houston, but it was short, with both riders finishing the heat with combined heat score totals of 16 and 15.75 respectively.
Following his victory, Houston had this to say about the wave, Punta Dos:
“This wave is insane. I came here last year on a free surfing trip and I was blown away by the quality of the wave. It’s probably one of the most high-performance waves we have on tour right now.”
It goes without saying that Houston is going to be a clear contender for the title here in Iquique.
OTHER EXCEPTIONAL MOMENTS FROM THE DAY’S COMPETITION
Current ratings leader Dudu Pedra (BRAZIL) has to be mentioned for his tube-riding clinic that saw him slotted into a ride stretching the entire reef, earning him a 9.5 for his efforts and the eventual heat win.
Kevin Orihuela (CANARY ISLANDS) came dangerously close to another 10-point ride for a high-flying air reverse that saw his body contorted in a way reminiscent of Jeff Hubbard.
Joaquin Soto (CHILE) took down George Humphries (AUSTRALIA) in the dying stages of his Round 3 Heat following a strong performance highlighting the level of his tube-riding skills and aerial game.
Alexander Wittmann (CHILE) continued his devastating form from the previous day to advance ahead of fellow countryman Yoshua Toledo (CHILE).
Matias Diaz (CHILE) also continued his strong form to narrowly defeat Lewy Finnegan (AUSTRALIA).
Punta Dos continued to deliver and there are still more days to come. Check-in for all divisions tomorrow for an 8:30am start local time.
Details on the statistics of each heat during the event can be viewed by downloading the Stact App.