IQUIQUE, CHILE (SUNDAY, June 23, 2019): THE IQUIQUE BELLAVISTA PRO DELIVERS AN EXCEPTIONAL DAY OF BODYBOARDING IN CHILE
Punta Dos in Iquique today provided without a doubt the best waves seen so far on the APB Tour 2019.
Officials and competitors in Iquique, Chile awoke to clear skies, light offshore winds and a well-groomed 2 to 3 metre swell today for an action-packed day of competition.
Technical Director for the APB Terry McKenna comments:
“We really have been rewarded for our patience yesterday. Once again, a huge thank you to the local officials and partners for their professionalism. The conditions were on par with some of the best ever on the tour and the riders across all categories certainly delivered.”
The competition started today with the Men’s Open Trials, which saw two heats hitting the water that comprised a majority of Chilean riders and one rider from the Canary Islands. In Heat 1 of the trials Camilo Pinto (CHILE) took a commanding win, progressing through with Eduardo Guzman (CHILE) in second place. Heat 2 of the Trials saw the lone Canary Islander and 2018 World Pro Junior Champion Armides Soliveres take the win and progress ahead of Amaro Sabat (Chile). His strongest ride in this early heat was a combination of a well-executed ARS followed by a finishing invert on the right-hander at Punta Dos.
The Mens Open Round 1 kicked off following the completion of the trials and from the start it was a Round for the history books.
Heat 1 was taken out by Alan Irons Espinoza (CHILE) who launched one of the day’s first significant aerial moves on the left-hander with a well-executed invert that got the crowd certainly warmed up for what was to come. Espinoza progressed to Round 2 along with Agustin Figueroa (CHILE) in second place.
Heat 2 saw Marcelo Faundes (CHILE) take the sky early with a perfectly executed air forward on the left-hander at Punta Dos. He backed up this excellent move with a clean ARS later on in the heat to finish with a combined heat score total of 14. Ronaldo Gomez (PERU) was able progress as well to Round 2 of competition.
Heat 3 was another heat with clean moves in the sky taking the higher scores. The eventual heat winner, Moises Silva (CHILE) started the heat in fine form, launching a clean ARS on the left that was combined with a finishing rollo, all while keeping his hair dry. The ride that sealed his win was a larger ARS on the lefthander on a larger set wave. The battle for second place was a seesawing affair between the remaining three riders but was eventually taken by Juan Antonio Fisher (CHILE) who found a larger barrel on the righthander to jump ahead.
Heat 4 saw what might have been the first 10-point ride of the event take place after Alexander Wittmann (CHILE) launched a huge air reverse on the left but was unable to unable the tough landing. The missed opportunity didn’t slow him down though, seizing on a number of scoring rides to post a 12.85 heat score total and progress through to Round 2. Menelik Nazir (CHILE) was able to stay just ahead of Mack Crilley (HAWAII) and progress in second place.
Heat 5 saw APB Pro Junior Champion 2018 Armides Soliveres (CANARY ISLANDS) continue his strong form in the event, posting a combined heat score total of 14 points to progress. Patricio Galay (ARGENTINA) was able to progress also in second place.
Heat 6 saw local rider Joaquin Soto (CHILE) dominate the heat after scoring 9 points for a long righthander that was punctuated by a high-flying ARS to finish. His back-up score was only in the mid-range, but it was enough to see him advance along with Jordan Villalba (CHILE) in second place.
Heat 7 saw a tight finish between eventual winner of the heat Omar Rios (CHILE), second place Amaro Sabat (CHILE) and third place Gaston Scheidegger (ARGENTINA). No rider really took absolute control of the heat, but the key difference in the end was the larger wave selection combined with the quality of the move.
Heat 8 was when Punta Dos really came alive for the Men’s Round 1 with the first perfect 10-point ride awarded to Sacha Damjanic (CHILE) for an inconceivably deep and long barrel ride that saw him tubed from the start to finish of Punta Dos. The crowd went wild and the ‘golden boom’ was brought out to honor this exceptional ride. The 10-point ride was certainly the highlight of the heat, but that was not all that took place.
Diego Sepulveda (CHILE) certainly took it to Damjanic (CHILE), finishing the heat with a combined heat total of 17 to Damjanic’s 18.5 after finding a large barrel to ARS finish on one wave for an 8-point ride and then backing this up later in the heat with an even longer barrel ride that was punctuated by a strong rollo.
With the Round 1 of the Men’s Open division completed, it was back to the Pro Junior event, seeing defending Pro Junior World Champion Armides Soliveres (CHILE) taking control of Heat 1 holding onto the lead for most of it until Rodrigo Silva (CHILE) leapt ahead with a large tube ride on the right-hander, earning himself a 9.5 and the win for his efforts. During the heat, Soleveres (CHILE) suffered some damage to his ribs but was cleared of any serious damage later in the day.
Heat 2 was eventually taken out by Lucas Vergara (CHILE) ahead of Jordan Villalba (CHILE) in a heat that was almost too close to call until the very end. The final difference between the two riders was merely 0.3 points in the end and even featured an intense paddle battle for priority. Both riders combined exceptional tube riding combined with quality finishing moves, but in the end, it was the deeper and more technical tube-riding from Vergara (CHILE) that might have been the difference.
Heat 3 was a quieter affair between Joe Rosero (Ecuador) and Nahuel Benavides (ARGENTINA) with both riders struggling to find significant rides to give the judges an option to separate them better. The final result saw Rosero (Ecuador) taking the win and progressing to the semi-finals.
Heat 4 saw a very much in form Joaquin Soto (CHILE) continue to deliver, posting a 16.15 combined heat score total for the win ahead of Moises Silva (CHILE). The heat was quite an even affair for the majority of the quarter final until Soto (CHILE) found a deep barrel and finished with a large rollo for a 6.5 and later finding an even larger barrel and finishing with a clean backflip to leave no doubt that the heat was his.
Following the Pro Juniors, the first heats of the women took to the still pumping conditions at Punta Dos.
Maria Viana (BRAZIL) was able to take the win ahead of Savitri Alvarez (CHILE) after finding a larger set wave and launching a strong rollo for her best score of the heat a 4.5. The following two heats of the women’s Round 1 were ‘walk-throughs’ with the final heat of Round 1 taken out by Anais Veliz (VENEZUELA) who garnered some stronger scores for a heroic barrel that ended in her bouncing across the urchin-pocked rocks at Punta Dos. She will be joined by Beatriz Arleo (CHILE) in the next round of women’s competition.
After so many heats completed it was decided by officials to finish the day of competition after the completion of the women’s heats. Punta Dos only continued to provide quality waves for the free-surfing professionals who will hit the water tomorrow. It is expected that the swell will decline slightly but conditions overall will continue to be exceptional.
Competition will resume with Round 2 of the Open Men’s division.
Details on the statistics of each heat during the event can be viewed by downloading the Stact App.