ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE (THURSDAY, July 4th, 2019): THE SWELL RISES AND THE SUN SHINES IN ANTOFAGASTA. DIEGO CABRERA IN DEVESTATING FORM AGAIN. TRIALIST QUALIFIERS TO BE DECIDED IN THE MORNING AND THE MAIN EVENT TO BEGIN.
BUILDING SWELL AND CLEAR SKIES ALL DAY
The Antofagasta Bodyboard Festival kicked off today in a building 2 – 3 metre swell and picture-perfect weather conditions. At the first check-in for the event at 7:15 am officials decided to hold off for a 10:00 am start to the Men’s Trials, working off the assumption that the swell would begin to build from the mid-afternoon onwards. This assumption indeed paid off, with the waves cleaning up and building towards the predicted size nicely.
Terry McKenna, APB Tour Technical Director:
“We could not have had a better start to the event when it comes to the conditions today. On the technical side, there were some early challenges with the live-stream, but we sorted those out and the show went on nicely. The local team here did a great job, and the riders in the water delivered, in particular Diego Cabrera, who really stole the show.”
CABRERA IN DEVESTATING FORM AGAIN
This competitive year has seen Diego Cabrera (CANARY ISLANDS) starting competition from the Trials for the first time in many years. This starting point for him is due to him taking some time off the tour last year and becoming a father for the first time. Not at all bad reasons to take some time off, you can agree. This sacrifice is something that many riders need to weigh up from time to time, and it comes with consequences when it comes to seedings and starting points in events – the Trials are filled with competitors thirsty for the spoils in the Main Event after all and competition is fierce.
This challenge for Cabrera (CANARY ISLANDS) has not seemed to bother him at all this year, seeing him dominate the early rounds in Iquique last week, following his Wildcard entry at Brazil for the Itacoatiara Pro. The same form has continued with him to Antofagasta today for the ABF, seeing him dominate his heat and posting a combined heat score total of 17.65. and this score was achieved with excellent scores as ‘throw-aways’.
How did it go down?
Cabrera (CANARY ISLANDS) struck early in the heat, posting an 8-point ride for a well-executed rollo followed by an ARS on the end bowl. The judges liked it and awarded it a clean 8 points. Cabrera didn’t wait long to improve on this score, stroking into a bigger wave and launching another big rollo on the outside section and followed this up with a larger ARS on the end bowl. The judges liked that too, awarding him 9 points. With those two rides, Cabrera was holding a total of 17 with 20-minutes still remaining on the clock. He could have easily returned to shore knowing that he had what he needed. But he wasn’t done…
With 16 minutes remaining in the heat Cabrera (CANARY ISLANDS) found an even larger set wave and timed a large backflip on the outside section that was landed perfectly to improve his score even further. The other riders in the heat were never really in the race for first position, but Diego Sepulveda (CHILE) did manage to finish second and progress to the next round.
It is performances like this today that show that Cabrera (CANARY ISLANDS) is truly a class-act and someone to be treated as a real threat in any heat. Let’s see what else he can deliver in the event.
TRIALS TO FINISH FIRST THING AND THE UPDATED SESSIONS FORMAT FOR THE MEN TO BE TRIED FOR THE FIRST TIME.
The current plan for organizers is to have the Men’s Trials completed first thing in the morning before moving directly into the Men’s Main Event. The Main Event for the Men’s will be the first time that an updated version of the Sessions Format will be applied this year (since the waves did not deliver in Itacoatiara) and here is a bit of an explainer.
The Sessions Format will include two rounds of 8 x 4-person heats that will all be judged against each other. The Leaderboard will be updated as the heats progress with the top 8 riders after the two rounds of Sessions advancing directly into Round 2 of competition.
The riders that finish from 9thto 20thon the Leaderboard will compete in an ‘Eliminator Round’ whereby the top 2 riders from each 3-person heat will progress and join the top 8 in man-on-man heats. The riders that finish 21stto 32ndin the Sessions will exit competition.
Why the change to the Sessions Format? APB Men’s Riders’ Rep Joshua B. Kirkman explains:
“Last year’s Session Format really changed the game for competitive bodyboarding last year, seeing riders surf more explosively in the early rounds rather than playing it safe to progress through heats – this was a very good thing for the sport. But while this positive element was acknowledged, many riders felt like there were too many downsides to the format that outweighed the benefits (such as consistency of waves and equal opportunities to perform across so many heats).”
“The riders debated the format and voted, seeing an almost even vote, with the Sessions Format slightly more favoured (by 1 vote). Such a split decision was deemed to be unsuitable for the group so ideas on how to improve the format were shared and the overwhelming majority of riders agreed that this new format went some way to solving the problems while maintaining the excitement of the original Sessions Format.”
“This new format was further developed with the help of judges and APB officials and the riders are all very excited to see it put to the test at Antofagasta.”
All the ups and downs of the Leaderboard can be enjoyed by downloading the STACT APP. Tune into APB social media channels for updates on the live streaming of the event.
LOS MEJORES RIDERS DEL PLANETA DIERON INCIO AL ANTOFAGASTA BODYBOARD FESTIVAL 2019
El primer día de competencia en el ABF Grand Slam, estuvo marcada por el inicio del las clasificatorias de la categoría Open Pro, para el cuadro principal.
En su séptima versión, el tradicional Antofagasta Bodyboard Festival (ABF) estrena por primera vez su historia el “status” de Grand Slam. Esta nueva categoría, posiciona a la tradicional competencia, como una de las más importante del planeta. Por lo mismo, este 2019 la competencia promete estar al “rojo vivo”, ya que los premios y los puntos para el ranking mundial, aumentaron en comparación a versión anteriores.
En el día inaugural, se realizaron las primeras dos rondas de “trial”, que buscan a los 8 mejores, quienes se sumarán a los rankeados dentro del top 24, quedando el cuadro principal de la categoría Open Pro, con 32 competidores.
Arturo Soto, director del ABF, manifestó su satisfacción por el inicio del torneo y se mostró optimista en cuanto a la competencia que se viene por delante. “Estamos muy contentos porque en esta primera jornada nos acompañaron las olas y el clima. Los deportistas están muy esperanzados con la competencia y eso se nota en ambiente”.
En tanto, unos de los favoritos de este año, el brasileño Dudu Pedra también dedicó unas palabras respecto a sus expectativas en el torneo. “Vengo al ABF con mucha ilusión en hacer una buena participación, vengo de un segundo lugar en la fecha del tour mundial en Brasil y espero que estos días las olas nos acompañen para estar a la altura de las expectativas. Los puntos que se puedan ganar acá son muy importantes para todos nosotros”.
Dentro de los puntajes destacados del día, se encuentra el de Diego Cabrera de Islas Canarias, quien en la manga cinco del segundo round, obtuvo un puntaje de 17,65, el más alto de la jornada, luciéndose con un “backflip” y otra combinación de un “rollo” mas “blackflip”.
Para mañana (viernes 05), los competidores están citados a las 7:30 am, para continuar la tercera ronda del “trial” varones y el inicio de la categoría mujeres, donde la campeona del 2018, la japonesa Ayaka Suzuki, busca revalidar su título.