ARICA, CHILE (SUNDAY, JULY 21st, 2019): WELCOME BACK TO THE TOP AMAURY LAVERNHE. IGOR SANCHEZ NEAR PERFECT TUBE. PLC STRONG AS USUAL IN ARICA.

The third day of competition at Arica saw a significant increase in swell size, with clean 2 – 4 metre waves unloading on the reef at El Flopos offering some critical rides on the lefthander and some larger ramps on the righthander. The level of riding was exceptional for those who picked the right waves, while for those whose wave selection and luck was not with them, the going was tough.

Here are some of the highlight moments of the day.

AMAURY LAVERNHE IS BACK

Amaury Lavernhe (REUNION ISLAND) did requalify to the top 16 on tour last year but decided to take a year off from competing on the APB Tour this year to focus on his growing Amaury Academy (both in the Canary Islands and abroad) and spend more time free-surfing and also spend more time with his young family. He entered this year’s event as a wildcard and the question on everyone’s minds this event has been – “Does Moz still have it?”

His freesurfing certainly hinted at what was to come, with Lavernhe finding one of the longest barrel rides ever at El Flopos on the eve of the event, but his performance in the opening Sessions round removed all doubt.

Finishing Round 1 at the very top of the Leaderboard today with a combined heat score total of 20, Amaury Lavernhe is looking like a favourite to win. He achieved this score with some smooth and deep barrel riding, as well as some classy touches like spinning in the pocket after the barrel. Lavernhe’s highest score of the heat was an 8.25 that was awarded for a long barrel from start to finish on the reef at Arica, showing that his wave knowledge and experience in Arica has certainly not been lost.

It is great to have Amaury back on the APB Tour for a Grand Slam event like the Arica Cultura Pro, not only due to his riding abilities but also his efforts to educate and engage the next generation of riders in the region. Lavernhe and Pierre Louis Costes have been busy behind the scenes of the event presenting their work and ideas in a serious of tutorials called the Maker Pro during the event window. It is this type of work behind the scenes that makes Lavernhe a class-act.

 

SANCHEZ STEALS THE SHOW

 

Igor Sanchez (CANARY ISLANDS) qualified to the main event of competition through the trials and completely stole the show today with a single ride that shocked the onlookers both online and on the shore. No stranger to great performances in the larger stuff, Sanchez looked completely comfortable threading a long 8-foot barrel that peeled perfectly and with ferocity along the reef at El Flopos.

 

What is significant about a ride like this for those who are not familiar with the wave is that, when you catch a wave of that size at El Flopos and go left, you really don’t have much of an idea if the wave will provide you with the best barrel of your life, or if it will destroy you and spit you into the urchin covered rocks. Fortunately for Sanchez, his choice to take on this beast of a wave resulted in him earning a 9.75 for his efforts and a strong position on the Leaderboard after round 1.

Sanchez still needs some back-up scores, but with a performance like this today, if he can do half as well tomorrow, he’ll be certainly finishing in the top 20 if not the top 8.

It will be exciting to see how this Canary Island charger will progresses in the event.

PLC STRONG AS USUAL

 

Pierre Louis-Costes (FRANCE) is always a standout performer in Arica. He has been on the podium many times and also a regular in the highlights, also the event winner in 2017. He is always dangerous and very comfortable on the tricky lefthander at El Flopos and today he displayed this comfort and confidence by taking on some clean barrels, sitting deep in one tube early in the heat and maximizing the full tube potential.

Later in the heat, the multiple world champion found another beautiful ride, drawing out a long bottom-turn, then executing a precision check turn under the lip before slotting in for another clean tube ride.

In the final moments of the heat, PLC managed to find another long barrel ride and managed to exit the first section, before racing the second shallow tube section and not finding an exit. His combined heat score total in the end was 19.1 and he held second position behind fellow multiple world champion Amaury Lavernhe.

During PLC’s clinical performance this morning, Australia’s George Humphreys was again able to deliver a strong performance in the Sessions Round of competition, earning himself an 8.5 for a large tube ride on the lefthander and backing up this solid score with a pair of average rides to see him hold 3rdposition on the Stact Leaderboard with 16.75 total points.

Let’s see if both riders can maintain these strong positions after Round 2 of Sessions is completed.

 

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

 

Jeff Hubbard (HAWAII) was another wildcard at the event this year, competing in Arica for the first time in 3 years. In his first Sessions round, the multiple world-champion had a slow heat but did manage to show some of high-flying exploits on a righthander and in the process securing a strong position on the leaderboard. Meanwhile, Joshua B. Kirkman (AUSTRALIA) managed to put in a strong performance despite the injuries he sustained recently at El Flopos. With Gath helmet on his head again, Kirkman found a solid lefthand tube to invert combination at the beginning of his Sessions round and backed this score up with an average rollo on the righthander to see him sit in 9thposition on the leaderboard. Dud Pedra (BRAZIL) reminded everyone at El Flopos that he is a serious tube-rider and world title contender this year, finding two amazing tube rides to secure some high scores and hold 4thposition on the leaderboard.

WHAT’S NEXT? 

All riders are checking in at El Flopos at 7 am tomorrow morning for a potential 7:30 am start to Round 2 of Sessions competition tomorrow. Stay tuned to all APB social media channels for updates.

 

 

SPANISH

 

Condiciones épicas enfrentaran los mejores del mundo del bodyboard en El Gringo este lunes.

Es casi unánime el comentario en la Isla El Alacrán entre los riders de que hay que estar un poco “loco” para meterse a surfear El Flopos durante esta marejada, para este lunes se esperan aún más grandes olas, condiciones que para los locales y nacionales pueden ser un poco favorables al conocer más la ola a diferencia de los campeones extranjeros.

Según el conocido profesor de surf y relator del streaming y otros varios campeonatos Alfred “Yoyo” Sepúlveda “para el lunes se vienen condiciones increíbles, como dicen los gringos “going off”, va a estar bien para valientes y locos, quedan todos invitados al Arica Bodyboard Culture 2019, la altura de la ola puede llegar a los 10 o 12 pies de cara”, el políglota ariqueño agrega que en este borde costero hay varios spots secretos con buenas olas, somos privilegiados al tener profundidad y la placa oceánica tiene una morfología que son farellones costeros entonces eso hace que toda la geografía sea óptima y especialmente para este tipo de condiciones, cuando el mar está grande los “slaps” son los que funcionan de calidad”

Ayer se corrió un round no desclasificatorio, el masivo público que llegó al monumento nacional Isla El Alacrán vió a los mejores del mundo como Alan Muñoz de El Tabo actual número 7 en el ranking mundial y cuatro veces campeón nacional “estamos viviendo una verdadera fiesta con muy buenas condiciones en esta primera ronda de este “main event” y la proyección es espectacular y con muchos chilenos participando. Estoy siguiendo el tour mundial, fui a Brasil, Antofagasta, gané en Iquique, ahora Arica, luego voy a Australia y finalizo en Islas Canarias, a Portugal este año no voy”. En cuanto a los ariqueños siguen en competencia desde primera hora: Moisés Silva, Kevin Torres y Diego “Chati” Sepúlveda.

Dudu Pedra de Itacoatiara, Brasil, actual tercero en el ranking mundial dijo que “ vengo a el Flopos desde el 2005, a veces como juez, a veces como rider, pero prefiero estar en el agua a que estar mirando sin competir, amo y adoro esta ola, para mi es la mejor del mundo para el bodyboard, acá tengo muchos amigos como el Eddy que me recibió con un “cevichazo” y sus famosas empanadas, me siento muy bien acá, como en casa, es una ciudad encantadora y muy barato.” El brasileño Pedra ganó su heat este domingo, “tomé dos olas muy buenas, en la segunda ronda tengo que tomar otra buena ola pero voy a tener 30 minutos para eso entonces estoy tranquilo”.

En cuanto a la producción Francisco “Rapo” Alvarado señaló que “estamos contentos, nos inyectaron 10 millones más de pesos y pudimos canalizar otras cosas que queríamos para adornar la estructura, que se viera más acogedor para la gente y la ola sigue increíble, por ahora la evaluación general me tiene muy feliz y así se ve el público también”. El presidente del Club Unión Flopos Matías Miranda explica “tendremos esta semana una feria itinerante a la entrada de la Isla con una pantalla gigante de 3 x 4 metros para que la gente vea en vivo lo que pasa en la ola, y se viene el “film fest” con la ayuda Arica Nativa. La anécdota de este domingo fue que salió al aire en vivo en el streaming el momento exacto en que el dron estaba a baja altura y fue “tragado” por la ola sin poder recuperarlo.

 

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