ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE (SUNDAY, July 7th, 2019): PRO JUNIOR FINALISTS DECIDED. NARROW VICTORY FOR SCHENKER OVER RINDER. MORRETINO ON FIRE
Competitors and organizers were greeted with another day of exceptional conditions at La Cupola. The long swell period and calm winds saw slow moving corduroy lines reaching the reef and reeling along the shallows. With the swell period being so large, there weren’t many waves in each set, but these waves were as perfect as they could be.
PRO JUNIOR FINALISTS DECIDED
Semi-Final 1 of the Pro Juniors saw a back and forth battle between Jerrico Rosero (ECUADOR) and Moises Silva (CHILE), that saw each rider share the lead at one point throughout the heat. Both were finding the better ramps and executing their flips better than the other riders. In the end it was the rider from the Galapagos Islands Rosero (ECUADOR) took the win, with Silva (CHILE) in second place. The surprise from this heat was the elimination of Joaquin Soto (CHILE) who came to Antofagasta with a victory in Iquique recently.
Semi Final 2 was held mostly by Rodrigo Silva (CHILE) until the dying minutes when a flurry of scoring waves saw the final positions shift many times resulting in Jordan Villalba (CHILE) taking the lead for a moment, before Silva (CHILE) took it back with a solid rollo through a difficult bowl section. Nahuel Benavides (ARGENTINA) also managed to find a late scoring ride to sneak into second place.
The Pro Junior Finalists will now hold for the final day of competition to see who the ultimate champion of La Cupola will be.
NARROW VICTORY FOR SCHENKER AGAINST ALEXANDRA RINDER
After the Pro Junior finalists were decided, it was time for the world’s best women to take to the water and settle who would be advancing to the semifinals. Every heat was potentially a final in its own right: Schenker (PORTUGAL) v. Rinder (CANARY ISLANDS); Suzuki (JAPAN) v. Velis (CHILE); Ohara (JAPAN) v. Valerio (PORTUGAL); Sousa (BRAZIL) v. Viana (BRAZIL) – all heats with the top performers of the event ready to battle it out.
Each heat was surfed well by the eventual winners, but heat 1 featuring Joana Schenker (PORTUGAL) and Alexandra Rinder (CANARY ISLANDS) was a real nail-biter.
Coming off a shock loss in Iquique, Rinder was looking for redemption at Antofagasta and took the opportunity to strike first, finding a clean set wave and rolling off the outside section to secure a score of 5.5 to start. After a slow start, Schenker found a high scoring ride under priority, launching two strong rollos to find a 7.5 and take the lead. This score seemed to bring Schenker back to life in the heat, seeing her more active, searching for the score she needed to consolidate her position in the heat. Rinder responded again with another rollo on a smaller ride that gave her the lead again, but which, judging by her reaction to the score awarded, was not satisfied.
Some time passed again, and with Schenker only needing a 2-point ride to take back the lead, she would only need a basic scoring wave to secure that score. Her first attempt didn’t yield what she needed, but her second attempt found her on a wave with enough clean face to draw a clean line and roll out through the lip into the flats at La Cupola.
Schenker got the score and the response was Rinder’s to provide. An opportunity did arrive in the form of a two-wave set for Rinder to pursue a response but needing over 6 points meant that she needed a special wave to deliver the fatal blow. This wave eventually did not reveal itself and Rinder once again departed competition earlier than expected.
In the remaining Quarter Finals, Ayaka Suzuki (JAPAN) advanced with some strong rolls; Sari Ohara (JAPAN) continued her good form by overcoming Madalena Valerio (PORTUGAL) in a low scoring heat; Isabela Sousa (BRAZIL) managed to surge back in the final moments of her match-up against Maira Viana (BRAZIL) completing a strong ARS in the final minutes to add a 7 to her heat score total.
MORRETINO ON FIRE
Following the completion of the Women’s Quarter Finals it was time for the dropknee competitors to take to the water. All heats made for good watching, with Leonardo Alar (CHILE) laidback forehand style proving too much for Damian Correa (CHILE). Mack Crilley (HAWAII) launched a backside dropknee assault that was too much for local Maglio Lagos (CHILE) to match. Manuel Cepeda (CHILE) smashed a beautiful frontside snap off the lip with some good slide to win his heat, with judges awarding him 7 points. But it was the ride of Sammy Morretino (HAWAII) that really stole the show today.
It wasn’t all about Morretino in Quarter Final 2, with his opponent Renato Arellano (CHILE) finding a perfect tube ride on his opening ride to secure 7.5. This would have rattled many riders, but Morretino maintained his composure and waited for the right response.
This response came when Sammy Morretino (HAWAII) stroked into almost an identical ride to Arellano’s previous 7.5, but which gave him a much longer tube ride and saw casually carve top to bottom after exiting. Morretino wasn’t done, finding a clean section to float off at the end and throw another backside carve to the right to add a punctuation mark to the end of his ride. It was exceptional, and the judges thought so too, awarding him 9.25.
Sammy Morretino reflecting on his performance:
“I felt good out there today. Better than I have the last few days, as I am coming off a sickness of some sort. Conditions were pretty good for ‘Jack Stance’ today. I was trying not to let Renato’s 7.5 get to my head at the beginning, so I just had to keep my composure and use my priority wisely. That wave swung wide on the reef so I could see it was gonna go past the flat section and barrel.”
“Right place, right time with priority I was hyping!”
Morretino backed up his 9.25 later in the heat with a 5.25 to assure victory and to show that he is certainly looking like another world title in his sights in Sintra this year.
Organizers are expecting tomorrow to be a lay-day for competition but will wait to make the call at 8 am local time on Tuesday. Swell is predicted to drop and a much larger swell is due to arrive on Wednesday afternoon. Stay tuned to APB social media channels for all contest updates.
CHILENOS DESTACAN EN LAS INSTANCIAS FINALES DEL ABF GRAND SLAM
En emocionantes y cerradas mangas, los nacionales destacaron y se posicionaron entre los mejores del planeta en las categorías “Pro Junior” y “Dropkee”. En la categoría mujeres, la única representante chilena, Anais Velis, no logró acceder a instancias de semifinal y quedó en 5ta posición.
Las emociones no pararon en cuarta jornada del Antofagasta Bodyboard Festival (ABF) 2019. Esto, porque en disputadas mangas se comenzó a definir a los riders que acceden a instancias finales de Grand Slam que se desarrolla en playa Llacolén.
En categoría “Pro Junior”, los hermanos ariqueños Moisés y Rodrigo Silva se lucieron en las imponentes olas del sector La Cúpula y accedieron a instancias de semifinales, donde se suman también el argentino Nahuel Benavides y el ecuatoriano Jericco Rosero. Al finalizar las rondas, los futuros profesionales del Bodyboard, no ocultaron su alegría por el objetivo alcanzado.
“Fue un día bastante divertido porque las olas nos acompañaron en todo momento, lo que permitió exigirnos al máximo. Estoy muy motivado con la competencia y espero seguir avanzando”. Expresó Moisés Silva
En tanto su hermano, Rodrigo Silva comentó que “llegar a estas instancias fue un camino muy difícil, pues el nivel de los rivales es altísimo, por lo que había que elegir bien las olas y gracias a dios lo pude hacer, lo que me pone feliz y más aún compitiendo con mi hermano”
DK y Mujeres
A medida que avanzaba la jornada y el público antofagastino llegaba en familia a presenciar el ABF Grand Slam, los competidores seguían dominando las olas con grandes acrobacias. Una de las que más llamó la atención de los espectadores, fue la definición de la categoría Dropknee, en la cual nuevamente dos chilenos se destacaron, pasando a instancias finales, el iquiqueño y campeón nacional Leo Alar y el antofagastino Manuel Cepeda, quién el año pasado también entró al podio de la categoría open, quedando en el quinto lugar.
En tanto en la categoría de mujeres, la chilena Anaís Veliz no pudo superar a la actual campeona del mundo Ayaka Susuki en la instancia de cuartos de final y se despidió del Antofagasta Bodyboard Festival. Las otras semifinalistas que acompañan a la número uno del mundo, es uno es la también nipona Sari Ohhara, la brasileña Isabela Sousa y la representante de Portugal, Joana Schenker.