KIAMA SURF BEACH, KIAMA (Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019): WORLD TITLE RACES INTERRUPTED. COSTES, PEDRA AND MORRETINO KEEP HOPES ALIVE. VISIT FROM LOCAL WILDLIFE PAUSES EVENT.
Kiama Surf Beach delivered another full day of exceptional waves for the APB Tour, with Round 3 getting underway early. A new east ground swell greeted competitors and organizers alike this morning, providing the platform for some spectacular riding.
With world title races hanging in the balance, the level necessary to continue towards the finals was exceptionally high and many were unable to rise to the challenge.
WORLD TITLE RACES INTERRUPTED FOR MCDANIEL, ROBERTS AND MUNOZ
With only 2 events remaining after the Bodyboard King Kiama Pro, the world title race is very much in full swing. A strong result for either of the top riders on the rankings could be the difference between an easier ‘victory lap’ through Europe, or the continued stress of the race. The waves for delivering the performances needed were definitely on hand at Kiama Surf Beach today, but not all of the contenders could deliver.
Alan Munoz (CHILE) was one of the first riders to tumble in Round 4 of competition, losing out to Brazil’s Dudu Pedra (BRAZIL) in a heat where judgement seemed the critical factor, as well as wave selection. Munoz showed signs of the brilliance he is known for but was unable to deliver on the larger waves where scoring potential was highest. Meanwhile, Dudu Pedra could seem to do no wrong, launch repeated ARS’s on the larger set waves for the victory and the chance to keep his title hopes alive.
Tristan Roberts (SOUTH AFRICA) looked in control of his heat against multiple world champion Ben Player (AUSTRALIA) for almost the entirety of the 30-minute exchange. Roberts launched his trademark backflips and drove clean lines off his bottom turn to take the lead and hold it. Player managed to launch a clean invert early in the heat to secure a score in the high 6-point range but then remained silent until the dying seconds, when he found a 6.9 for the win. It was a brutal loss for Roberts, who seemed to have all the momentum with him throughout the heat.
Tanner McDaniel (HAWAII) exploded in his Round 3 heat against Ben Player (AUSTRALIA) and Lachlan Cramsie (AUSTRALIA) during the morning, seeing him earning a heat score total of 19.62 for a perfectly combined flip and roll and a sky-high invert. The young Hawaiian was in the form that he is known for and seemingly unstoppable. But a rider from Brazil, in need of a strong result, would be his undoing…
Eder Luciano (Brazil) was able to find the larger set waves in their Round 4 match up to launch some huge ARS’s to eliminate McDaniel despite Tanner’s execution of a clean backflip and securing another high score. Luciano finished the exchange with a total of 17.46 to McDaniel’s 15.12 and it will be remembered as one of the highest scoring heats of the day’s competition.
COSTES, PEDRA AND MORRETINO KEEP TITLE HOPES ALIVE.
The day’s competition wasn’t only marked by world title opportunities put in jeopardy, with current ratings leader Pierre-Louis Costes (FRANCE) cruising through a Round 3 heat with Joshua Kirkman (AUSTRALIA) and Hayato Enokido (JAPAN) with his characteristic backflips, and then continuing this form against Mitch Rawlins (AUSTRALIA) in Round 4. While PLC’s scores have not been the highest of the competition days so far, they have been consistent and enough to continue progressing through competition. What is clear is that there is a lot left ‘in the tank’ for PLC and he will be certainly dangerous when competition resumes.
It’s already been noted that Dudu Pedra (BRAZIL) managed to dispatch of Chile’s Alan Munoz in Round 4 of competition. The Brazilian looked strong and in control of his moves. It was this same approach in Itacoatiara that saw him reach the final against Tristan Roberts and if he continues this form, it would not be a surprise to see him on the podium in Kiama.
Sammy Morretino (HAWAII), like PLC has been performing to a high enough standard to continue well through every round of competition so far. The young Hawaiian is certainly comfortable in these conditions, which require riders to think quickly and react to waves riddled with imperfections. His riding has been on point, seeing him defeat again France’s Maxime Castillo with his combination of inverts and flips. He will face off against fellow in-form Hawaiian Patrick Orr in the Quarter Finals after Orr dominated his heat against Davis Blackwell of Australia.
VISIT FROM LOCAL WILDLIFE PAUSES EVENT
The last 5 minutes of Pierre-Louis Costes’ (FRANCE) and Mitch Rawlins’ (AUSTRALIA) was winding down when organisers were notified that a nearby VR4G shark tracking buoy picked up a transmission from a small Great White Shark in the area. The decision was made to immediately put the event on hold until the safety of all riders could be determined by water safety staff. Around an hour after the shark was detected it was decided that conditions were safe enough for riders to continue competing and competition resumed.
A huge thanks to the safety team for their professionalism and for more information about shark safety in NSW check out www.sharksmart.nsw.gov.au
The Kiama Bodyboard King Pro presented by Stojo is very likely to recommence today.
The Association of Professional Bodyboarding (APB) can run from August 31 to September 8 and will use Kiama Surf Beach as the prime event location. Shark Island in Cronulla and Mystics in Minnamurra will serve as backup locations.
The Kiama Bodyboard King Pro is the only Association of Professional Bodyboarding (APB) World Tour event in Australia.
For more information please visit www.surfingaustralia.com/nsw or www.apbtour.com/kiama.
The Kiama Bodyboard King Pro is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW. Destination Kiama is a proud sponsor of the annual event. The event is a collaboration between Surfing NSW and APB to run and host Australia’s largest bodyboard event.