GALDAR, CANARY ISLANDS (Sunday, October 20, 2019): TRISTAN ROBERTS IS THE KING OF FRONTON AND 2019 APB WORLD CHAMPION. ALEXANDRA RINDER IS YOUR FRONTON QUEEN.
For the second year in a row, the APB Men’s World Title has been decided in dramatic circumstances. Neither wind squall nor the most crowned Fronton King of them all Amaury Lavernhe (FRANCE) could stop Tristan Roberts (SOUTH AFRICA) as he relentlessly pursued his first world title today in challenging conditions at El Fronton.
TRISTAN ROBERTS IS THE KING OF FRONTON AND 2019 APB WORLD CHAMPION.
The pathway to eventual victory was simple enough for Tristan Roberts – he had to win the Fronton King. The catch was that neither Sammy Morretino (HAWAII) or Pierre Louis Costes (FRANCE) could make the podium at the same time. Sammy Morretino was eliminated from competition the day previous, so the only rider remaining was PLC early this morning when riders and officials assembled at El Fronton for the official call to begin Round 4 of competition.
PLC was in the water first with Tanner McDaniel (HAWAII), Josh Kirkman (AUSTRALIA) and Lewy Finnegan (AUSTRALIA) and progression through this heat was necessary if PLC was to secure the world title on his own terms. The waves at El Fronton had not decreased in size as much as many had anticipated from the day previous, so there were still some solid rides to be had. There were plenty of scoring opportunities during this heat, with both Kirkman and McDaniel finding some decent scoring rides early, but for PLC this was not the case – he was unable to find the right waves that would allow him to truly express himself at El Fronton today. No matter what he tried, whether it be a barrel or aerial move, he simply couldn’t piece it together. The outcome was that he finished 4th in this critical heat, and thus the door was open for Tristan to take control of the world title decider on his terms.
This didn’t mean that the path to success would be straightforward – Roberts needed to overcome a stacked heat in the morning that included his friend and previous world champion Iain Campbell (SOUTH AFRICA) and 2008 world champion Uri Valadao (BRAZIL), and then continue to perform against two local riders Diego Cabrera (CANARY ISLANDS) and Dailos Rodriguez (CANARY ISLANDS) as well as Valadao, to book his place in the semi-finals. But he did just that, and did it with his trademark backflips and inverts, seeing him eventually paddling out for a critical final against multiple champion at El Fronton, Amaury Lavernhe (FRANCE).
Any bet would have been placed on Lavernhe for victory today at El Fronton today. He has shown that his understanding of the intricacies of the reef at El Fronton are second to none, and with wind and rain battering the line-up, his local knowledge would certainly be the difference. PLC would have thought so, as he paced on back and forth in the riders area of the competition site. But it didn’t matter, because Tristan Roberts wasn’t settling for anything less than victory. He locked into a nice tube on the right at El Fronton followed by a clean ARS out of the bowl to lock in his first strong score of the final. With a bit of back and forth between him and Lavernhe for priority, Roberts eventually found another right and launched a huge invert to solidify his lead over Lavernhe, who did manage to find a clean invert on the left to post a decent score, and was unable to complete a large reverse to put himself back in the heat.
As the clock counted down the final seconds, Roberts and Lavenhe shared a final ride on Roberts’ priority and the rest is history – Tristan Roberts, with grit, determination and an exceptionally high-level of skill, took the APB World Title.
ALEXANDRA RINDER IS YOUR FRONTON QUEEN
The women’s competition had seen a day or so pass since the semi-finals, which saw Alexandra Rinder (AUSTRIA) and Isabella Sousa (BRAZIL) progress to the finals. The moment arrived today when both women would take to the water to see who would be the Fronton Queen for 2019.
In the early stages of the final, the riders split the peak at El Fronton, with Sousa going right and finding an okay tube ride, while Rinder went left and launched a huge ARS for an excellent score. The heat dealt with wind squalls and rain while both riders waited patiently for more opportunities to perform in from of the swelling crowd. Sousa was able to launch a huge air forward of the back on the left at El Fronton but unable to build on her scores, while Rinder waited patiently and eventually found another clean left at El Fronton to launch a large roll and secure the win.
Rinder was ecstatic as she was chaired up to the competitors’ area at El Fronton, clearly stoked to finally be crowned the Fronton Queen.
This marks the completion of the competitive year for the APB and what a year it has been. Competitions took place in Hawaii, Brazil, Chile, Australia, Portugal and Spain and the level of competition was as high as it has ever been. The APB wants to thank all the fans and supporters for their good vibes and support throughout the year and looks forward to another great year next year.