GALDAR, CANARY ISLANDS (Friday, October 18, 2019): FRONTON KING TRIALS QUALIFIERS DECIDED. RINDER AND SOUSA TO MEET IN WOMEN’S FINAL. FIRST ROUND OF MAIN EVENT GOES HUGE!
A mammoth day of competition took place at El Fronton today as organizers and riders raced against the tides and fading light to complete the Men’s Trials, Women’s Semi Finals and almost the complete First Round of the Men’s Main Event in a building swell.
FRONTON KING TRIALS QUALIFIERS DECIDED
After one of the most jam-packed trials events in recent history for an APB event, the final 7 who would join the seeded Top 24 riders on the regular APB World Tour were decided today. Literally days of intense action has taken place in the trials of the Fronton King and today, stacked heats saw some incredible performances take place and some upsets happen too.
Hawaii’s Jeff Hubbard and Mack Crilley were two qualifiers today who have been in exceptional form during the event. Hubb has been deploying his characteristic aerial game with relative ease to progress through heats (as expected) but the real surprise this year has been Mack Crilley, who has been surfing with a determination previously unseen. Staying busy in his heats and taking on any wave that comes at him, Mack’s progression into the Main Event is proof that skill plus hard work is the real difference maker.
Strong performances in the trials also came from some ‘usual suspects’ as well, with Kevin Orihuela (CANARY ISLANDS) playing all of his cards right to join the top riders in the main event, progressing in a stacked heat with local qualifier Dailos Rodriguez, Davis Blackwell (who was the 7th qualifier on points) and Jacob Romero of Hawaii, who made his return to international competition here in Fronton after becoming a father recently. Many regular tour competitors were more than stoked to have Romero possibly joining the top round and clearly disappointed by his shock exit. Rumor has it that he is looking at making it to more events next year, so stay tuned.
Colombia’s Julian David Gonzalez Perez and Gabriel Braga (BRAZIL) were the final two qualifiers from the trials, with both taking to the sky for their scores.
RINDER AND SOUSA TO MEET IN WOMEN’S FINAL
Alexandra Rinder (AUSTRIA) and Isabella Sousa (BRAZIL) are two world champions of the sport of bodyboarding who played critical roles in the determination of this year’s world champion at Fronton. Both riders eliminated the 2019 contenders from competition (Ayaka Suzuki and Sari Ohhara) in the Quarter Finals and after two more dominant performances today at El Fronton, the two will now meet in the final.
Rinder has been powerful and unforgiving in her approach to the wave at El Fronton while Sousa has been launching clean air reverses and displaying her acrobatic approach out there for victories. The question on everyone’s minds coming into the final is: which approach is going to be the winning one?
We are excited to crown the Fronton Queen on the final day of competition in the Canary Islands.
FIRST ROUND OF MAIN EVENT GOES HUGE!
With the 7 trialists seeded into the Main Event draw it was time to see the world’s top riders finally take to the heavy conditions at El Fronton. With the peak of the high tide passing and the swell still building, stacked heats comprising numerous world champions, European champions, Brazilian champions, Chilean champions and local favourites took to the water.
Amaury Lavernhe (REUNION ISLAND) was no surprise as a dominant force in his heat against Iain Campbell (SOUTH AFRICA), Mack Crilley (HAWAII) and Dudu Pedra (BRAZIL). Lavernhe was able to use his extensive local knowledge to find the opportunities out there, launching a large flip on the flip to build his combined heat score total to 13.16, one of the highest of the round. Local rider and qualifying trialists Dailos Rodriguez (CANARY ISLANDS) was also too in tune with the local wave to allow neither Tanner McDaniel (HAWAII) or Mike Stewart (HAWAII), or Brazil’s Eder Luciano get the better of him, seeing him jump directly to Round 3 with some classy tube rides.
Australia’s Lewy Finnegan played a smart heat against a stacked local contingent comprising Sergio Quevedo, Diego Cabrera and William Lujan. Finnegan was able to find a few larger barrels by sitting a little wider and was able to build some strong scores for the win. In HEAT 4, world title contender and current ratings leader Pierre Louis Costes (FRANCE) was able to find a narrow victory over Jared Houston (SOUTH AFRICA). In what was an incredibly tight heat, both riders were constantly at risk from trialist qualifier Davis Blackwell (AUSTRALIA) who was holding the highest single score of the heat, an 8.17, and only needing a 3.77 to jump into first place. Luckily for both riders, Blackwell was unable to find the score and will be forced to continuing through the repercharge Round 2.
Joshua Kirkman (AUSTRALIA) was the surprise package in Heat 5, posting the highest single score of the Main Event so far, a 9.17, for a huge barrel on the righthander at El Fronton that exploded on the reef. He was able to exit the barrel cleanly and tried to finish it with an invert off the shallow end section but was caught in the lip on the way down. He was already holding a 4.57 for a barrel to rollo combination earlier, so from this point on he was holding a strong position until the final hooter sounded. This heat also included world title contender Sammy Morretino (HAWAII) who kept very busy, finding a solid barrel to invert combo and another two-maneuver wave that saw him launch two rollos. This second place for Sammy Morretino sees him keep his world title dream alive and two steps closer to realizing it.
The highest heat score total of the Main Event was posted in Heat 6 with George Humphreys securing 14.03 for some heavy barrel riding against multiple world champion Jeff Hubbard (HAWAII) who destroyed the trials rounds to join the Main Event and wildcard Maxime Ausina (BASQUE) and Maxime Castillo (FRANCE).The final heat of the day saw local wildcard Aitor Ojeda (CANARY ISLANDS) make good on his selection, dominating a heat against 2008 world champion Uri Valadao (BRAZIL), Chilean superstar Yoshua Toledo and Colombian rider Julian David Gonzalez Perez before fading light put a hold on competition.
The Gran Canaria Frontón King Pro 2019 returns tomorrow for a call from officials in the afternoon, where it is most likely that competition will resume with the final heat of Round 1 of competition, featuring world title contender Tristan Roberts and more.
Gran Canaria Frontón King Pro 2019 is organized by Epic Events and promoted by the Cabildo de Gran Canaria through the Tourist Board and the Ministry of Sports that frames this test sports within the European Sports Island program in the Premium category of Events Grand Gran Canaria and the City Hall of Gáldar. It also has the sponsorship of Naviera Armas, NMD Board Company, 7 UP, Ahembo and Jacio Guest House. Collaborate Hydro Flask, RS Sonocom, Sen no Sen, Source Mist and Toyota.