DAY ONE: RISING SWELL AND CHALLENGES FOR ATHLETES IN GRAN CANARIA
Thursday marked the first official day of the APP World Surfing Tour’s Main Event here in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. We saw a swell on the rise to offer the athletes some size to work with on Day One. However, the building swell was not without its challenges. Athletes fought hard to maintain optimal position for take off, drive through to the inside and not get caught by the outside sets. Water conditions were difficult with onshore winds for most of the day. APP World Tour athletes made the best of the conditions through wave selection and powerful drives off the top. It was an exciting day to see the best in the world warm up to the competition in a swell that will only get better throughout the weekend.
The Men’s heats started with Sean Poynter taking off on an outside bomb to set the bar for the action ahead. Sean’s clear bid for the World Title here in Las Palmas is apparent in every heat and Thursday’s performance places him firmly in the next rounds.
Other standout performances included Alexis Daniel, Leco Salazar and Poenaiki Raioha. Poe fought hard in Heat No. 7 to come back from behind. In doing so, he scored the highest wave of the day with a 9.33 to win his round over Benoit Carpentiere and establish himself in the lead.
Poe’s bold drives, powerful snaps and ability to take big risks with much success sets him firmly into the next rounds. Watching this humble athlete attack every wave and assert his clear power is another standard to rise to in the days ahead.
Also advancing, Tamill Martino who claimed some challenge in the line up today, citing poor waves during his heat and onshore winds making the conditions difficult. However, none of this deterred Martino as he moves forward into the next rounds.
Wellington Reiss dominated over APP World Title Racing champion Arthur Arutkin to win his way into the Quarter Finals as did Mo Freitas who’s big wave skill set him on way outside taking off on towering lefts that he surfed clear into the shorebreak, drawing clean lines and turns all the way to the inside.
The day’s final heats also saw Juan Barrios advance over Sebastian Gomez and Zane Schweitzer win his heat from Mehdi Oudani.
The Men’s Repechage Rounds begin Friday 14th December 2018 at 8:30AM to order to give athletes a final chance to fight their way back into the Quarter Finals over the weekend.
Stay tuned for the LIVE BROADCAST here at www.appworldtour.com.
Women’s Competition sees Power & Upsets in the Outside Sets
The women’s SUP surf competition unveiled a wide range of skill sets, mind sets and stoke. Every competitor is here to take the lead. Each female has a plan and formula for success.
The Women’s Round 1 today showcased well executed technique and women on the charge for a World Title. Advancing through her heat against Candice Appleby and Alazne Alonso, Iballa Moreno showed her usual precise decision making and sharp cutbacks to bring her to success.
In other rounds, Vania Olivieri Torres battled with Terrene Black and Lara Claydon to come out on top. Izzi Gomez dominated her heat, leading with the highest heat score of the day at 13.56 and followed closely by Shakira Westdorp with a 9.73. Nicole Pacelli overcame Gabrielle Sztamfer to insert her standings into Round 2 in the Main Event.
However, the ladies who didn’t come out on top of their heat will have another chance to fight their way into the Quarter Finals. On Friday 14th December, they enter into their Repechage Rounds for another look at their competitors. Women’s First Call is scheduled for 10AM and we will undoubtedly see some of the finest surfing of the competition in the Repachage Round as these fiery women will have one last chance to prove themselves and move forward.
ALL the LIVE ACTION will be BROADCAST starting at 8AM this Friday, December 14th at 8AM at www.appworldtour.com.
YOUTH DIVISIONS INSPIRE CROWD IN LOOMING SWELL
Perhaps the greatest part of the competition for Day One of the APP World Tour’s final stop here in Gran Canaria was when the youth took to the water. The APP World Tour stands out as a World Title event in that it encourages the younger generations to take the main stage with our Pro athletes for a live competition with full media coverage.
And what a day it was! The two youth divisions included an Under 18 competition and an Under 16 Round featuring some of the finest talent our world has to offer of up and coming talent on the Surf SUP scene.
Pro athletes and spectators alike gathered on the boardwalk to watch as, first, the Under 18 division took to the water in an overhead swell to make a name for themselves and capture a title. Energy, skill and tenacity all marked our future generation’s driving power out there in the surf in an inspiring display of performance. At the final horn, it was clear that standout Juan de los Reyes was the winner. He was followed by Leonardo Gimines in 2nd, Fernando Serra in 3rd, Daniel Cesar Ferlin in 4th and Arthur LeMenn, who also participated in the Under 16 category, in 5th. A great showing by all athletes!
The Under 16 category was no less impressive, perhaps even more so considering the size of the swell and the courage of these riders. Taking 1st place was Daniel Cesar Ferlin. 2nd went to Arthur LeMenn. 3rd place was won by hometown native and son of waterman legend fame Bjorn Dunkerbeck, Liam Dunkerbeck who is clearly following his father’s big footsteps at the early age of 15. 4th place was awarded to Hugo Gonzales to round out the Under 16 podium spots.
Watch Friday’s broadcast LIVE starting at 8AM at www.appworldtour.com
Written by: Evelyn O’Doherty Online Editor / APP World Tour