Men’s Repechage Shows Great Comebacks & Disappointment while Round 3’s Fury Adds to Heat of Competition
As Friday’s swell continued to build throughout the day in Gran Canaria, APP athletes pushed each other to new heights in large surf and turbulent waters.
14th December, 2018 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
The West swell that rolled into Las Palmas built energy over night and, at daybreak on Friday, APP athletes were welcomed by turbulent waters with sets in the 8-10 foot range. Rip currents and sweeps made it challenging for athletes to maintain position and event judges offered contestants the dominant left and the inside right at Playa de las Canteras to find a contestable wave.
The day began with the Men’s Repechage Rounds, 6 heats for APP athletes who did not come out on top in Round One the day before a chance to battle their way back into the Main Event.
Oftentimes, the repecharge is where spectators see the highest level of performance as athletes know this is their final chance to capture the glory of a World Title.
REPECHAGE MEN FIGHT TO MAINTAIN ACTIVE STATUS IN SUP SURF WORLD TITLE COMPETITION
In the Men’s Repechage Rounds, the crowds were treated to some ferocious displays of talent amid giant waves and raging rip currents.
Notable battles back into the day’s Round 3 heats included Lius Diniz’s victory over Luciano Esteves Martins and Carsten Kumis surfing himself back into the Main Event. Benoit Carpentiere scored the highest heat total in the Repechage rounds with an 11.5 by chasing down six rideable waves in his 25 minute heat whereas other athletes tried to wait for the one out back that never came,
Also advancing out of the repechage saw Dario Ojeda and Oscar Ruiz Perez holding on to their chance to appear in the Finals.
Due to time constraints and water conditions, the APP World Tour elected to not hold the Women’s Repechage heats on Friday but look to Sunday to put the women back in the water.
LIUS DINIZ SCORES HIGHEST COMPETITION WAVE AT 9.33 IN ROUND 3
Round 3 electrified the competition as we saw competitors rise to new heights of performance in order to match the dramatic swell in the water and turbulent conditions.A World Title competition certainly pushes the best of the best to progress and Friday’s Round 3 was a shining example of athletes rising to that challenge.
Sean Poynter, once again, launched the action by paddling for the outside at the start of Heat #1 and found a couple of tasty lefts to fuel his hunt for a World Title. Sean’s high score of an 8.17 moved him past Fernando Serra Perez and earned him a seat in the Men’s Quarter Finals. 12.34/ 4.37
Standout performances throughout the round included heat competitors Luiz Diniz and Leco Salazar who dueled in the wild waters. Rising to the occasion, Luiz took off on an outside bomb that lined up for him perfectly and gave the young Brazilian room to showcase his effortless carving and pumping power snaps off the lip. When the score dropped, Luiz held the NEW highest scoring wave of the competition at a 9.33 raising the ante for this entire event. He did not score another wave for 14 minutes. Leco Salazar, meanwhile, fought brilliantly capturing multiple wave scores (6.67, 7.27), but in the final minute of the heat, Diniz scored one more wave taking him firmly into the next Round. 17.26/ 13.94
Stay tuned for more LIVE ACTION at www.appworldtour.com @ 10AM Saturday, 15th December 2018
ROUND 3 – A SHOWCASE OF THE WORLD’S BEST IN SUP
Wellington Reis edged out Frenchman Benoit Carpentier in a heated battle to advance.Wellington’s top score of 7.17 for a dynamic air drop into the shorebreak was a big crowd pleaser and, although Benoit surfed with fire just was not able to match that high score in order to advance. 11.17/10.34
Then, came the final two heats which, as spectators who stayed on to watch found out, were worth the wait. In Heat #10, Mo Freitas surfed against Daniel Cesar Ferlin. Mo’s recent forays to Haleiwa, Hawaii translated well into Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s surf. Where his competitor sat inside looking to score off the right found there, Mo lined up on the big outside left. On this first wave, Mo dropped in and attempted a floater off the back of a nine-footer but was forced to bail and air dropped 8 feet into the white water. Never deterred, the young Hawaiian set up again and executed the move perfectly two more times before the end of the Heat. Mo’s surfing style is looking bold and agressive with an uptick in both performance and easy confidence. Always one to watch, we think 2019 may be the year to see this committed surfer come out on top. 14.1/ 4.2
In the final heat of the day, we saw Zane Schweitzer – another contender for this year’s World Title – line up against a former student and friend Mehdi Oudani. Zane’s style and progressive moves quickly put this heat into what Anthony Vela coined it as a “Zane Schweitzer Expression Session”, where Zane was chasing barrels, hitting huge cutbacks in the sweeping surf and generally having a play day while the rest of the pack battled for points. Zane’s attitude of mentorship and positivity on this Tour marks him as a true leader in the sport of SUP. 12/4/ 4.27
Watch Round 4 battle LIVE on Saturday, 15th December 2018 at ww.appworldtour.com and on social media @appworldtour
Written by: Evelyn O’Doherty Online editor / APP World Tour