Local Chileans and Top Seeds Shine in Good Swell

Elimination rounds and part of Round 3 of Pro Men ran today in solid logo high swell with light winds.  Heats were a generous 27 minutes, which allowed for more risk-taking moves.

Men’s Redemption Round
Heat 1 of the Redemption Round had some big names, but it was local Andres Tobar who stole the show. Tobar was patient and only rode two waves in the 27 minute heat, but selected his sets well and impressed with local knowledge.  His final wave would have been a close out for many, but he raced across sections, hitting the lip mid-way through and finishing with a good aerial.  Robby Swift (UK) focused on riding the bigger waves with good turns in the pocket and a nice finishing aerial to only just knock out Adam Warchol (Poland) by 0.16 points.

The swell backed off for Heat 2 as competitors adjusted to fight for mainly mid-range scores. Takuma Sugi (Japan) managed to connect some under the lip turns and a small aerial to take the lead. Arnaud Frennet (Chile) continued the local onslaught to take second place.

Alessio Stillrich (Spain) found rhythm during Heat 3 and connected some smaller waves well, showcasing a good variety of tail slides, snaps and aerials.  Hayata Ishii (Japan) made his way into second based mainly off a single excellent peeling set wave, which allowed rapid fire, aggressive turns in the pocket and a high-speed aerial.

The Chilean riders dominated Heat 4 with their local knowledge shining.  Benjamin Fabres had sat in third place for much of the tight battle. But in the last four minutes, he found a great set wave where he showcased aggressive snaps and two, fast paced, critical aerials to take the lead.  Vicente Gonzalez continued his great form from the Challenger Round, with beautiful wave selection that allowed for multiple snaps and aerials to just sneak ahead of aerial master, Felipe Wedeles.

Women’s Redemption
Heat 1 saw young ripper, Sol Degrieck (Belgium) dominate, with a strong top to bottom surf style on well selected peeling waves, finishing her best with a nice aerial. Maria Behrens (Germany) also found the better waves, where she threw spray with aggressive turns on the face and a lip hit.

Maria Andres (Spain) used her knowledge from past Chile trips to patiently select the best waves of the heat and ride them with solid rail work. Coco Foveau survived elimination to make her way into second place.
Pro Men’s Round 3
The waves seemed to drop for much of Heat 1, but Camille Juban still slashed and aired his way to a dominant victory. Andres Tobar continued his aerial streak from the redemption round to knock out Takara Ishii in the first major upset of the competition.

Marcilio Browne (Brazil) didn’t leave anything to chance in Heat 2, securing his first keeper score early on with perfect aerials and snaps. After a few experimental goiters, he found one of the best waves of the day, which he rode as perfectly as a video game to score an 8.40. Alex Vargas (Chile) started the heat with nerves, but used takas, aerials and 240 degree snaps to take out second place and keep the Chilean roll going.

Heat 3 was stacked with talent, due to an ill Robby Swift having to come through the redemption round. Federico Morisio (Italy) immediately scored the wave of the heat with consecutive, high aerial moves.  However, Morgan Noireaux (France) took the lead shortly after, with his exceptional surf style and aerial prowess (not to mention a goiter that he didn’t even need to count). Swift and Morisio traded places multiple times through the heat, with Swift persevering despite a slight tear above the clew of his sail.  But it was the superior aerial attack of Morisio that gave him the coveted second place by just 0.3 points.

Heat 4 was another nail biter. Jules Denel (France) connected multiple snaps and aerials on good sets to take the win. Miguel Chapuis (Spain) pulled off a goiter on his first wave and then managed to score some rapid fire critical moves on another wave to take second place over Takuma Sugi (Japan), who was just 0.67 points away from first place.

Heat 5 saw Philip Koster (Germany) showcase his winning form from last year with the highest heat total of the competition so far with 16.37. He started with some of the biggest aerials of the day to score a 7.67 on his first wave. He then upped his game with an 8.60, that included more aerials and a beautifully executed goiter.  Despite a taped ankle, Antoine Martin nailed some good aerials and lip hits early on to cement second place.

Competition will continue tomorrow with Pro Men’s and Pro Women’s running across the weekend where big crowds are expected on the beach here in Matanzas. We will almost certainly complete Pro Men’s and Women’s finals on Sunday in GREAT conditions.

Follow the live competition scores on LiveHeats. The full Live Broadcast will be streamed on the IWT Wave Tour YouTube channel, and the official IWT event page.  Follow on social media channels @IWT_Wave_Tour and @PWAworldtour.

Photos by @fishbowldiaries

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    May 24, 2024 7:00 pm


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