- 11 September 2009 | Bodyboarding
The opening day of the ultimate event on the IBA European leg got underway in foggy 3 footers in Peniche today.
The wave-rich area here in Peniche is renowned for good waves and today Lagido Beach served up some sweet left-handers off the reef.
The event saw a large contingent of riders come from Ireland and Darragh McCarter said that the sport is growing back home.
“Yes, it’s looking good back in Ireland. Lots of kids are pickin’ up bodyboards and we are seeing more and more guys in the line-up” said McCarter.
The best performer of the Irish team was Shane Macken who won his opening heat with a strong combination of moves netting him a 7.75 and 6.75 making him the rounds top scorer.
Macken placed 4th ISA World Bodyboarding games last year in Portugal.
Other R1 standout’s included Paulo Costa (Portugal) who has a rich history that spans back over a decade making him the pioneer of International bodyboarding from Portugal and fellow countryman and red-hot junior Dino Carmo.
R2 saw some outstanding performances from Portuguese guys like Bernardo Alvim, Diogo Silva, Antonio Cardoso, Joao Pinheiro, Helio Conda, Joao Barciela & Guilherme Guerra who all won their heats.
The Irish riders continued their run with Shane Mecken and Darragh McCarter both surfing their way into R3.
R3 saw the injection of the IBA back 12 and 4 wildcards taking on the in-form qualifiers and from the get-go this was always going to be a hectic round of competition.
Nuno Brarela (Portugal) & Ardiel Jiminez (Canary Islands) set a high standard in the first heat and moved on through.
Heat 2 was frantic as all 4 riders went wave for wave. Everyone wants a chance to take on the Top 16 in the money round with Antonio Cardoso (Portugal) and Chad Jackson (Australia)
Heat 3 was won by Diego Cabrera (Canary Islands) and second was Silvano Lourenco (Portugal). Diego showed no sign of the back injury that he picked up at Sintra with a polished display of contest surfing.
Yoan Florintine (Reunion Isl) won the next heat and is establishing himself as a star of the future with powerful in-the-pocket surfing that seems to be improving from event to event. Australian Brad Hughes joined him in second.
Michael Novy (Australia) and Helio Conde (Portugal) went 1-2 in the 5th as the heaven’s unleashed an almighty electrical storm that produced lightening bolts very close to the event site, forcing organizers to pause the event.
Heat 6 resumed and Irelands Shane Mecken pulled an 8.5 out of the bag with just seconds remaining and moved through in first ahead of Spain’s Benat Elosua.
Heat 7 saw Portugal’s Joao Machado and William Lourenco finish first and second with some big open-faced moves.
In the final heat of the day Australia’s Mitch Rawlins dominated the line-up along with Jorge Colomer (PRC)
Tomorrow will see the Top 16 and the Women enter the water so the best riders in the world will be on show from 9am.
Check-in for the event is between 10am – 6pm tomorrow (Wednesday) and the event gets underway Thursday from 9am local time.
Competitors are asked to check-in at 8.30am.