2009 IBA World Tour

Dayfour at Confital will go down in bodyboarding folklore.

A picture perfect day with flawless waves and the worlds best riders all pushing the boundaries of the sport to new levels.

The day started with the WWT opening rounds and the girls were challenged with some break-neck conditions coming off an early low tide.

1999 World Champion Karl Costa-Taylor (Brazil) was the rounds best scorer with some steep drops and deep tube rides.

Hot on her heels was Natasha Sardardia (PRC) and Isabella Sousa (Brazil).

All of these girls charged the reef at Confital with tons of style and not a hint of fear.

By lunchtime the tide had rolled in and the surf was beyond perfect and a massive crowd gathered to watch the Men’s R9 man-on-man heats go down.

Heat 1 was one of the most highly anticipated clashes of the event as current ratings leader Jeff Hubbard took on Ben Player.

Two world champions in perfect surf and the whole world watching via the webcast, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Jeff opened up with an early lead before Ben struck back with a few inside waves that double up over the reef.

Then with about 8 minutes remaining Jeff pulled off what seemed to be a heat winning wave with an ARS to roll, landed in the tube, rolled out and into another ARS. It was a blistering combination that seemed hard to beat.

With just a few minutes left Ben pulled into a deep barrel and backfliped through the lip and projected meters into the flats to claim the best score of the heat and ultimately victory.

“ I don’t think that I could surf any better on the waves I caught” said Jeff.

“ Of course I am disappointed, but I will just sit and watch the cards unfold I guess” said the humble Hawaiian.

Either way Bodyboarding was the winner because the bar had been raised to a new level and the jaw dropping action was far from over.

Heat two saw the local bout between Yeray Martinez and Oliver Herrera and it was obvious that these guys had an intimate knowledge of the world-class reef of El Confital.

Heat 3 was equally entertaining as two of the title contenders went at it.

Ryan Hardy (Australia) and Guilherme Tamega (Brazil) had a slow start to their 20-minute man-on-man heat with Tamega gaining the early advantage. Ryan tried valiantly to fight back but with a few minutes remaining took a wave that fell short of the required score needed. He is a worthy recipient for a world title and will be back next year for another attempt.

The next heat saw Brazilian Paulo Barcellos beaten by an inform Deigo Cabrera. The local Canary Islanders know every crevice in the point at Confital and use it to their advantage. This theory was further confirmed in the following heat when Guillermo Cobo disposed of Brazilian Magno Oliveira Passos.

Heat 6 saw another of the title contenders hit the line-up when Australian Dave Winchester took on the Frenchman Amaury Laverhne. Amaury has been in great form of late but he could not find his rhythm this time round and had to settle for a second as Winny surges towards his first possible World Title.

The second last heat featured Portugal’s Hugo Pinheiro against local guy Jonay Alamo. Hugo continued his good run through the event with a polished display of precision riding to send the local packing.

In the last of the R9 heats Mike Stewart came out of the blocks firing with a deep 3-part tube ride that lasted for almost the entire length of the point. Mark McCarthy was trying to play catch up for the entire heat but Stewart strolled through with a graceful exhibition of technical positioning and towards a record 10th World.

Tomorrow’s Men’s quarters look something like this.

Q1 – Ben Player V Yeray Martinez
Q2 – Guilherme Tamega V Deigo Cabrera
Q3 – Guillermo Cobo V Dave Winchester
Q4 - Hugo Pinheiro V Mike Stewart

In the Women’s race the quarters got underway in magical 3-4 footers and it was Portugal’s Catarine Sousa that continued her great form of late with a win ahead of Karla Costa Taylor.

The second quarterfinal had the two title contender’s finish in first and second with Eunate Aguirre sneaking ahead of Jessica Becker. Former World Champion Marina Taylor was a close third with Rita Pires forth.

Natasha Sargardia and Luz Marie Gran Perez dominated the third and went 1-2 for PRC and into tomorrow’s quarter finals (person-on-person).

The last heat of the day was a highlight with Isabella Sousa smashing her way to victory over Neymara Carvalho.

So they 3 title contenders are all still standing….for now.

Q1 – C.Sousa V Becker
Q2 – Aguirre V Costa Taylor
Q3 – Sargardia V Carvalho
Q4 – I.Sousa V Gran Perez

The final day at Confital starts at 10.30am local time and the webcast will be mind-boggling so don’t miss any of the action

Follow the event live at www.confitalibatour.com/index.php/site/live


SOURCE: IBA World Tour