- 18 April 2011 | Bodyboarding
Broken boards, blood and emotions were flowing down the wave lines of The Box Pro, in Margaret River, Australia, as the contest reaches the quarter finals.
Guilherme Tâmega was one of the standouts of day, after eliminating Mitch Rawlins in the last seconds of the heat. Rawlins was not fortunate, but that's bodyboarding life. Next time, he'll be luckier.
"I was just waiting for the heat to be over," said Tamega. "This little wave came to me and I thought, ‘Oh, I might as well catch this one’. It formed on the inside and gave me the biggest ramp ever and I thought, ‘Whoa!’ I just went for it and it worked, I didn’t think the judges would give it me though, I heard the score and it was just too good to be true."
Damien King, former two-time world bodyboarding champion, has hit the reef. The result is blood. "It (the wave) came through in the first five or 10 seconds of the heat and I could see it was hitting wide, but I thought it could be a good one so I thought ‘I’ll go for it’," explained King.
"I backdoored it and I hit my face on the bottom faster than you can blink. I just got smashed, I hit real hard. I’m just lucky I didn’t hit my teeth. I knew I needed to win that heat to stay in the comp so I just kept my focus and stayed out there".
South African bodyboarder Jared Houston found himself in a unique situation. The 21 year-old had his board split apart after an aerial attempt gone awry. Houston punched a huge air-forward off a wedging Box end-section and came down hard over the front of his board. It caved in beneath him, buckling under the pressure, and folded straight down the middle.
“I saw that section and just went for it,” he explained. “I came down so hard my arms hit under water, I was still holding onto my board so I knew straight away it had snapped. I tried to ride out of it, but there was no way that was happening.”
Houston borrowed another board from someone waiting in the channel, but the relief was short lived. It was two inches shorter than what he normally rides.
"I was kinda going nowhere with it, then the guys on the ski went and picked up my back-up board and brought that to me, but I’d never ridden that either, it had no wax on it, it was so slippery. So the whole heat I was just trying to make the most of a pretty bad situation," said Houston.
Houston regrouped to advance into the quarter-finals. Jeff Hubbard is looking down the barrel at a possible trifecta. The 35 year-old bodyboarding vet is coming off two consecutive wins. "It’s one of those things, you just gotta pretend those other wins don’t exist and just keep going for it otherwise it creates too much pressure. So my approach is in every heat is like I’m starting from scratch," said Hubbard.
“I’m pretty amped because there’s good waves coming, it’s going to be bigger than last time I competed here, it’s going to really help us. Plus it’s going to be more consistent, so you’ll see all the guys going for it, pushing one another. The level is going to be great. We couldn’t ask for much more," he added.
Upcoming Quarter Finals:
QF1: Ryan Hardy (WA, AUS) v Dallas Singer (NSW, AUS)
QF2: Jared Houston (Capetown, ZAF) v Mark McCarthy (Durban, ZAF)
QF3: Jeff Hubbard (Haw) v Amaury Lavernhe (REU)
QF4: Magno Oliveira (BRA) v Guilherme Tamega (BRA)