Jeff Hubbard: lucky at the Fronton Pro, this time

Jeff Hubbard is the 2012 IBA World Tour champion. The Fronton Pro crowned the best bodyboarder in the globe, in big wave conditions and dramatic last-minute rides.


The six hours of competition kicked off in dangerous 6-to-8 foot wedges breaking fast, right and left, at Galdar's iconic slab. A massive swell greeted all riders for a grand finale of spitting barrels.

The contenders were Jeff Hubbard and Dave Winchester. Hubbard, 36, was looking to halt Winchester, 30, in the rankings, in the last waves of the season.

They were seeded in the Quarterfinals, in different heats. Dave Winchester had to win the Fronton Pro to clinch the maiden IBA World Tour title and let math do the rest.

But Jeff Hubbard suffered another shocking exit at the Fronton Pro, just like in 2011. This time, Hubbard fell to the fins of Mark McCarthy by only 1.20 points and had to wait for the Australian's performance.

With Jeff out of the Fronton Pro at the Quartefinals, Dave Winchester defeated Sacha Specker by a narrow margin. Dramatic moments were lived after, in the Semifinal, when Pierre-Louis Costes kept scoring high against Winchester, who needed to reach the final to take the title.

With one minute remaining, Jeff Hubbard was praying in the competitor's area and Dave Winchester waiting for the decisive ride. The wave didn't come. Dramatic finish. Winny lost a world title by 0.93 points.

"It was unreal. PLC is my new best friend. I can't even tell you what I feel. He took it away from me (in 2011) and then he hands it to me", said an emotional Jeff Hubbard. "I could not watch for five minutes and I had to wait for the scores, in the end. It was unbelievable. The waves were pumping".

Many riders were also surfing critical waves for the 2013 Grand Slam Series. Could Ryan Hardy re-qualify? Unfortunately, Jason Finaly cut his chances in Round 5 and the legendary Australian is out of the IBA World Tour.

The 2013 IBA World Tour schedule has already been announced. The 2013 Grand Slam Series will see the following pro bodyboarders:

1. Jeff Hubbard (HAW)
2. Dave Winchester (AUS)
3. Pierre-Louis Costes (FRA)
4. Guilherme Tamega (BRA)
5. Jared Houston (ZAF)
6. Mark McCarthy (ZAF)
7. Mitch Rawlns (AUS)
8. Ben Player (AUS)
9. Amaury Lavernhe (REU)
10. Mike Stewart (HAW)
11. Andrew Lester (AUS)
12. Magno Passos (BRA)
13. Uri Valadao (BRA)
14. Alex Uranga (ESK)
15. Sam Bennet (AUS)
16. Eder Luciano (BRA)
17. Brahim Iddouch (MOR)
18. Damian King (AUS)
19. Sacha Specker (ZAF)
20. Yoan Florantin (REU)
21. Alan Munoz (CHL)
22. Jones Russell (AUS)
23. Jacob Romero (HAW)
24. Nick Ormerod (AUS)