- 29 November 2013 | Bodyboarding
The International Bodyboarding Association (IBA) has announced that Ben Player is the winner of the 2013 IBA Grand Slam Series World Tour.
Player and Amaury Lavernhe were tied in the overall rankings before the final stage, the Fronton Challenge, which would decide the 2013 IBA World Tour champion.
The decisive event was cancelled and the IBA decided to deliver the title to the Australian, based on the overall 2012 results. Were there wise alternatives? Yes, there were.
"It is a bitter sweet victory. On one hand, I am really excited to be a three-time world champion and winner of the 2013 World Tour title, but on the other hand I wanted to win in the contest arena and I pity the other contestants - especially Amaury - who didn't get their final shot at the title due to the events cancellation. It's not a great way to win or a fair way to lose", says Player.
"Although I am officially the winner, I will always feel as though I finished up equal first with Amaury Lavernhe, who had an amazing year. All I want to do now is celebrate a little and catch up with normal life. It's been a good year and I have sacrifice a lot in the pursuit of getting to the top", he adds.
The 2013 IBA World Tour will be remembered as the worst nightmare in the history of professional bodyboarding. Crowning a world champion based on previous championships - held in different waves, maritime conditions, and athletes - is, at least, bizarre.
The IBA will be announcing tour dates and venues in the first week of January 2014. Will there be riders interested in participating in a Tour with absurd rules?