El Confital

This year there are 5 riders going for the Mens World Title and 3 for the Woman's.

This is evidence that the IBA Grand Slam concept is working well.

Jeff Hubbard, Dave Winchester, Ryan Hardy, Mike Stewart & Guilherme Tamega all have chances to be 2009 IBA World Champion.

Jeff Hubbard spoke for the first time to me the other day and made the following quote.

"The world title is extremely important to me so I have been training very hard here at home in Hawaii. The title race is super close with Confital being a grand slam event it is very critical to do well in this event if one wants to win the title. Ryan, Winnie, Mike and GT are some of the best riders in the water today and it shows in there ranking on tour. They will all be gunning for me so I have to be in the best form of my career to win at Confital . I am really excited about the last event and am having fun getting ready for it" said Jeff.

The Womens race is equally entertaining with early leader Eunate Aguirre being pegged back by the Brazilian duo of Neymara Carvalho and Jessica Becker.

Read more...

Praia do Norte

The voting for the twentieth athlete at Sumol Nazaré Special Edition has already started. There is, however, some news: instead of a beforehand selection, as it was defined, the organization decided to give an opportunity to all the registered athletes.

The list of the fourteen athletes is formed by Márcio Silva, João Pinheiro, Filipe Ferreira, Renato Paço, Tiago Silva, Bernardo Jerónimo, Gonçalo Sousa, Nuno Trovão and Nélson. Filipe Cabrela, Tiago Fazendeiro, Pedro Rodrigues, Diogo Pombeiro and the French Nicolas Marianelli are also some of the candidates that will be voted by the community.

The decision is now up to the all the bodyboarders, that can vote in their favorite until November 6th. To vote, you just have to send an email. Each person can only vote once and the winner will be known at Sumol Nazaré Special Edition official presentation, which will be held the day after at Nazaré.

The chosen athlete will join the sixteen names already confirmed in the best competition of the modality and three names will still be to know.

The formula couldn’t be more unique and special: twenty of the best national and international BB athletes are convoked to confront the famous waves of Praia do Norte, which is considered the queen wave in Nazaré and one of the most respected in the whole world.

The unique size and force of these famous waves, which easily go to six meters high, is the visit card of a competition. The waiting period is between November 10-29th.

Damian Prisk

The first Anglo-French Challenge between the French Surfing Federation and the British Bodyboard Club went off in superb style in Quiberon this weekend.  The French put out a very strong team including 2009 French tour winner Sylvain Langlet and Pierre-Louis Costes, currently 6th in the IBA World Tour and in contention for the world title.

The British Team (sponsored by Brittany Ferries, Rob Barber’s Bodyboard School and NMD) consisted of Damian Prisk, Danny Catten and Danny Wall in the Open section; with U19s Dave Speller and Cian Salmon completing the junior section.

The competition was held over two days in Quiberon in South Brittany; on the Côte Sauvage break of Port Bara.  Saturday afternoon saw a stormy onshore 7ft swell, and a lack of familiarity with the break may have seen the downfall of the British team.  Their French counterparts showed better wave selection in the difficult conditions, and raced into an early 5-0 lead in the man-on-man format.  Though a number of heats were close, the French riders were the ones hitting the critical sections more cleanly to impress the judges.

The second and third rounds held on Sunday morning saw a determined British squad hit the water.  Conditions were cleaner and bigger than on Saturday, and with some experience under their belts combined with direction from team coach Rob Barber, they were quickly back in contention.

A convincing win from Salmon over the diminutive Max Castillo (look out for Castillo in the coming seasons though – the lad shows a maturity and style beyond his years) got the Brits on the scoreboard.  Dan Catten was neck and neck with Langlet in the next heat when the man from Hossegor picked up the wave of the round - a long pealing left.  The Frenchman ignored two makeable sections in favour of down the line speed and pulled off a huge invert as the wave closed out and nailed the heat.

Read more...