Uri Valadao conquers the 2008 IBA Tour

In one of the closest fought title races in IBA history, Brazilians Uri Valadao and Neymara Carvalho have won the IBA Men’s & Women’s World Championship.

Ratings leader Guilherme Tamega and outsider Pierre Louis Costes’ both fell early in the day and the race was reduced to two riders.

Ben Player was looking to secure his third World title but had to finish ahead of Valadao to earn enough points.

When Uri made the final in semi 1 the spotlight went onto Ben and he struggled to find the waves that would allow him to do the moves that get the big points.

As the minutes ticked down to seconds it was evident that Uri was going to be the new World Champion and his friends and fellow countrymen all gathered around him,

When the hooter sounded he was lifted high with his new IBA World Champion cup pointed to the sky.

The emotion of years of training & hard work bubbled out in tears of joy as he hugged his coach and mentor Guilherme Tamega.

Uri Valadao (Brazil) – 2008 IBA Men’s World Champion.

The Women’s battle was also a two horse race.

Jessica Becker and Neymara Carvalho had surfed across several continents over almost 12 months and it all came down to 1 heat for a World Title.

Becker burst out of the blocks with a 7 and Neymara answered back with a 6.

That was the only time that Jessica was in front for the 30 minute final.

Neymara was in devastating form and went from strength to strength.

She even scored a perfect 10 on the buzzer to claim her 4th World Title.

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Neymara Carvalho

Another World Title was being decided here between the Brazilian duo of Neymara Carvalho, the seasoned campaigner and multi decorated world champion and Jessica Becker the new kid on the block at just 20 years of age.

In the first semi Jessica and Natasha were just too strong for Australian Lily Pollard and in the second Neymara and Eunate did the same to the other Aussie Emma Cobb.

The day finished with two of the most entertaining man on man semi’s I’ve ever seen.

Both Neymara and Jessica needed a finals berth or the World title would be forfeited to the other contender.

In the first one Natasha seemed to have the edge on Jessica when with just minutes remaining Jessica pulled out a great tactical move on Natasha when she used priority to take a set wave that netted a 9.5 average. Jessica into the final and exit Natasha.

Neymara was watching the outcome closely and the pressure was now thrown her way and with an opponent like Eunate Aguirre she was always going to have her work cut out.

Neymara held a slight lead throughout the heat with Eunate pulling into some deep tubes that pinched her right on the way out.

Only one of them allowed her a clean exit and she looked like coming back until Neymara scored a perfect 10 and hammered the hopes of the Spaniard.

In one of the ultimate scenarios, Becker and Carvalho will now contest the final and whoever wins will be the World Champion.

This sort of ending couldn’t even be dreamed up by Hollywood script writers.

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Dave Hubbard conquers the IBA DKWT

As far as exciting action goes it doesn’t get much better than today at the last event on the IBA World Tour event at Confital.

It all started with the Drop knee final.

Up for grabs was a IBA DKWT title and the two guys in the race this year were both in the final. Ardiel Jiminez from the Canary Islands and Dave Hubbard from Hawaii both chased events in Ferrol (Spain) Isla De margarita (Venezuela) and here at Confital in an attempt to capture the crown.

It was a 45-minute affair and the lead seesawed back and fourth between the two but in the end Ardiels tight snappy frontside gouges proved more effective and he took first place.

“ I am stoked!! This is the best feeling ever to win at home…. I can’t explain my feeling” said an elated Jiminez.

Dave Hubbard (AKA Dubb) was happy with second as he scored enough points to secure the World title.

This was Dave’s third World Championship after claiming victory in 1995/96.

“ Yeh for sure I am stoked Bro” said the cruizey Hawaiian.

“ I really hope that more of the promoters attach DKWT events to the Championship next year and that more underground riders come and get involved” said Dubb.

Third place went to Australian Dave Winchester and Jeff Hubbard (Hawaii) finished fourth.

The event went on hold at this point, as El Confital is not a low tide friendly break.

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