Uri Valadão

The 2009 International Bodyboarding Association (IBA) World Tour will kick off on the 17th February.

The 'Turbo Bodyboards Pipe Pro 2009' event - to be held in Pipeline, Hawaii - will be the first stage of the IBA's new "Grand Slam" event format.

Uri Valadão and Neymara Carvalho will start defending the 2008 Bodyboarding World Tour title.

The full 2009 IBA Tour schedule will be unveiled later, always here in SurferToday.com.


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.


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.