The decision to postpone R5 of the Arica Chilean Challenge was rewarded yesterday when a big swell rolled into the famed reef and turned it on for the Top 16. The conditions were classic and El Gringo fired up for the crowd in Arica with 10-12 feet waves.
The top-16 debuted and dominated the heats. The highlight of today was the Hawaiian, world champion in 2009, Jeff Hubbard. Accustomed to the great conditions in Hawaii, Jeff showed that it is tough to beat him in big waves and combines 18.67 out of a possible 20 in his opening heat.
Jeff got one of the biggest waves of the day and with a trademark high-flying air got the first perfect ten in whole contest. The heat also featured Australian Dave Winchester, who got two excellent waves and advanced to the next man-on-man round.
Six-time world Guilherme Tamega also showed that he is connected with Chilean waves. The Arica Champion in 2008 showed great knowledge of the wave and pulled out a beautiful 9.00 on his best wave. Guilherme still had time to got a 7.5 to combine 16.50 out of a possible 20 points and go through to Round 6.
Amaury Laverhne was another athlete who has shown consistency in 2010 and started the day with a great performance, also advancing.
In the same heat, Magno Oliveira secured two good waves and also progressed to next round.
Frenchman Pierre Louis Costes, winner of Buzios Bodyboarding 2010, put in a huge performance. With two good waves in the beginning of his heat Pierre gave to the crowd something to cheers about. Hawaiian Mike Stewart had a perfect start to his title defense with two good waves, the 9x times world champion combined 16.50 out of a possible 20 with a win.
Another top-16 that debuted at Arica in this round was Australian Ben Player. In a fierce battle against countryman Ryan Hardy, the 2x world champion moved into first place followed by his fellow countryman. A new call is scheduled for this Friday at 08:00 (GMT).
# 1 - Amaury Laverhne (REUN) x Ryan Hardy (AUS)
# 2 - Ben Player (AUS) x Magno Oliveira (BRZ)
# 3 - Guilherme Tamega (BRZ) x Uri Valadão (BRZ)
# 4 - Diego Cabrera (CANA) x Christian Fernandez (CHI)
# 5 - Jeff Hubbard (HAW) x Gaston Carnival (POR)
# 6 - Mike Stewart (HAW) x Dave Winchester (AUS)
# 7 - Louis Pierre Costes (FRA) x Eder Luciano (BRZ)
# 8 - Yeray Martinez (CANA) x Jake Stone (AUS)