Ross, who finished atop the 96-man field of international competitors after posting several of the event’s best scores throughout the four-day competition, grabs valuable 2000 ratings’ points to virtually seal the deal and qualify for the 2010 ASP World Tour with a record 14 975 points after his win.
Ross, who surfed his way through two heats today to reach the final of England’s biggest professional surfing event, was unstoppable in the final encounter of the 2009 edition, the Australian native taking control of proceedings with a combination of 14.17 points halfway through the heat leaving outsider Trojaola in the chase of a desperate come-back for more than fifteen minutes.
“It’s a pretty incredible feeling right now,” Ross said. “It’s such a good year already and it’s got even better today so I guess that by putting everything together and doing the things I do, it’s paid off and it’s great. I am not sure what I am doing next, I haven’t been home at all this year and that result will make me think about my schedule.”
Ross, who won his second title of the year today after the prestigious ASP WQS 6-Star Prime at Margaret River in March, dominated the event with a series of consistent scores including an impressive 17.83 point heat score on Day 3 of competition. Ross’s run in the British event confirmed again it was his year, giving him great confidence before the event in France starting August 17, 2009.
“I was pretty confident for my heats but stressed out a little against Wiggoly (Dantas),” Ross said. “I work with him and have been giving him a lot of the few things that work for me. The waves were smaller today and I had to adapt to the conditions and it went on perfectly.”
Ross’s leadership over the Grind this year has pushed the level as high as it can get and the 26-year-old surfer will confidently be heading towards a maiden ASP WQS champion title if things remain similar in the upcoming events.
“That would be amazing but it’s really early to think about any of this stuff now,” Ross said. “I don’t want to put too much emphasis on this all and will take things as they come. And if it comes down to this, it will be perfect. I’ve spent a few years on the Grind and I think I have paid my dues.”
Event underdog and former ASP European Junior top surfer Txaber Trojaola (Bakio, EUK) achieved his best result ever since he started touring on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS). Trojaola, who surprised all his opponents throughout the last day of competition with smart wave choice and heat tactics, ousted former ASP Top 45 surfer Travis Logie (ZAF), local favorite Alan Stokes (GBR) and ratings’ No. 20 Glenn Hall (IRL) en route to his career best.
“I am just over the moon right now and I can’t believe I’ve placed runner-up,” Trojaola said. “I never thought I would make the final, it’s my best result ever and I got through a few tricky heats. The truth is I had nothing to lose and took heat by heat and did not feel any pressure being the outsider. I had a gale plan and stuck to it, and it’s taken me to the final. It is pretty amazing.”
Trojaola’s result rockets him to a career best No. 3 on the ASP European WQS Series, an unexpected new status for the Basque native who will march onto Lacanau with solid confidence.
Relentless Boardmasters defending champion Wiggoly Dantas (BRA), 19, placed equal 3rd today at Fistral Beach, a second consecutive excellent result for the Brazilian surfer whose outstanding performance throughout the competition rockets him inside the ASP WQS Top 25, a promising ranking for his ASP World Tour qualification campaign. Dantas, who was ousted by fellow team rider Ross in tricky though consistent conditions
“I am pretty happy with that result but the waves were not very good for the Semifinals,” Dantas said. “Daniel Ross got a few good ones but he is a friend and a coach in our team so we had a good time out there. Getting third is still a good result.”
Dantas, who will move to Lacanau next week for the second ASP WQS major event of a series of five consecutive ones, will be looking to build on his confidence and keep things rolling as the surfing displayed at Fistral Beach has proven he was able to best any competitor.
“I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself with the qualification,” Dantas said. “I am trying to surf my best and slowly get back into the race so I will stick to my plan and try and keep the feeling right. I feel I have improved from last year and I am looking forward to the next events.”
Reaching the Semifinals for his best result ever at Newquay was Australian-Irish competitor Glenn Hall (IRL), the 27-year-old No. 20 rated surfer securing valuable 1500 ratings’ points to keep his ASP Top 45 hopes alive. Hall, who has had a stellar year on the Grind so far with several big results, was able to get through a few tough battles including a Quarterfinal bout against inform surfer Matt Wilkinson (AUS), 20.
“I surfed well in the Quarterfinals and am stoked to reach the Semis,” Hall said. “It’s never nice to lose but I definitely will take that one as a keeper. The overall result is good for the ASP European WQS ratings’ as well as for the international one so it’s a good start to the European leg. I have been working on my boards this year and trying not to get too excited when I do well!”
Hall’s result secures him a good ranking before the next event in France where he will be much expected after showing his peers he is to be considered as a threat at any location, especially on his solid backhand attack that gave him the event’s fourth best heat score of 16.50 points.
RELENTLESS BOARDMASTERS FINAL
1st, Daniel Ross (AUS), 14.17 pts
2nd, Txaber Trojaola (EUK), 9.54 pts