From the start it looked like Rigby would take the heat with a solid invert to open up followed by a good roll on a separate wave. But with time winding down Rene Xavier was able to find a big ARS bowl to move ahead by 1.32 leaving Rigby needing to improve his back up score.
Tomas found a lip (big section) and went for a progressive back flip where a air roll may have gotten him the score he needed and since he did not complete Rene Xavier remained in position for the win.
Tomas ended up losing his fins after the back flip, getting back out just before the time ran out he was never able to get another score. We want to congratulate both our young hero's of the event (great bodyboarding from the new generation).
Next up was Round 7 Heat 2 with Uri Valadao(Brazil) and Jeff Hubbard (HI). Current World Champ Uri opened up with a big score on a medium size set wave. He gained a high 8.9 average with a big invert to roll on the inside.
Jeff answered back with a barrel to invert which he gained a 9.17 for setting the pace. Some how Jeff made it back into the line up to gain priority before Uri who was left inside after the rollo. Jeff found a second score in what is being called the biggest invert ever done in a contest giving Jeff the edge with the first 10 point ride of the day.
After this it was a chase on Uri's side with Jeff surfing waves when in priority to avoid Uri using these high scoring waves to possibly get back in the game with a needed 10 and combo 9.18 to move ahead. Uri found a decent barrel on a left but while paddling back out he lost his board duck diving.
With 5 mins left all the was between Jeff and the win was time as he continued to boost and ride barrels with scores not even being read as they were irrelevant to the heat situation even though 8’s where being produced.
Magno O. Passos (BRA) took out Brad Hughes (AUS) in a much slower heat then the prior, using 2x rollo combos to continue on to the next round. Brad never found the waves in this slow heat to awnser back and the Magno was content to move into the quarter finals!
The Hubbards seemed to be on two opposite sides of the spectrum today with Jeff dominating his heat while Dave squeaked through in heat 4 of round 7 to Mark McCarthy (SAF). Mark opened up the heat with big rollos on the right while Dave had struggled to the 7 min mark not coming out of barrels and not landing a big air reverse attempt.
It seemed hopeless for Dave until a decent left provided him a ramp for an invert which he landed for a 8.9. Needing a 5 or more to advance with two min left Dave paddle straight back out to the line up, waiting to the last 30 seconds to catch and inside wrapping right hander, Dave went straight to the lip boosted a invert into the flats which was enough for the score and to take out Mark at the buzzer.
Amaury Laverhne put his fellow Frenchmen in Combo - land for a good part of the heat with a 17.50. Pierre was on the move wearing a spring suit in the cold waters of Arica (normal people wear 4/3s). He would catch two waves to Amaury’s one but the Juice was not worth the squeeze as Amaury’s patience prevailed with two high scoring barrels against Pierre's high flying lip attach.
In the last seconds of the heat Pierre hit a massive back flip on a 6ft right to get out of Combination and the two showed the world what French Bodyboarding is all about in a very exciting battle.
Mike Stewart was in true form against the amazing talent of Ben Player. Mike used his wave and heat strategy knowledge to find the best open barrels and keep Ben away from them. Mikes skill knowing where and when to be in position provided him some amazing tube rides to rolls. Ben even though surfing well never got the waves needed to produce a winning score count.
Guilherme Tamega took out his Brazilian understudy Francirley Ferreira in heat 7 round 7. GT was in form with barrels to double rolls for high scores where Francirley Ferreira seemed tame and nervous as compared to prior heats.
When surfing against you personal hero it may be hard to get the killer instinct that is needed to beat them so I think Francirley Ferreira will be back in the future to due battle against GT.
Once he can get past the jitters of being the new Talent from Brazil under shadow of such a big presence that is 6x World Champion Guilherme Tamega he could be a Champion himself. Both riders came in smiling and did a joint interview as they are great friends in and out of the water.
Dave Winchester took down Canary Island Ivan Hernandez buy finding inside sections in a heat that did not provide as many open barrels and in prior heats. Ivan did well finding barrels to rolls but Daves Back flip to Ars combo on the right and ARS,Spin to Roll on the left put him ahead by three point plus at days end!
More to come tomorrow with the quarter finals – Finals.