Glen Pringle: an Australian with a garanteed medal

Ten medalists of the Panama ISA World Masters Surfing Championship were defined today in clean and perfect 5 to 7 foot waves. Tomorrow, Australia, South Africa and Brazil will fight neck to neck for the Masters Title as they enter the last day of the event with a tight points distance.

With one day to go the, the fight for the World Title is really tight in the top three spots:

1: Australia – 12550
2: South Africa – 11840
3: Brazil – 11304

Each division has six surfers remaining, two of them already in the big final and the other four in the repercharge decisive heat. Out of the 107 surfers that started the competition, five of the remaining 30 will be crowned World Champion and a nation will win the gold in the overall team standings.

The Main Event of the Masters division saw Andrew Banks (RSA) and Juan Ashton (PUR) as the only surfers who were able to get a spot in the podium without losing a heat in the entire event. Banks scored 17.16 (7.83 + 9.33) to move in first place.

“I am extremely relieved because I did not want to get relegated to repercharge,” said Banks. “In 2008, in Peru I made it all the way to the final of the repercharge and unfortunately got knocked out in that heat. I am happy to be in the finals in Panama.”

On the Masters repercharge rounds, Dean Hall (AUS), Carlos Santos (BRA), Victor Ribas (BRA) and Brett Bannister (AUS) will fight for the two available spots left in the podium.

Among the Grand Masters, Glen Pringle (AUS) and Juan Ashton (PUR) placed first and second respectively in the winners bracket final. With this result (making two finals in the same event), Ahston wrote his name into the history books of surfing by assuring himself four medals in three editions of the event. Two of those are golden and tomorrow we will know what the other two are.

Ashton said, “The victory in the Masters and Grand Masters divisions are both equally important. I want to defend my title, but also it is very interesting to win another division. I will try to win both surfing the best I can, since I would love to go back home with two gold medals.”

Chris Brooks (AUS), Ricardo Villanueva (PUR), Fabio Gouveia (BRA) and Andre Malherbe (RSA) are the remaining surfers in the repercharge of the division, two of them will make the podium.

David Malherbe (RSA) and Sergio Penna (BRA) made it to the final of the Kahunas division. Penna scored 16.77 (9.10 + 7.67) to win the main event final heat, he said, “I am so happy to be in the final. This wave is amazing, is way different from the ones in Brazil. I think I was smart in my wave selection, its been a while since I do not get a score like that, hope to keep it like this during the final.”

In a last attempt to win a medal in the Kahunas division, defending world champion Marc Wright (RSA), Martín Jerí (PER), Rod Baldwin (AUS) and Craig Scheiber (CRC), will compete tomorrow in the repercharge final.

The Women Masters division saw defending world champion Heather Clark (RSA) doing the best performance of the event so far. Using her strong backside to score the highest single wave (9.77) and combined score (19.10) of the entire tournament. She will share the podium with Patricia Rossi (TAH), who placed second in the main event final heat.

“My coach told me that I needed to go out there and just have fun, so that is what I did and it worked well,” said Clark. “There was a bit of hassling out there, I guess that everybody wants to win really bad and the competition gets exciting.”

Andrea Lopes (BRA), Rocío Larrañaga (PER), Sandra English (AUS) and Sonia García (PAN) will battle in the final of the repercharge for the remaining two spots in the podium.

Local star and Santa Catalina pioneer, Kenny Myers won his main event heat and is now in the final with defending world champion, Chris Knutsen from South Africa. Javier Huarcaya (PER), Thierry Samsoube (FRA), Neil Cameron (AUS) and Javier Gorbea (PUR) will be competing for the last two spots in the division’s grand final.

Tomorrow, Saturday, September 4, history will be written again. Santa Catalina will see the new World Masters Surfing Championship.
The following heats will be held starting at 7:00am:

LOCAL SURFERS SPECIAL HEAT
FINAL REPERCHARGE GRAND KAHUNA
FINAL REPERCHARGE WOMEN MASTERS
FINAL REPERCHARGE GRAND MASTERS
FINAL REPERCHARGE KAHUNAS
FINAL REPERCHARGE MASTERS
BIG FINAL GRAND KAHUNAS
BIG FINAL WOMEN MASTERS
BIG FINAL GRAND MASTERS
BIG FINAL KAHUNAS
BIG FINAL MASTERS
PANAMA ISA MASTERS CLOSING CEREMONY

The countries standings after six days of competition, is the following:
1- AUSTRALIA
2- SOUTH AFRICA
3- BRAZIL
4- PUERTO RICO
5- PERU
6- COSTA RICA
7- PANAMA
8- FRANCIA
9- VENEZUELA
10- ARGENTINA
11- MEXICO
12- ITALIA
13- URUGUAY
14- DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
15- JAMAICA
16- NEW ZEALAND
17- GUATEMALA
18- TAHITI
19- EL SALVADOR
20- GERMANY
21- IRELAND


SOURCE: ISA World Masters