Harley Ingleby (Coffs Harbour, AUS) was crowned Oxbow WLT pres. by Orange Champion today in good two to three foot (0.5 to 1 meter) waves at Les Dunes, south to the main venue of Les Cavaliers, and takes the lead on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Longboard Tour (WLT) ratings. Ingleby, 24, who defeated rising French star Antoine Delpero (FRA) at his home beach of Anglet, won the 35-minute final cheered by the Australian contingent in front of a numerous French crowd. 

Ingleby, who defeated reigning ASP World Longboard Champion Phil Rajzman (BRA) in the semifinals, posted a solid 16.65 point heat tally to best Delpero’s 14.50 point score (both out of a possible 20) in the last heat of the week.

“I am the happiest kid in the world right now,” Ingleby said. “I had a very testing semifinal against Phil and that win gave me a lot of confidence for the final. I found the better waves against Antoine (Delpero) and it ends up just perfectly for me in the final.”

Ingleby betters the equal 5th place he got last year at Anglet and now stands as a potential 2008 ASP World Longboard Champion before the final stop in California next November.

“It is really good to have this second event this year,” Ingleby said. “Right now I will just enjoy this one and celebrate with the Australians and will start thinking of the next event later. So stoked to grab it.”

Delpero, 22, who finishes runner-up of the Oxbow WLT and gets his best result ever, put on a show on his way to the final defeating former ASP World Longboard Champion Bonga Perkins (HAW) in Semifinal No. 2 with an impressive 18.25 point heat score but failed to clinch the crown.

“The waves did not come to me in the final,” Delpero said. “I was feeling really good after my semifinal and felt confident but it did not happen. Harley (Ingleby) got the best set waves and I could not really surf my best.”

Delpero, who placed fifth last year, betters his 2007 result as well and will be a favorite for a possible first ever French ASP World Longboard title when the final event gets underway in November.

“I do not think of ratings,” Delpero said. “I wanted to win this one at home in front of all my friends and family but it went wrong in the end. I am a bit disappointed to see the Australian contingent get the crown at home but Harley deserves to win the final.”

The new generation of longboarders led by Ingleby and Delpero, both aged under 25, stood against the experienced and favorites at the Oxbow WLT pres. by Orange this week, and Ingleby now leads the charge towards the Califormian showdown next November.

Phil Rajzman (BRA), defending Oxbow WLT champion, placed third after going down to event winner Ingleby in Semifinal No. 1 in a very tight battle. Rajzman, who lost by 1.50 point, was still happy with his run at Anglet this week and already looks forward to defending his World title at the next event.

“Harley was ripping from the beginning of the event,” Rajzman said. “We surfed against eachother in Australia before coming here and I won but I knew he was in good form and I am really happy to see him in the final.”

Rajzman, 25, remains a favorite among the world’s best longboarders and will be a threat to any other ASP World title contenders. “Normally we will have another event so I can still hope to defend my crown,” Rajzman said. “I am happy with this week and I feel like I surfed well.”

Bonga Perkins (HAW), a former ASP World Longboard Champion, lost in the semifinals and was  disappointed with his result. Perkins, who defeated Colin McPhillips (USA) in the quarterfinals, failed to best Delpero in the semis and does not better his last year’s result but remains a world title contender at 35 years old.

Colin McPhillips (Ca, USA), 33, 3X ASP World Longboard Champion (in 1999, 2001 and 2002), lost in the quarterfinals after defeating last year’s No. 3 Jackson Close (AUS) in Round 4. McPhillips, who won all his heats by posting a minimum of 15.25 point heat score, showed he was back in good form and will be a favorite as well when the tour hits his home beaches of California.

“That heat with Bonga (Perkins) started slowly and we waited long to get things going,” McPhillips said. “In these conditions, it is all about the last wave and Bonga got it. I am looking forward to California and I hope we get good waves again there.”   

FINAL
Heat 1: Harley Ingleby (AUS) 16.65 pts Def. Antoine Delpero (FRA) 14.50 pts

Source: ASP Europe