World Surfing Games

The do or die rounds of the repercharge were the main attraction today at the main podium. The Open Men´s Round 2 was held in two foot waves, as the tide forced the Contest Director to suspend the final heats of the day.

A total of 13 heats were held and more surfers were eliminated from the championships. Those who overcame the pressure made it through, adding more points to their respective teams.

The Men and Women's Bodyboard Main Event rounds were held at Podium two and there were some radical performances as riders worked hard to progress through to the next rounds. Unfortunately it also meant that the for the first time some bodyboarders were relegated to Repercharge Round two.

The day's best performances came from ASP World Tour Surfer Dayyan Neve of Australia and Spanish star Pablo Gutierrez, who both posted 16.83 points in their respective repercharge heats. Among the bodyboarders Natasha Sagardia of Puerto Rico was the top women of the round, scoring 11.30, while Pierre Costes (FRA) once again obtained the highest combined score of the round, a respectable 15.17. Manuel Centeno of Portugal, the gold medallist in 2006, won another heat and the local rider is looking good for what is ahead.

Spanish power
Spain's representative Pablo Gutierrez, showed that he knew how to deal with the tough low tide hard. He put together a solid performance to score a 9.00 and a 7.83in his repercharge heat. 

"I felt really good; we were sitting just by the side of the jetty really close to each other, so there was a bit of a hassle to get a wave. I was lucky to find one good 7.83 that left me in an OK situation to look for the back up. So I quietly waited for the good one, it came; I did three good moves and scored a 9.00. I ended the heat first and I´m really happy. Anyway, I think I was lucky," Gutierrez said.

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Mark Mathews

There are waves on the fringe of existence that defy both logic and imagination. They break where the land is uninhabitable, where the elements are threatening, beautiful, raw and brutal.

Where deep sea swells rear on underwater cliffs then fold in mighty explosions that shake the earth for miles, these are the very waves that Mark Mathews lives to surf.

It gives O’Neill great pleasure to announce Mark as the latest addition to the global team. For years Mathews has been one of Australia’s premiere monster slab (i.e.: a huge barreling cavernous tubing wave) riding lunatics.

When weather maps turn purple, odds are he’s already booked flights to the centre of the storm, be it off the bitter Southern Coast of Tasmania or a chunk of reef 30 kilometers out to sea off Western Australia. Hs courage knows no boundaries. To surf the waves he loves is to risk life itself and requires the best possible equipment.

Says O’Neill Ambassador and Asia Pacific Marketing Manager, Rob Bain, “I feel proud to have Mark on the team because I believe he epitomizes the core essence of the real surfer. His quest to surf big gnarly barrels, has him drop everything at any time regardless of the consequences, and to me that is what surfing is really about.”

For his part, Mathews believes the relationship was inevitable. “I’m stoked to be part of the O’Neill family,” he said. “Their basic philosophy towards surfing is to be the first people in the water and last out of it on any given day. For me to be representing a brand whose primary focus has always been to give people maximum time in the water, it makes perfect sense. That’s basically what I live for, to be out there all the time so that I never miss the biggest and best waves that come through.”

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World Surfing Games 

Despite a smaller swell the action was frenetic and emotions ran high on the third day of the ISA World Surfing Games with the repercharge heats along with the Open Men’s qualifiers hitting the water. It was also the turn of the Women to show what they’re capable of in the Main Event round one and two.

It was a sunny day that started with a really low tide, which negatively affected the shape of the waves. As the tide came in, conditions improved and reached the four foot mark.

There was plenty of action in the 45 heats that were held and history was written again in Portugal. The new generation conquered the old as the surfer of the day and current ISA World Junior Champion Tamaroa McComb 16 (TAH) was the standout. The shining star among the women was Australian Sally Fitzgibbons, 17, who is a former ISA World Junior Champion. Costa Rican surfers were once again the talk of the beach and, with the first round of the repercharge completed, some surfers said goodbye to the contest in the “all or nothing” round. 

With 16, scoring more than 18
Tamaroa McComb was crowned ISA World Junior Champion in the Under 16 division five months ago on the French coast, and his great talent saw him included in the frontline of the Tahitian Surfing Team at the ISA World Surfing Games, this time as an Open surfer. The gamble of selecting the 16 year old has paid off, after he posted an 18.17 heat score in the third round.

The characteristic power and flow of the young Polynesian is evident with his top to bottom radical and varied moves. In his best two rides, he scored 9.17 and 9.00 to beat ASP World Tour surfer, Ben Bourgeois from United States into second place. ~

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