Kustom Air Strike: a must do to all fly surfers

Kustom Airstrike, the eight-month global quest to identify and reward the world’s most innovative aerial surfing manoeuvre, has entered its final three-week countdown.

The event is the richest single-turn competition in the surfing world, with US$50,000 in cash showered on the surfer to who lands the most progressive punt anywhere on the planet during the competition window.

The window opened on 1 January 2010 and close on 31 August 2010. The videographer who captures the winning move on film will also be richly rewarded, taking home US$5000. There are no second prizes. The 2010 edition of the Kustom Airstrike has been the most competitive in the event’s history.

Entrants from around the world have been posting their punts on the event website, and debate about the likely frontrunners is heating up.

The competition intensified mid way through the event window when filmmaker Kai Neville packed a bunch of the most progressive aerial surfers on to a boat and took them through the Mentawai Islands in a bid to land the winning move.

The trip, called Landscape Altered, was made into a series of webisodes and entered into the Kustom Airstrike competition. But the boat trip surfers won’t have it all their own way, with a wave of finals-quality punts coming from areas including Hawaii, mainland USA and Australia.

If past years are anything to go by, there will be another wave of entries in the final few weeks of competition. Surfers have until 31 August to submit their entries in a bid to claim the US$50,000 winner-take-all Kustom Airstrike prize purse.

Marc Lacomare: a surfboard master

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Relentless Boardmasters came to a climatic last minute come from behind win by Marc Lacomare (FRA) 18, current European Pro Junior champion to claim the Relentless Boardmasters 2010 title over Jay Quinn (NZL) and in the process take the lead in the European men’s open ratings.

Surfers competing in the Relentless Boardmasters 2010 are out to claim valuable ratings points in their bid to secure a spot on the ASP Dream Tour 2011. European competitors have the added challenge of building on their European Men’s Series ratings at the Relentless Boardmasters which is stop nº 4 of 12 and will eventually crown this year’s European Men’s Champion.

Marc Lacomare (FRA) stormed home in both his semi-final to beat Russel Winter (GBR) 34, and to repeat the performance in the 35-minute final over a dejected Jay Quinn. Looking nervous and a little lost in the shifty Fistral beach line-up Lacomare gained confidence and some well directed guidance from friends on the shoreline to find in the dying moments the 8.0 point ride required to take the victory.

Claiming his maiden ASP Men’s Star-Series win Lacomare has kicked off his ASP European summer leg campaign in fine fashion and with the allocation of a wildcard in the upcoming events is set to launch a serious assault on the ASP ratings this year.

“I feel so great at this moment and with my boards working so well and with my friends helping me out because I was a bit lost and then at the end I got that wave and the score and I am over the moon right now.”

“I thought I was gone and had lost for sure like in the semi I said to myself, ‘Marc you must keep going and you can do it’ and in the end the wave came and I got the results, it’s amazing. I’m so stoked to start off like this and I am looking forward to the events to come on the European leg and I will try to do my best and see how it goes.”

Jay Quinn (NZL) felt himself unlucky as he tried to catch the same wave that eventually gave Lacomare his victory. Watching on as the right was destroyed by a series of backhand smashes and then hearing the required score had been reached Quinn was left with under a minute left to try and turn the tables.

“It’s a good way to start but I thought it was going to be an even better way to start for a while out there. (laughs) I was just paddling out again and that right popped up and Marc needing an 8 and he got an 8.2 and I just didn’t get it on that last wave which didn’t hold up and closed out and that was it but I’m happy because it’s a career best result for myself and hopefully it will get me on a roll heading into the next 5 events.”

“Marc has been surfing good all week,” continued Quinn. “Out there the luck element comes into play a fair bit and he got the good roll of the dice on that one and as he has been doing all week surfed the wave really well and come home with the goods.”

Russel Winter (GBR) 34, former ASP Top 45 member was narrowly beaten by Lacomare despite getting off to a solid start with a 6.5 out of 10 to hold the lead until the last 5 minutes. In front of a huge crowd lining the shore Winter watched on as the young Frenchman secured the 8 point ride required finishing off with an air reverse to advance into the final.

Lacking any decent backup score Winter knew that his lead was in jeopardy throughout the final moments of the heat and in the end was left searching in vain.

“Bit unfortunate really because I was doing pretty good I guess and then he got one at the end and I wasn’t getting stoked with the scores I had because I knew that could happen and it proved me right. I was prepared for that so it’s cool because it was a good heat as we both surfed really well so it’s alright.”

Nathan Webster (AUS) 36, completed what for him was an excellent campaign finishing equal third in the Relentless Boardmasters 2010 edition. On his fifth visit to Newquay the Narabeen local claimed his best ever result and pocketed 4,500$US for his efforts.

Never giving up in his attempt to overtake Quinn the natural footer found he was out of sync with the ocean and was playing catch-up during the 30-minute clash.

“I tried out there but the waves are a bit small and weak and I also changed boards which wasn’t the smartest thing to do I suppose but it was just try anything today in these conditions, a nice day though. (laughs)”

“Jay (Quinn) has been surfing good the whole event and he had a good rhythm while I was rushed and he was more composed and relaxed as he had a bit of a lead and just seemed to have the pick of the waves and I was just picking up stuff around him. It’s good to come here and get a third and I’ve had a good time and know I can still compete if I want with these guys.”

Marc Lacomare (FRA) 14.73 Def. Jay Quinn (NZL) 14.50

Filipe Jervis: a tactic surfer

Filipe Jervis (Ericeira, PRT), 20, won the ASP Grade-2 Islas Canarias Santa Pro Junior today on the island of Gran Canaria, at the contest main site of La Cicer after defeating runner-up Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR), 16, in a thirty-minute final. Taking control of the wind-blown tricky but consistent wave conditions in the three-foot range (one meter), Jervis was able to find his way to the top of the angry 96-man field entered in the prestigious event.

Opening the final encounter right after the horn blew to make his intentions clear, Jervis managed to stay ahead of fellow finalist Boukhiam the whole battle, the Portuguese stylish athlete using smart heat tactics and solid tail-slide and progressive surfing to annihilate any of his opponent’s chances.

“It’s the best feeling of my life right now, I can’t really describe it,” Jervis said. “I have been training so hard to get to this level, spent one month in Hawaii, two months in Australia and I’ve been aiming at this since the year started. I am over the moon right now.”

Jervis, a longtime ASP European Pro Junior tour member, confirmed today he was on his way to his best season ever for his last year in the Under-21 division, the Ericeira resident winning his first ever ASP sanctioned event after netting a runner-up finish last week in the Basque Country.

“Taking the lead on the ratings’ is the best motivation possible towards the next event,” Jervis said. “I’ve had all the support from my friends, coach, family and girlfriend all the way through to now and I’ll be just as focused. I am feeling so good, just on a roll after my runner-up finish last week.”

Jervis, is now in reach of the ASP European Junior title and a minimum regional ratings’ Top 4 finish to get the chance to qualify for the ASP World Junior tour and fly Europe and Portugal’s colours against the world’s best nations in Bali and Narabeen.

Also taking his best result ever on an ASP sanctioned event, Ramzi Boukhiam came short of one good score wrapping-up his campaign runner-up of the 2010 Islas Canarias Santa Pro Junior, a result that rockets him to No. 3 on the ratings before the final event.

“I am really happy with the result, my best ever on tour so I’ll definitely take it and look ahead now,” Boukiam said. “I lacked waves in the final and did not find my rhythm but it’s all good, it’s two consecutive finals for me so really pumped before the next event.”

Boukhiam, only Moroccan representative on tour and now a favourite towards a possible regional title, displayed great classic surfing throughout the week, the 16-year-old surfer confirming his competitive skills and promising talent.

“I thought I could do a it but did not put any pressure on myself so to be No. 3 now is actually great,” Boukiam said. “I am going to go to France with the same approach, get ready and fit and try and do as good next week.”

Finhsing his Canarian run in the Semifinals after displaying another impressive series of performances throughout the five-day event, Tom Cloarec (Hossegor, FRA), 16, was stopped by Jervis. Adding an equal 3rd to his excellent runner-up and equal 7th places in the two previous events, Cloarec was left out of the final but still securing his regional ratings’ No. 2 spot before the final event in France next week.

“I made a mistake at the start and let Filipe (Jervis) get a good opening score and then had to chase the whole heat,” Cloarec said. “I still pretty happy with that other good result here and sitting second in the ratings’ is pretty cool going into the final event. We will see how it goes next week but definitely happy with my run here.”

Underdog and other Semifinalist at la Cicer was Kevin Bourez (Tahiti, PYF), the sixteen-year-old rising athlete finishing the event after a loss to Boukiam but on a positive note having eliminated defending event champion and regional ratings’ other favourite Charles Martin (GLP) in the Quartferfinals.

Islas Canarias Santa Pro Junior Final
1st, Filipe Jervis (PRT), 10.33
2nd, Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR), 6.73