Auto-Sleepers Porthtowan

After two aborted attempts, it finally looks like the planned date for the Auto-Sleepers British Nationals will coincide with a swell forecast to do the competition justice. Therefore, we are aiming to proceed with the headline Open Division of the competition this Sunday the 16th of November.

Early indications are of a 7-8ft swell set to produce some very contestable waves, along with a change from the persistent rain of recent weeks.

Check-in at Porthtowan will be from 8am onwards, with the first heats hitting the water at 9am.

With £1,000 for 1st place, £500 for 2nd, £250 for 3rd and £150 for 4th, the £2k prize pot is burning a hole in the BBC coffers; so make sure you’re there either to compete or see the new National Champion walk away with a grand in his pocket.

Any original entrants who did not make the first check-in are invited to join the official reserve list, but you must complete an entry form if you have not already done so.

Colin Van Dongen’s bodyboard documentary ‘Don’t Stop Dreaming’ will preview at the Blue Bar on Saturday (either during lunch or after the event) so make sure you don’t miss that either.

Confital 2008

A nail biting finish is shaping up for both the Men & Women’s International Bodyboarding Association World Titles with a number of riders in the race.

Unlike our Pro Surfing counterparts, the race for a World Championship has never been closer and the final event at El Confital in the Canary Islands will deliver a Grand Stand finish.

The Men’s title race has 4 riders all within striking distance.

In the lead as they hit the home straight is former World Champion Guilherme Tamega from Brazil.

To make this feat all the more impressive, Tamega took a year out of the competition arena in 2007 and had to start most of the season as either a wildcard or further down the seeding order because of his lack of ratings points.

But like a true champion the Brazilian started the season with a solid performance at Pipeline and then continued his great form with wins at Chile’ & Sintra.

Fellow countrymen Uri Valadao has also been in outstanding form in 2008 and led the ratings for most of the season. Currently second, Valadao also silenced his critics with a runner up position at Pipe dispelling the theory that the flyboy was a small wave specialist that would struggle in the juice.

Sitting in third place and looking to capture his third World title is Australian Ben Player. Ben has been a consistent performer in 2008 and his only win came in the Human Shark Island challenge in Australia. A finalist in last year’s event, Ben grew up surfing a south coast reef break almost identical to El Confital and will be fired up for a solid performance.

And finally in forth place is the outsider and quite achiever on the IBA World Men’s Tour Pierre Louis Costes.

The Frenchmen has been in mind-blowing form this year and if the other three frontrunners stumble early the title could be his.

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Jessica Becker

The final day of the Bodyboard Pro Festival was completed at Isla De Margarita in front of a massive crowd.

The swell had a bit more size and punch and the clouds parted and created an awesome atmosphere for both competitors and spectators alike.

The day started with the Women’s quarter finals and the level of competition was incredible right from the get go.

Isabella Sousa (Brz) Natasha Sargardia (Prc) Neymara Carvalho (Brz) & Eunate Aguirre (Spn) all had wins with Soraia Rocha  (Brz) and Naara Caraline (Brz) also surfed with passion and flare.

Into the semis and the crowd & surf increases allowing for some mind blowing performances.

In semi 1 Natasha Sargardia continued her good form as the newly crowned ISA Champion with a win over Jessica Becker.  Isabella Sousa struggled to find waves and finished third and forth went to Mayla Venturin (Brz)

Semi 2 was equally entertaining as the lead changed hands several times. In the end the experience of Neymara Carvalho and Soria Rocha was too much for Eunate Aguirre and Naara Caroline.

The IBA DK event was also being whittled down with the only notable casualty being Dave Hubbard (USA). Dave was the warm favourite going into the contest but the Hawaiian fell victim to the incredible small wave riding techniques of the locals.

The Venezuelans have mastered the art of extracting every ounce of speed and power out of the weak swells and always make the right manoeuvre decisions to maintain speed and power thru their turns.

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Professional surfing is a highly competitive occupation. World title races are increasingly tight. And sometimes it all comes down to the wire.

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