ANGLET, France (Wed, May 2, 2007) – A solid six-to-eight foot swell and clean conditions greeted competitors at les Cavaliers this morning for the Oxbow Pro World Longboard Championship. After yesterday's stormy conditions, today the sun is shining and powerful, crunching rights and lefts are rifling across the triangle sandbank here at Anglet, on the Basque coast of southwest France.
The conditions are worthy of a competition of this importance. With no world longboard tour in effect, the winner of this event will be crowned the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) International 2007 World Longboard Champion.
The remaining eight heats of Round 1 will kick off this morning with organisers hoping to run through to the second round this afternoon. It looks like there will be a full day of incredible longboard surfing ahead of us.
The judges are rewarding those surfers that combine the traditional longboard moves like putting the toes on the nose, with more modern, quickfire manoeuvres. It is a fusion of surfing's ancient heritage and all the modern day radical advances.
Former world champion and all round surfing legend Nat Young was on hand this morning, both as a patron of the event and also to watch the progress of his youngest son Bryce, who is surfing in the championship.
"The waves are incredible and with this style of surfing you really get to appreciate the style of the surfers. It is not so quick as the shortboard surfing and so you can really take it all in. It's a beautiful mix."
With good conditions predicted for the rest of the week there will be plenty of time to appreciate this, "beautiful mix". And by the end of what should be an epic day's surfing today, we should have a better indication of just who will be crowned the ASP's International 2007 World Longboard Champion. Go to www.oxboworld.com for more information.
Round 1; 1st advances to Round 3, 2nd and 3rd surf Round 2
Heat 9: Ned Snow (HAW), Noah Shimbakuro (HAW), Harrison Roach (AUS)
Heat 10: Harley Ingleby (AUS), Ben Skinner (GBR), Jared Neal (AUS)
Heat 11: Grant Thomas (AUS), Jeremias da Silva (BRA), Michael DeTemple (USA)
Heat 12: Jonas Lima (BRA), Arni Nabeshima (JPN), Takuji Masuda (JPN)
Heat 13: Danilo Rodrigo (BRA), Joe Aaron (USA), Dodger Kremel (USA)
Heat 14: Josh Baxter (USA), Dennis Bourg (USA), Jamie Viudes (BRA)
Heat 15: Tomothee Creignout (FRA), Brett Heimstra (USA), David Kinoshita (JPN)
Heat 16: Romain Maurin (FRA), Eduardo Bage (BRA), Keegan Edwards (HAW)