ANGLET, France (Thur., May 3, 2007) – Once again it was the sandbanks at les Cavalier, the fabled European beachbreak near Anglet, which provided many of the highlights on the third day of the Oxbow Pro World Championship.
In a day of incredible waves, one wave stood out though, caught by Hawaiian Keegan Edwards. Edwards took off on a pristine righthander and pulled in behind the curtain. For what seemed an eternity he travelled through tube only to exit to the roar of the crowd.
"Well, I am from Hawaii, so that's we do, we ride tubes," said Edwards matter-of-factly. "I saw that little double up and it was there, so I just rode it out. When I came out I gave a little shaka, like, 'bring on France' you know. I was pretty stoked."
That wave scored a 9.50 from the judges and was the highest score of the day.
In other heats, it tended to be a tale of youth and endeavour taking out the aged and the experienced.
The last heat of Round 2 saw the elder statesmen of Brazilian surfing Alex "Picaruta" Salazar taking on the next big thing in Brazilian surfing, the powerful 24-year-old Phil Rajzman (BRA). This time though the young gun was too strong for his good friend and mentor.
"It was difficult because I have learned so much from Picaruta. He is my master," Rajzman said." Still, I wasn't too nervous, I've been surfing competitions since I was 14 and also the beach in front of my house in Brazil is a lot like this, powerful beachbreaks, so I really enjoy these type of waves."
In the following heat, Round 3, Heat 1, it was similar sets of circumstances with 18-year-old local hope Antoine Delpero (FRA) taking on the 41-year-old veteran Amaro Matos (BRA). Matos was the form surfer having scored the highest two-wave heat score yesterday. Again though, it was a case of youth overcoming experience with the wildcard Delpero advancing.
"It was a hard heat, with quite difficult waves," said Delpero, "but I was lucky that I found some waves with nice open walls."
After the heat, his father, coach and a whole host of friends congratulated Delpero, who was born in Marseille but has been adopted by this part of the Basque coast, on the beach. The most conspicuous of the entourage though was one man who was dressed in a head-to-toe white-feathered suit.
"Yes, that is my friend Jilou, he is perfect," laughed Delpero. "He came to congratulate me with his super suit and will be there for every heat. He is my lucky charm."
The other upset of the round saw perennial contender Duane de Soto (HAW), knocked over in the final minutes by Brazilian goofyfooter Jamie Viudes. The big Brazil contingent on shore went absolutely crazy when Viudes scored an 8 point ride to sink the respected Hawaiian's hopes.
The winner of the Oxbow Pro World Longboard Championship will be crowned the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 2007 Men's World Longboard Champion, the highest accolade in longboard surfing. The event is set to continue tomorrow with organizers aiming for a 9.30am start. For more information go to www.oxboworld.com
Remaining Round 3 match ups
Heat 7: Ben Skinner (GBR) vs Carlos Bahia
Heat 8: Josh Constable (AUS) vs Harrison Roach (AUS)
Heat 9: Ned Snow (HAW) vs Jackson Close (AUS)
Heat 10: Colin McPhillips (USA) vs Roger Barros (BRA)
Heat 11: Bonga Perkins (USA) Dodger Kremel (USA)
Heat 12: Jonas Lima (BRA) vs Eduardo Bage (BRA)
Heat 13: Harley Ingleby (AUS) vs Bryce Young (AUS)
Heat 14: Romain Maurin (FRA) vs Tom Lloy (USA)
Heat 15: Mathew Moir (ZAF) vs Kai Sallas (HAW)
Heat 16: Danilo Rodrigo (BRA) vs Anri Nabeshima (JPN)
Round 3: 1st progress to Round 4, 2nd eliminated
Heat 1: Antoine Delpero (FRA) 12.75 d Amaro Matos (BRA) 6.10
Heat 2: Jeremias de Silva (BRA) 7.65 d Josh Baxter (USA) 6.00
Heat 3: Phil Rajzman 13.75 d Timothee Craignout 10.85
Heat 4: Taylor Jensen (USA) d Jonathan Larcher (FRA) 6.00
Heat 5: Jamie Viudes (BRA) 13.75 d Duane de Soto (HAW) 10.85
Heat 6: Keegan Edwards (HAW) 11.25 d Marcelo Freitas (BRA) 6.00
Round 2, 1st place progress, 2nd place eliminated
Heat 9: Noah Shimabukuro (HAW) 9.05 d Dodger Kremel (USA) 11.50
Heat 10: Ben Skinner (GBR) 10.40 d David Kinoshita (JPN) 6.25
Heat 11: Keegan Edwards (HAW) 15.75 d Kekoa Uemura (HAW) 8.75
Heat 12: Carlos Bahia (BRA) 14.50 d Brett Heimstra (USA) 5.90
Heat 13: Roger Barros (BRA) 11.50 d Dennis Bourg (USA) 4.60
Heat 14: Tom Lloy (USA) 9.15 d Joe Aaron (USA) 6.40
Heat 15: Anri Nabeshima (JPN) 7.15 d Jed Morouse (USA) 5.50
Heat 16: Phil Rajzman (BRA) 11.75 d Alex Salazar (BRA) 6.00