FISTRAL BEACH, Newquay – Competition entered its business end at Newquay with excellent four to five foot (1.2 to 1.5 meter) waves greeting the event’s leaders as the first One-to-one battles got underway. While competition moved from the end of Round 2 through to Round 4 in high performance fashion, current ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) ratings’ big names were able to deliver another lesson of competitive surfing with massive scores being posted throughout the day.
Current ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) ratings’ leader Daniel Ross (New South Wales, AUS), 26, reminded everyone why he has been leading the international contingent for a couple of months now coming up with outstanding levels of surfing. Opening his 3-Man battle with an excellent 8.50 point ride, Ross was able to clinch his win after his second to last ride, a 9.33 pointer giving him the day’s highest result of 17.83 points (out of a possible 20).
“It is really enjoyable to have fun waves here,” Ross said. “The crowds are usually good and we’ve had great waves since the start so I had a great time competing today. That result is already a keeper for me and going over the 14.000 point mark so regardless of what anyone says, it should be fine for me to get back [on the ASP World Tour].”
Ross, who has developed solid heats tactics and mental strength since he got back on the ASP WQS in February, showed he was to be counted with in any kind of conditions, the renowned powerful big wave surfer taming the clean smaller waves easily.
“I am just doing what I can do and trying to have fun with it all,” Ross said. “I’ve been working on my boards with Christian [Bradley] and it’s made a big difference. I am trying to stay fit and keep that power there and it’s been working well in the smaller stuff as well.”
Ross’s performances today saw the Australian native secure his Quarterfinal berth later in the day, his win over former ASP Top 45 member Eric Rebiere (Biarritz, FRA) in Round 3 guaranteeing the 26-year-old athlete a minimum of 1300 points counting towards his overall ratings’ point total. Ross will now meet with event youngest competitor though renowned Hawaiian John John Florence (Oahu, HAW), 15.
Advancing through to the Quarterfinals of the Relentless Boardmasters in association with Vans were current ratings’ No. 11 Joan Duru (Ondres, FRA), 19, and defending champion Wiggoly Dantas (BRA), the Brazilian competitor easily ousting British legend Sam Lamiroy (Newcastle, GBR). Dantas, who has been rising heat after heat as a serious contender for the crown, which would be his second consecutive one, showed maturity and patience to get hold of the better waves, finishing the 25-minute encounter with an impressive 8.83 point ride to seal the deal.
“I am surfing well and it pleases me for sure,” Dantas said. “I feel a bit more pressure still but being in the Quarterfinals is definitely already a good thing. I am just trying to approach my heats as if it was a free-surf and I hope I can keep it up tomorrow.”
Dantas’s solid run today took him through two rounds of competition, the 19-year-old rising talent posting 17.00 points (out of a possible 20) en route to the Quarterfinals, a good confidence to remain focused on a big result to keep his ASP World Tour qualification hopes alive.
While Florence was securing his Quarterfinal berth for his best result to date in an ASP WQS main event, posting the event’s best wave score was former Relentless Boardmasters champion Antonio Bortoletto (Durban, ZAF), 29. Bortoletto, despite losing in Round 4 to local boy and renowned British surfer Alan Stokes (GBR), scored the event’s highest wave ride today, a near perfect 9.60 point scorer earlier in the day to leave his mark on the 2009 edition at Fistral Beach, an event where he reached his career best in 2005.
“I feel confident in Newquay, definitely one of my favorite places,” Bortoletto said. “I was pretty stoked with the waves today. I have been staying home for the first half of the year and I am back in Europe and looking to get results. That 9th is a keeper.”
With former ASP Top 45 surfer Travis Logie (Durban, ZAF) surfing tomorrow first thing when competition resumes, the Relentless Boardmasters in association with Vans could see a champion crowned tomorrow as ten heats only remain. Event officials will reconvene tomorrow at 10.30 AM, and decide whether the ASP WQS 5-Star prestigious contest wraps up or not.
RELENTLESS BOARDMASTERS ROUND 3 RESULTS
Heat 1: Daniel Ross (AUS) 17.83 pts, John John Florence (HAW) 12.20 pts, Travis Beckmann (USA) 10.50 pts
Heat 2: Reubin Pearce (GBR) 10.50 pts, Eric Rebiere (FRA) 10.20 pts, Mark Harris (GBR) 9.83 pts
Heat 3: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 11.83 pts, Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 11.63 pts, Jorge Spanner (BRA) 10.44 pts
Heat 4: Joan Duru (FRA) 11.73 pts, Sam Lamiroy (GBR) 8.93 pts, Ruben Gonzales (PRT) 0.00 pts
Heat 5: Antonio Bortoletto (ZAF) 15.90 pts, Travis Logie (ZAF) 15.20 pts, Medi Veminardi (REU) 11.04 pts
Heat 6: Trojaola Txaber Renobales (EUK) 10.80 pts, Alan Stokes (GBR) 9.80 pts, Heath Joske (AUS) 9.66 pts
Heat 7: Klee Strachan (ZAF) 13.60 pts, Russell Winter (GBR) 11.50 pts, Hodei Collazo (EUK) 9.24 pts
Heat 8: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.33 pts, Glenn Hall (IRE) 9.50 pts, Madison Williams (AUS) 9.23 pts