Tue, 12 March 2019

Defending world longboard champ Steven Sawyer took 2nd in the first World Longboard Tour event of 2019 - the Noosa Longboard Open in Australia, losing to American Justin Quintal.

Award Ceremony_DSC6946NoosaLB19Barripp

LONG AND SHORT: Justin Quintal with runner-up Steven Sawyer from JBay. Photo WSL / Barripp

Sawyer, the top seed and reigning WSL longboard champion after winning the one-off title decider in Taiwan in December, is looking forward to travelling to venues he has not previously visited to defend his crown this year. The WSL has released an expanded and new format for longboarding this year.

“I love competing so much it’s in my blood,” Sawyer said. “Having more events for the Longboard Tour and the revamped format is so good. First or second is a great result as I had a bit of pressure to back up my win in Taiwan so I’m really happy. It’s been an amazing week hanging out in Noosa. I love this place.”

The surfer-musician, who grew up riding the long walls of JBay and has won international events on short and longboards, cut a swathe through the world’s best longboarders. He eliminated 2x world champ Phil Rajzman (BRA) with a last-minute ride in Round 5, convincingly outpointed 2006 world champ and 4x Noosa winner Josh Constable (AUS) in the quarter-finals and defeated 3x world champ Taylor Jensen (USA) in their semi-final.

Quintal j_DSC6051NoosaLB19Barripp

FIVE TOES NOSE: US surfer Quintal hadn't surfed in a WSL event for five years. Photo WSL / Barripp

In his first WSL event in almost five years, Floridian Quintal surfed through eight rounds at three Queensland surf spots - First Point, Main Beach and Castaways - as the organisers moved to the best waves in the area on a fading swell.

It seemed as thought he had peaked too early, leaving Sawyer to lead for the majority of the finalHe posted excellent scores all the way but after a boundary pushing performance in his semi-final, it seemed as if he had peaked too early, leaving Sawyer to lead for the majority of the final. Fortunately for Quintal, he found a long walling left and rode it perfectly, combining drop knee cut-backs with some long hang-tens through the critical sections to take the lead and clinch victory.

“The direction the WSL is taking with the Longboarding Tour is a really great one. I think we will see a lot more of the top longboarders competing at all of these great locations, which is going to put longboarding in such a good place. I’m really excited to compete in Spain and New York and hopefully go all the way to Taiwan at the end of the year.”

Sawyer’s compatriots Sam Christianson (Durban) and Dylan Macleod (Port Elizabeth) were eliminated in their opening heats with Christianson finishing equal 33rd and Macleod equal 57th overall.

Calmon c_DSC6335NoosaLB19Barripp

GREEN DAY: Chloe Calmon looked effortless during her long walk to victory. Photo WSL / Barripp

Chloe Calmon (BRA) has finished just short of a world title a number of times in her young career but hopes that in 2019, she can go all the way. The 25-year-old Brazilian longboard prodigy has all the makings of a champion but not yet the silverware to match it.

Calmon got her 2019 campaign off to the perfect start with a dominating performance over Honolua Blomfield (HAW) in the final and believes that the revamped WSL Longboard Tour with new locations and format could put her in a better position than she’s ever been to take WSL Longboard glory.

“I’m so stoked to win this event but I’m more stoked about the direction Longboarding is going in,” Calmon said. “With the new events and the new format longboarding is in such a good position. There is more opportunity to win the title and even more opportunity for more surfers to compete which is so cool. It’s such an exciting time to be involved.

Sawyer s_DSC5747NoosaLB19Barripp

GLIDE KING: Steven Sawyer is a prodigious talent destined to go far. Photo WSL / Barripp

“This is such a shock to me, I really wasn't expecting this to unfold like this. Obviously, my aim was to win this event, but I thought if it was going to happen it was going to be at First Point. I have been practising over there on the point and getting my backhand dialled in so to win on left-handers at a beach-break is not what I had in mind -- but I’ll take it for sure.”

Quintal and Calmon are now the number one ranked surfers in the world on the revamped WSL Longboard Tour which comprises of four events - Noosa, Queensland; Pantin, Spain; New York City and Taitung, Taiwan. The results of these events will decide the eventual 2019 WSL World Longboard Champions.

Full results, news, images and video footage from the Noosa Longboard Open are available at www.worldsurfleague.com and on the WSL App.

Add comment

Please don't say anything you would not say to a real person, and please use your real name.

Security code

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio


Mon Aug 19 14:50:25 +0000 2019

Some insane skills were on display at the QS Caraïbos Lacanau Pro held in France on the weekend, and won by Maud Le… https://t.co/j0OWNcCFYg
Thu Aug 15 07:54:14 +0000 2019

Could the old man of the sea Kelly Slater make it the lucky 7th at the Tahiti Pro presented by Hurley, coming up at… https://t.co/ur9XXya8zh
Mon Aug 12 05:53:32 +0000 2019

Durban and surrounds -- There's some south swell to 4ft on open coast Monday with maybe 2' or 3' sets bending into… https://t.co/Z2wz2fBNxT
Mon Aug 12 05:42:50 +0000 2019

Cape Peninsula -- Solid if a bit messy stormsea Monday with white water heaving on deepwater reefs to a solid 15ft… https://t.co/Qsl3o7J1As
Follow Wavescape on Twitter

Wavescape friends and partners Isiqalo Foundation DIFF CSIR Isiqalo Foundation Surfing  South Africa Save Our Seas Shark Centre Isiqalo Foundation Red Bull Media House DIFF National Sea Rescue Institute Shark Spotters ASP Africa