Mon, 20 March 2017
Can you make a single fin log do this? Should you? They're smashing the World Longboard Champs in PNG but top seeds Steezy Sawyer and Matthew Moir are in Rd 3 without riding a wave, writes Spike.
Sawyer and Moir will be happy that some no-shows gave them a direct berth to Round 3 but will most likely be keen to get in the water. Continued 4-6 foot waves poured into Uligan Bay for the Kumul PNG World Longboard Champs in Papua New Guinea early today.
You have to think that surfing with single fins will not work with this type of surfing. Start a logging world tour would be better, or not, but keep these things separate. This is an aggressive, ruthless dismantling of the wave with lots of foam and fins to chuck buckets of spray - enough to water my garden in drought-stricken Cape Town.
Sure, some athletes make it look so stylish, but going to a Sopwith Camel when you've been flying a F-17, is going to create problems. For a start, you'll have to wear goggles, a woollen scarf and say "Jolly Good old Chap" in between reciting the poem "Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings".
It's a different style of flying.
No-shows in Round One provided top seeded surfers Steven Sawyer (World Surf League, he is not from Australia) and Matthew Moir a direct pass into Round Three.
PNG was represented once more with their National Champion Titima Mange (PNG) pitted against event threat Jared Neal (AUS) in an exciting matchup that witnessed a barrel fest. Mange put himself in the deepest positions possible looking for the big scores and nearly pulled out a huge upset over Neal. After just missing the exit on what may have been the highest score of the heat, Mange earned yet another cover up that he flew out of for a 7.40 (out of a possible 10).
But, Neal’s veteran knowledge in both competition and waves of consequence paid dividends in the dying minutes. After Mange took off on the first wave, Neal pulled into a Tupira bomb that earned him the highest score of the event -- a near-perfect 9.17.
Just prior to the high drama, Brazilian Jeferson Silva (BRA) came out victorious in his dual with Tupira’s own Akun Alois (PNG) in Round Two, Heat 3 to start the day. Silva eliminated the PNG-native who walked away with a smile on his face after making one last historical appearance.
One of the most complete heats in Round Two was witnessed by Tony Silvagni’s (USA) incredible blend of style and progression to earn an 8.33. He backed it up with a massive layback after a stylish hang-ten that led up to the big maneuver for a 9.00 -- the highest single-scoring wave of the Round Two. Silvagni hasn’t cracked a big result on the WLC stage and showed he may be a threat to watch here in PNG with the highest heat total of the event thus far -- a 17.33.
A stylish hang ten directly into a deep bottom-to-top turn combo
Kaniela Stewart (HAW) earned an excellent score of his own in the following heat with an 8.17, combining a stylish hang ten directly into a deep bottom-to-top turn combo before finishing with one last roundhouse. The 15-year-old Hawaiian showed he’s up to the challenge at PNG and upset higher-seeded surfer Aurelien Meynieux (FRA).
In an interesting draw, Emilien Fluery’s (FRA) beautiful style earned him a 14.67 heat total over the 18-year-old British upstart Joe Hornbuckle (GBR). The Frenchman’s ability to find the nose repeatedly as conditions slowed in their heat was unrivaled with great footwork during the thirty-minute bout.
A massive heat between Aussies Jack Entwistle (AUS) and Nic Jones (AUS) finished Round Two to round out the stacked Round Three matchups. In the end, it was Jones who topped his compatriot his powerful approach to critical sections of the wave.
Dane Pioli (AUS), Kevin Skvarna (USA), Ned Snow (HAW), Bage Brayner (BRA), also advanced into critical Round Three elimination matchups that await the next call.
Tune in live tomorrow at 8:00am AEDT (11.30pm TONIGHT ZA time, which is a bit awkward) to witness more at the beautiful righthand reefbreak of Tupira at www.worldsurfleague.com or by downloading the WSL App.
Men’s Round Three Matchups
Heat 1: Rodrigo Sphaier (BRA) vs. Nic Jones (AUS)
Heat 2: Kai Sallas (HAW) vs. Ned Snow (HAW)
Heat 3: Piccolo Clemente (PER) vs. Shohei Akimoto (JPN)
Heat 4: Harley Ingleby (AUS) vs. Emilien Fluery (FRA)
Heat 5: Jeferson Silva (BRA) vs. Antoine Delpero (FRA)
Heat 6: Phil Razjman (BRA) vs. Dane Pioli (AUS)
Heat 7: Steven Sawyear (ZAF) vs. Bage Brayner (BRA)
Heat 8: Cole Robbins (USA) vs. Jared Neal (AUS)
Heat 9: Edouard Delpero (FRA) vs. Kevin Skvarna (USA)
Heat 10: Ben Skinner (GBR) vs. Tony Silvagni (USA)
Heat 11: Matthew Zoir (ZAF) vs. Adam Griffiths (GBR)
Heat 12: Taylor Jensen (USA) vs. Kaniela Stewart (HAW)
Women’s Round Two Matchups:
Heat 1: Chelsea Williams (AUS) vs. Victoria Vergara (FRA)
Heat 2: Crystal Walsh (HAW) vs. Maria Fernanda Reyes (PER)
Heat 3: Chloe Calmon (BRA) vs. Ruthy Kurumuk (PNG)
Heat 4: Justine Mauvin (FRA) vs. Marianne Longa (PNG)
Heat 5: Nava Young (AUS) vs. Kathryn Hughes (AUS)
Heat 6: Lindsay Steinreide (USA) vs. Atalanta Batista (BRA)