The 22nd Surfing Games have begun in Portugal with sunshine, five-foot waves, well-wishers and, most importantly of all, some of the world’s greatest athletes … the ISA World Surfing Games 2008 have begun.
Australia, France, South Africa, Brazil and the United States are the strong favourites for these games – but that’s not to say that someone from somewhere else won’t prove the pundits wrong. Italian Gidesio Ludovisi and Mark Jucker from Switzerland have already given some top rated surfers something to worry about..
The first and second round of the Longboard division, along with round one of Men’s and Women’s Bodyboard, were held yesterday.
The best performance of the day came from French Antoine Deplero who earned applause from the beach when surfing in the Longboard division. He deserved it after walking gracefully on his board and packing a great right with manoeuvres. He received a 10 from the judges which was backed up with an excellent 8.83. He went on later to win his second round heat, scoring a 9.5 and a 7.83. This was enough to put him in the short list of eight longboarders who will continue in the competition.
“The day was pretty good; this brings a lot of confidence to me. Let’s hope to keep it this way,” Delpero said. Regarding the spirit of the event, he added: “This is a great competition because we’re all together and we make a good team. Ours is really good and really united. This gives you a lot of power.”
In the Bodyboard division, another Frenchman scored the highest combined and single wave score. Pierre Louis Costes landed an amazing back flip that was worth 8.5 and was backed with a 7.00 to go through to the second round. elighted with his win and for the added bonus of landing his favourite trick successfully, he said “The heat was pretty good for me. I had two average waves at the beginning so, after that, I just tried to push my limits. A big wave came and I tried the back flip and landed it. I’m feeling great; this event is like the Olympic Games and we have a great team!”
On the womens’ side, Australian Lilly Pollard reigned supreme in the Women’s Bodyboarding, scoring 14.25 in her best two waves and soundly beating Mexican Kenia León, who came second and Peruvian María Chavez. Other great performances came from the local Rita Pires, French Heloise Bourrox, Japan’s Yasuko Kima and Puerto Rican Natasha Sagardia.
These events continue today.
All-in-all there will be 48 heats over the next few days giving the world’s best surfers a chance to prove themselves and win their competitions. There should be some great videos coming our way shortly – but not much yet. The German team have been videoing it very professionally but unfortunately this includes a lot of interviews etc – in German… so not much good for us here – apologies to SURFDWV because at least you’re documenting it! My fault for not understanding German!!!.
Since I can’t find anything on the ISA Games I thought I’d just post a bodyboarding video to get you in the mood for things to come – hopefully … so thanks to reano80 for this great video on extreme bodyboarding. Hope you guys who are lucky enough to be out there in Costa de Caparica get to see some similar action!