Day one

oxbow surf competition

Oxbowpro WLT DAY 1

Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour at San Onofre State Beach is ON

SAN CLEMENTE, California (Wednesday, November 5, 2008) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Longboard Tour (WLT) kicked off the last event of the Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour this morning at San Onofre State Beach in peaky two-to-four foot (1 metre) surf.

The newly added Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour event at San Onofre State Beach marks the last of two ASP WLT events, running from November 5-9, with all of the top longboarding competitors out to claim this year’s title of ASP World Longboard Champion.

Today’s competition will see local San Onofre State Beach surfers battle for four available spots into the coveted Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour event, where they will earn the chance to compete alongside the finest competitive longboarders from across the globe.

“We’re going to run the trials and Round 1 today,” Henry Ford, Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour event coordinator said. “The trials lead four guys into the main event and are for the locals. I believe some of the best surfing will take place this morning with the trialists. This is for the bragging rights at San Onofre State Beach and is for the locals and they are some of the best unknown surfers around.”

The Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour event at San Onofre State Beach will see top seeds such as current ratings leader Harley Ingleby (AUS), Oxbowpro rider Antoine Delperro (France), Phil Rajzman (BRA), Bonga Perkins (HAW) and local standout Oxbowpro rider Colin McPhillips (USA) hit the water in Round 1 today as they work towards claiming this year’s ASP World Longboard Title.

SAN CLEMENTE, California (Wednesday, November 05, 2008) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Longboard Tour (WLT) saw top seeds Harley Ingleby (AUS), 25, Antoine Delpero (FRA), 23, and Bonga Perkins (HAW), 36, standout on the opening day of the Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour event in peaky two-to-three foot (1 metre) surf at San Onofre State Beach today.

oxbow surf competition

The Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour event is a new addition to the ASP WLT, allowing the globe’s finest longboarding competitors a chance to earn the title of Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour and ASP World Longboard champion by the event’s end.

The first event of the ASP WLT saw Harley Ingleby (AUS), 25, win the Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour contest at Les Cavalliers in Anglet, France and the current ratings leader picked up where he left off by jumping out to an early lead in his Round 1 heat at San Onofre State Beach today. Ingleby made the best of the inconsistent conditions caused by the high tide and posted two solid scores on the way to his heat victory.

“It was pretty tough and I think the tide is hitting the high so it was really inconsistent,” Ingleby said. “I was just lucky that I got a bigger one right off the bat so I could relax a bit and the other guys were sort of scratching to get their first waves.

”The heat victory moves Ingleby one step closer to the coveted ASP World Longboard Champion title, but the young Australian is trying to approach this event as he would any other contest.“I’m trying not to think about it too much and just surf as if it’s any other contest and get as far as I can,” Ingleby said. “A lot of the boys have asked me if I’ve counted up the points and all that and honestly I haven’t really looked. I’m just trying to not really look at it.”

Perkins proved his surfing ability stretches far beyond the heavy waves he’s familiar with at home on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii by posting one of the day’s highest single wave scores of a near-perfect 9.10 out of a possible 10 in the small, peaky surf on offer in his opening heat.

“There are pretty soft waves out there, really peaky, and nothing was really linking up for me, but all you need is one,” Perkins said. “I’m happy to get that one and get the cobwebs out.”

Perkins started the wave off with a huge forehand blast and followed up with several powerful carves to earn the impressive score.

“I didn’t know that the judges were going to give me that high of a score,” Perkins said. “I just wanted to get that big hit on the outside. I know that the judges are looking for the outside maneuvers especially when there are not many sets coming through. Luckily I got that one big hit on the outside and followed it up with some one the inside.”

Matthew Moir (ZAF), 31, who is currently rated fifth on the ASP WLT, was also a standout in Round 1 today, earning the day’s highest heat total of 17.15 out of a possible 20 and advanced confidently into Round 3 over longtime competitor Alex Salazar (BRA) and Brad Vetter (USA). The stylish longboarder found the wave needed to claim his Round 1 win in the remaining minutes of his heat and was thrilled with the result.

“Alex (Salazar) has always been a long time competitor and I’ve never actually beaten him, so I was amping for it,” Moir said. “The waves came through and I was a little bit nervous on that first one and I got quite a good score and I tried to get a few inside ones and it went flat. All of a sudden that one came through at the end and I got a good score, so I’m stoked on that one.”

The innovative goofy-footer combined several progressive maneuvers with classic nose riding to dominate his opening heat. It was obvious that Moir felt right at home at San Onofre State Beach today, as Moir claims that the famed cobblestone reef-break reminds him of his local surf spot in South Africa.

“It’s very similar to what I ride back home,” Moir said. “I’ve been here a couple of times, so If you get the right one that actually links up it’s a good wave. You can do a lot of modern maneuvers and a lot of old school nose riding, so at least you can do a whole variety and it’s really good for longboarding.”

Current ASP WLT No. 2, Delpero, advanced directly into Round 3 of the Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour event as well. The young French talent made the best of a wave starved heat and is satisfied about his Round 3 berth.

“There were not enough waves in that heat,” Delpero said. “It was just peaks and no wall so it was difficult to make some turns, but it’s good, I got first so I’m into the next round.”

Delpero, who was the runner-up to Ingleby at the Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour event in Anglet, France, is in contention to take the 2008 ASP WLT title from the hungry Australian with a strong enough result here at San Onofre State Beach.

“It would be perfect, but we’re going to see, you never know,” Delpero said. “I hope we have some good waves and I will do my best.”

The Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour at San Onofre State Beach will reconvene tomorrow with Round 2.

Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour Round 1 Results:

Heat 1: Kekoa Uemura (HAW) 13.75, Jackson Close (AUS) 8.25, Rusty Keaulana (HAW) 7.35

Heat 2: Troy Mothershead (USA) 11.40, Danilo Rodrigo (BRA) 10.50, David Kinoshita (JPN) 5.75

Heat 3: Jared Neal (AUS) 14.15, Amaro Matos (BRA) 14.10, Jed Morouse (USA) 8.00

Heat 4: Matthew Moir (ZAF) 17.15, Alex Salazar ( BRA) 12.20, Brad Vetter (USA) 13.80

Heat 5: Colin McPhillips (USA) 15.50, Tom Lloyd (USA) 11.80, Zack Howard (USA) 4.03

Heat 6: Ned Snow (USA) 17.15, Carlos Bahia (BRA) 10.75, Kai Lenny (HAW) 4.75

Heat 7: Bonga Perkins (HAW) 14.85, Josh Constable (AUS) 12.85, Joe Aaron (USA) 12.50

Heat 8: Harley Ingleby (AUS) 13.00, Steve Newton (USA) 10.70, Ben Skinner (GBR) 6.50

Heat 9: Antoine Delpero (FRA) 13.60, Kai Sallas (HAW) 11.75, Brendan White (USA) 10.15

Heat 10: Phil Rajzman (BRA) 11.75, Bryce Young (AUS) 9.80, Tom Witt (USA) 9.35

Heat 11: Eduardo Bage (BRA) 14.50, Eugene Teal (JPN) 8.50, Dino Miranda (HAW) 7.75

Heat 12: Damien Castera (FRA) 11.65, Alexis Deniel (FRA) 9.75, Jamie Viudes (BRA) 8.10

Heat 13: Romain Maurin (FRA) 10.80, Sam Bleakey (GBR) 8.65, Cole Robbins (USA) 8.45

Heat 14: Taylor Jensen (USA) 16.75, Josh Baxter (USA) 7.50, Keegan Edwards (HAW) 7.25

Heat 15: Timothee Creignout (FRA) 10.90, Jeremias de Silva (BRA) 10.15, Andri Nabeshima (JPN) 5.80

Heat 16: Duane de Soto (HAW) 13.70, Roger Barros (BRA) 13.65, Jonathan Larcher (FRA) 9.05

Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour Round 2 Trials Results:

Heat 1: Joe Aaron (USA) 11.10, Tom Witt (USA) 10.05, Makanae de Soto (HAW) 7.90, Kevin Osborne (USA) 5.30

Heat 2: Steve Newton (USA) 14.25, Brendan White (USA) 12.55, Noah Shimabukuro (HAW) 10.90, Sean Hagar (USA) 10.05

Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour Round 1 Trails Results:

Heat 1: Tom Witt (USA) 12.00, Joe Aaron (USA) 11.75, Michael Gee (USA) 8.35, Dennis Bourg (USA) 5.70

Heat 2: Makanae de Soto (HAW) 10.25, Kevin Osborne (USA) 9.55, Robledo Oliveira (BRA) 7.70, Darren Ledingham (USA) 5.75

Heat 3: Brendan White (USA) 11.75, Steve Newton (USA) 8.55, Gabriel Nasceimento (BRA) 7.10, Brett Heimstra (USA) 4.75

Heat 4: Noah Shimabukuro (HAW) 12.65, Sean Haggar (USA) 12.35, Christian Wach (USA) 11.50, Tony Silvagni (USA) 10.70

Day 1 by Sam Bleakley

Oxbowpro WLT – OPENING DAY 1 WEDNESDAY 5TH NOVEMBER

America awoke to new President Barack Obama this morning, and there was a bright and exciting feel to the crisp air. At San O a green and clean 2-3 feet swell rolled over the kelp beds. The trials at the Oxbowpro WLT final got right under way in nice conditions with a quartet of Californians advancing into the main event and local standout Brendan White styling on the nose with hang tens and classic soul arch postures. The contest set up blends in sweetly with San O’s iconic grass shacks and bamboo beach showers. It looks just right. From the get go the organisation was perfect, and the animated commentary raised the excitement in every heat. The local Californians clearly know and love their coastline intimately, and were the first to spot a pod of dolphins darting passed the peak at ‘Old Mans’. Even surf legend David Nuuhiwa charmed the event with his presence. Hawaii-California transplant Nuuhiwa took 1960s noseriding to its zenith with a grace unmatched until American Joel Tudor cat walked in the 1990s.

oxbow surf competition

The sun got hot as the main event began, with the Hawaiians off to a stellar start as Kekoa Uemura, Ned Snow and Bonga Perkins advanced through heats, Ned and Bonga both with smoking 9 point plus rides. 42 year old Brazilian Amaro Matos was also shining, busting one near perfect wave score with powerful turns. Amaro is with fellow Brazilian Jeremias da Silva, a fisherman and lifeguard, always travelling on a shoestring and giving every contest his whole heart. Jeremias is also a religious man, claiming that “God is my sponsor!” The Australians are another solid force, and Jared Neal turned around a heat to defeat Amaro Matos, while WLT tour leader Harley Ingleby linked his roundhouse cutbacks with poise and control. 2007 World Champion Phil Rajzman squeezed through a tight heat against Bryce Young as the army choppers flew overhead to Camp Pendalton. But there are no losers today, because all the round one winners advance to the third round, while the losers surf in round two.

Oxbowpro team riders Matthew Moir, Colin McPhillips and Antoine Delpero, plus Californian Taylor Jenson, proved to be in stunning form, combining power, elegance and speed, but above all, tuning into the peaky conditions as the afternoon onshores blew away an excellent first day to the Oxbowpro WLT.