Day Three

oxbow surf competition

Searing Santa Ana offshore winds blew today and the action in the water was white hot for round 3. Having competed now in numerous world longboard championships, I am amazed at the new frontiers of expression the sport brings. The likes of Josh Constable, Ben Skinner, Tom Lloy, Eduardo Bage, Taylor Jenson, Matthew Moir and Duane Desoto push power and style right to the edge.

Oxbowpro WLT – DAY 3 BY SAM BLEAKLEY

Chasing his fourth world title Oxbowpro teamrider Colin McPhillips was on fire with his signature roundhouse cutback at the wave his whole repertoire has been perfected at – San O. Colin defeated silky French stylist Damian Casterra, one of six Frenchmen competing at the WLT. Leading the European charge, Basque country based surfers Timothee Creignout, Romain Maurin and Antoine Delpero advanced to the fourth round in superb form. Current world number two Antoine won despite a double paddle interference that meant both surfers had their second highest scoring waves cut in half.

oxbow surf competition
Sam Bleakley

Sam at San O FRIDAY 7TH NOVEMBER

Brazilian hotshots Eduardo Bage, Jamie Viudes and Alex Salazar pushed on through, but reigning world champion Phil Rajzman lost to local trailist Joe Aaran in a magic display of traditional surfing, proving big heats can be claimed at this level on an old school 9’ 4” single fin. Fellow Americans Josh Baxter and Taylor Jenson absolutely killed their respective heats with faultless linking turns, noserides and speed. Brad Vetter had the hang ten of the contest so far, and two huge scores, but was up against Bonga Perkins from Hawaii who lit up with a 9.5 and 8.0 wave score. Ned Snow was also incredible, beating 2006 world champion Josh Constable. Duane Desoto started his heat with a booming backhand attack of radical turns, but Australian Jarred Neal fought back for a brilliant win, inspiring countrymen Bryce Young and a laser sharp Harley Ingelby to also win.

A searing sun made for a steamy beach day, but as ever, the atmosphere was all Aloha at San O and personified by on site legends Henry Ford, Nat Young, Linda Benson and Mickey Munoz. Along the sizzling long rights at Old Mans freedom of expression and cutting loose was happening, with Matthew Moir, Bonga Perkins, Taylor Jenson, Colin McPhillips and Harley Ingleby all proving they are amped and focused for the title.

San Clemente

SAN CLEMENTE, California (Friday, November 7, 2008) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Longboard Tour (WLT) is expecting to complete Round 3 of the Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour in one-to-three foot (1 metre) surf at San Onofre State Beach this morning.

The Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour was expected to start at 7:30am, but is on hold due to the slow conditions on offer this morning. The event coordinator and head judge will reconvene at 8am for a possible 8:15am start and still plan on completing all 16 heats included in Round 3 today.

“The surf is a little slow and inconsistent this morning, so we’re going to wait a while for the tide to drop a bit,” Tim Marshall, Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour event head judge said. “We want to make this a wave riding contest, not a wave catching one and we feel that if we hold off competition for a while that the conditions should improve.”

Today’s action will see the event’s top seeds such as Ingleby, Antoine Delpero (FRA), 23, Bonga Perkins (HAW), 36, Matthew Moir (ZAF), 31, and local favorite Colin McPhillips (USA), 33, attempt to move one step closer to claiming this year’s ASP WLT title.

SAN CLEMENTE, California (Friday, November 07, 2008) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Longboard Tour (WLT) completed Round 3 of the Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour at San Onofre State Beach today in Peaky two-to-three foot (1 metre) surf. Round 3 action saw event trialist Joe Aaron (USA), 17, eliminate reigning ASP WLT Champion Phil Rajzman (BRA) from competition, while Hawaiians Bonga Perkins (HAW), 36, and Ned Snow (AUS), 23, posted some big scores in their bouts.

The Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour

at San Onofre State Beach marks the last of two events on the ASP WLT with the top finisher of the series taking the title of ASP World Longboard Champion. Harley Ingleby, 25, won the last Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour event at Les Cavalliers in Anglet, France and the Australian is still in the hunt for back-to-back Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour wins.

Aaron, who entered the Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour event via the trials, issued the upset of the contest by eliminating the defending ASP WLT champion, Rajzman, from competition in a tight Round 3 heat to advance into Round 4. The unexpected elimination of Rajzman by the young local surfer halts the Brazilians chances of a repeat ASP WLT title.

“I’m so psyched,” Aaron said. “I’m just stoked that I got the sets and beating him is just such a career highlight for me. To me, before I started that heat I was kind of thinking that going against the world champ, that it was impossible for me to advance, but I guess nothing’s impossible.”

Aaron

Aaron, who is the youngest surfer remaining in the event, hopes he can carry the confidence earned from defeating the current ASP WLT Champion into his next heat.

“This helps my confidence,” Aaron said. “This betters me and I just want to keep on trucking and try to stay confident in my next heat.”

Perkins

Perkins opened up his heat by dropping an 8.0 and followed it up with the highest single wave score of the event, a 9.50, both out of a possible 10, in the opening minutes of his Round 3 match up against local surfer Brad Vetter (USA) and held on to take the heat victory.

“The 9.5 was my second wave and it wasn’t a set wave, but it lined up really good,” Perkins said. “I think when you have these conditions sometimes the biggest waves aren’t the best ones because the smaller ones have more of a wall. That wave really helped me out in the long run, because I had a couple of 8’s and Brad (Vetter) had a couple of 8’s, so that made the difference. I’ll take it.”

Despite the fact that Perkins earned one of the highest heat totals of the event, Vetter fought back and posted a 17.15 out of 20, falling just short of Perkins’ near-perfect performance.

“Brad (Vetter), my props to him because he just made it that much harder,” Perkins said. “He started banging out a couple of 8’s, it came down to the last couple of minutes. It was a pretty close one though. That was a nail biter. All these guys who surf here, especially the local boys, you’re kind of at a disadvantage when you surf against them when San Onofre State Beach gets a little small and a little more technical. These guys pick up on it quick so I just wanted to catch a couple waves early in my heat so at least I’d have a chance. It proved to be the winning combination so I’m pretty happy about that.”

Perkins

Perkins, who is currently third on the ASP WLT, is still in contention to claim this year’s ASP World Longboard Title, but the veteran surfer is focusing on his Round 4 heat against Jared Neal (AUS) first.

“It would be nice, but I can’t even think about it right now,” Perkins said. “Of course that’s the ultimate reward, but right now I’m just taking it heat by heat. I’ve got Jared Neal next and I’m more focused on that at the moment than I am going for a world title.”

Ned Snow took advantage of a desired rematch against 2006 ASP World Longboar Champion Josh Constable (AUS) and earned the better of the exchange at San Onofre State Beach today by posting a heat total of 17.40 to oust the defending champion from the event. Snow lost to Constable in the Final of the 2006 ASP WLT Championships and was happy to get his chance to top the fierce competitor at this year’s Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour event.

“It was a good rematch,” Snow said. “When I saw my name dropped in next to his I was really excited. I’m stoked with how it turned out. I’ve been waiting to come up against him for a while because he won the World Championships in 2006 and I got second. I wish I was in his position back then, but it’s all good. That was that event and there’s always another.”

Tomorrow’s Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour at San Onofre State Beach will see the event’s top performers hit the water in Round 4 at 7:30am.

Oxbowpro World Longboard Tour Round 3 Results:

Heat 1: Colin McPhillips (USA) 16.00 def. Damien Castera (FRA) 12.20

Heat 2: Timothee Creignout (FRA) 14.00 def. Troy Mothershed (USA) 12.15

Heat 3: Jared Neal (AUS) 12.60 def. Duane de Soto (HAW) 12.45

Heat 4: Bonga Perkins (HAW) 17.50 def. Brad Vetter (USA) 12.60

Heat 5: Eduardo Bage (BRA) 10.55 def. Jonathan Larcher (FRA) 10.50

Heat 6: Jamie Viudes (BRA) 13.00 def. Jeremias da Silva (BRA) 12.25

Heat 7: Ned Snow (HAW) 17.40 def. Josh Constable (AUS) 14.20

Heat 8: Harley Ingleby (AUS) 17.60 def. Steve Newton (USA) 13.75

Heat 9: Antoine Delpero (FRA) 10.00 def. Tom Witt (USA) 9.07

Heat 10: Bryce Young (AUS) 11.75 def. Tom Lloy (USA) 10.25

Heat 11: Josh Baxter (USA) 13.50 def. Amaro Matos (BRA) 10.10

Heat 12: Romain Maurin (FRA) 14.85 def. Cole Robbins (USA) 13.50

Heat 13: Joe Aaron (USA) 11.50 def. Phil Rajzman (BRA) 11.25

Heat 14: Alex Salazar (BRA) 14.75 def. Ben Skinner (GBR) 12.90

Heat 15: Matthew Moir (ZAF) 14.60 def. Sam Bleakley (GBR) 10.40

Heat 16: Taylor Jensen (USA) 18.25 def. Kekoa Uemura (HAW) 8.35