France’s two-time ISA World Champion Antoine Delpero dominates his home break, excites local crowd with top wave scores and heat total
Defending Gold Medalist USA impresses with high heat totals from defending World Champion Kai Sallas and Cole Robbins
Competition fierce with Pan Am and ANOC World Beach Games qualification slots at play
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After a blazing start with the women’s competition on the opening day, the Men’s Division took center stage with displays of world-class talent on the second day of competition at the 2019 ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship in Biarritz, France.
France’s hometown favorite and two-time ISA Longboard World Championship Antoine Delpero dominated his local break of Côte des Basques and excited the crowed with the two highest wave scores and highest heat total of the day. Delpero’s waves of 8.80 and 8 earned him a total of 16.80, getting his campaign for a third ISA Longboard Gold Medal off to an excellent start.
Antoine Delpero’s younger brother, Edouard Delpero, also put on a strong showing. Edouard earned the third highest wave score with 7.67 behind his brother’s two scores in the 8-point range.
The defending Gold Medalist Team USA showed excellent control in the tricky conditions with superb performances from their male competitors. The defending Men’s Gold Medalist Kai Sallas earned the second highest heat total of the day with 13.90 and his teammate Cole Robbins followed close behind with the third highest total, 13.50.
Benoit ‘Piccolo’ Clemente, the defending Silver Medalist from the 2018 edition in Wanning, China, advanced through Round 1 of the Main Event, looking to take the next step to the Gold Medal in 2019.
The competition thus far in the event has been fierce, as the athletes are competing with the added motivation of earning the available qualification slots in the 2019 Pan Am Games and 2019 ANOC World Beach Games (WBG). The highest finishing man and woman from the Americas will earn their ticket to the Pan Ams in Lima, Peru, while the WBG, to take place in San Diego, USA, will divvy up 26 slots between the men and women.
Uruguay’s Ignacio Pignataro took the top honors in his round 1 heat and spoke about the significance of longboard’s Pan American inclusion.
“It really important to have longboarding included in the Pan American Games. We are looking forward to having a spot there alongside the shortboard surfing and are all eager to fight for that qualification slot that is available in this event.
“It’s a special moment for our sport, allowing it to be shown to people all around the world. Hopefully this is a stepping stone to gain eventual inclusion in the Olympic Games.”
South Africa’s Alfonzo Pieters advanced through his round 1 heat to advance to the main event. Pieters, who had a challenging childhood, living on the street of Cape Town, became one of the feel-good stories at the 2018 edition of the event due to his long road to represent his nation at the highest level of the sport.
“Longboard surfing has given me a whole new life,” said Pieters. “Before surfing I was distraught. I had no focus or base. I started surfing and got a job in surfing. Then I met my wife through surfing and we had a child, so surfing gave me everything.
“Being in France with the best longboard surfers in the world is a great achievement. My wife keeps reminding me that I deserve to be here. I take that and I run with it.
“I am way more confident competing this year. I don’t feel like the same surfer I was at last year’s event.”
ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:
“The conditions were tricky today, but the world’s best longboarders showed why they have been selected to their national teams and put on a great display of graceful, elegant surfing.
“The excitement in the air at this record-breaking edition is incredible, as the athletes are giving it their all for the qualification slots up for grabs in the Pan Am Games and ANOC World Beach Games. Not only are Gold Medals up for grabs, but a historic opportunity to compete on a global stage in Olympic Movement events.”
The schedule for Tuesday’s competition is as follows:
- 7:30am – 9:10am – 5 heats Women Repechage Round 1
- 9:10am – 11:10am – 6 heats Women Main Event Round 2
- 11:10am – 1:30pm – 7 heats Men Repechage Round 1
Schedule is subject to changes.
Follow the action live on www.isasurf.org.