An idyllic setting and perfect waves at Pasta Point in the Maldives set the scene for the final event of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Oxbow World Longboard Tour for 2009.
As the second and final event to the 2009 ASP Oxbow World Longboard Tour, this event will decide the 2009 ASP World Longboard Champion.
All 32 surfers competing in the event have arrived and are warming up in excellent three-to-four foot (1 – 1.5 metre) surf at Pasta Point.
Australia’s Harley Ingelby, the current leader on the 2009 ASP World Longboard season ratings, has been here for three days and has already spent many hours in the water familiarizing himself with the wave in hopes of giving himself the best chance to win this year’s ASP World Longboard Title.
“Awesome waves here and I’m really enjoying surfing,” Ingelby said. “As far as the world title goes, I’m only thinking about surfing heat-by-heat and simply treating this as another important ASP event. The ratings will take care of themselves, I just have to surf my best and try and win.”
Defending ASP World Longboard Champion, Bonga Perkins (Hawaii), is currently in third position on the ratings, and on a two-event series, has every chance of adding another title to his already impressive two ASP World Longboard Titles (1996, 2008).
“The world title is there to be won and that’s what I’m here for,” Perkins said. “There’s all sorts of equations as to how to win and I’m here to defend my title and if that means making the Final and winning the event then that’s what I’ll try and do. The waves are super fun, incredibly warm water and I’ve enjoyed surfing the last two days. I’m ready to go.”
Among the world’s elite of longboarding visiting the Maldives, the title contenders from the Oxbow team include Antoine Delpero (FRA), Duane de Soto (HAW), Ben Skinner (GBR), Eduardo Bagé (BRA), Matthew Moir (RSA) and Bryce Young (AUS).
Being a two-event series for 2009, there is a strong possibility that the No. 1 position on the ratings could be tied after this event and if that is the case, a surf-off will occur at this event.
ASP Tour Manager Al Hunt outlined the plans for this situation today.
“With two events of identically-rated events to decide the ASP World Longboard Title for 2009, there’s a big possibility of a first place tie and if that happens we’ll run a special Final here to determine the World Title,” Al Hunt, ASP World Longboard Tour Manager, said. “It’s a situation that will only be applied for 1st place on the ratings and we’ll determine how that final would be run if and when it’s required at the end of this event.”
The event will be live webcast via www.aspworldtour.com and with excellent swell running today it looks very much like round one action will commence early tomorrow morning.
OXBOW ASP WORLD LONGBOARD TOUR MALDIVES ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Colin McPhillips (USA) vs. Dylan Macleod (ZAF)
Heat 2: Bryce Young (AUS) vs. Kai Sallas (HAW)
Heat 3: Carlos Bahia (BRA) vs. Sam Bleakley (GBR)
Heat 4: Eduardo Bage (BRA) vs. Nobuhiro Ogashira (JPN)
Heat 5: Duane De Soto (HAW) vs. Troy Mothershead (USA)
Heat 6: Ned Snow (HAW) vs. Tony Silvagni (USA)
Heat 7: Ben Skinner (GBR) vs. Alexis Deniel (FRA)
Heat 8: Bonga Perkins (HAW) vs. Mitch Surman (AUS)
Heat 9: Harley Ingleby (AUS) vs. Justin Bing (ZAF)
Heat 10: Keegan Edwards (HAW) vs. Jared Neal (AUS)
Heat 11: Phil Rajzman (BRA) vs. Cole Robbins (USA)
Heat 12: Taylor Jensen (USA) vs. Jaime Viudes (BRA)
Heat 13: Antoine Delpero (FRA) vs. Taiki Mori (JPN)
Heat 14: Alex (Picuruta) Salazar (BRA) vs. Josh Constable (AUS)
Heat 15: Matthew Moir (ZAF) vs. Remi Arauzo (FRA)
Heat 16: Amaro Matos (BRA) vs. Jeremias Silva (BRA)