All three South African longboard surfers who jetted halfway around the world to compete in the inaugural Kumul PNG World Longboard Championships suffered early exits as the top seeds were upset by their peers in the outstanding surf.
The first of two events that will determine the 2017 WSL longboard champion, the event is also the first WSL event to be staged in Papua New Guinea in the South-West Pacific.
Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay), the No. 2 seed following his runner-up finish in the 2016 WSL World Longboard Championships on Hainan Island, China in December, placed second in his Round 1 heat before receiving a walk-thru to Round 3 when his opponent did not show up.
In Round 3 Sawyer dispatched Bage Brayner (BRA) with a heat tally of 13.07, which included an excellent ride that earned 8.0 out of 10, but could not maintain his momentum in his three-man Round 4 encounter where he placed third and was eliminated from the event in equal ninth place overall.
Matthew Moir (Cape Town) followed a similar path, taking the runner-up position in his opening encounter and then walking though to Round 3. The former two-time ISA world longboard champ faced Adam Griffiths (GBR) for a second time and again finished second, ending his campaign in equal 13th spot.
Alfonso Peters (Muizenberg), the third member of the WSL Africa contingent, also finished runner-up in his first ever heat outside South Africa. But the 27 year-old former Manenberg street child who was mentored by the Surf Shack outreach program and defeated Moir in the Tigers Milk Surf Classic at his home break last year, was outpointed by the experienced Kevin Skvarna (USA) in Round 2, placing 25th overall.
Both the men’s and women’s events are down to the last eight competitors. The event has three days of waiting period remaining for the organisers to find the best possible conditions at the long righthand reef break in order to crown the respective champions.
See more details at www.worldsurfleague.com and on the WSL App
Upcoming Kumul PNG World Longboard Championships Men’s Quarterfinal Matchups:
QF 1: Kai Sallas (HAW) vs. Harley Ingleby (AUS)
QF 2: Antoine Delpero (FRA) vs. Piccolo Clemente (PER)
QF 3: Edouard Delpero (FRA) vs. Adam Griffiths (GBR)
QF 4: Taylor Jensen (USA) vs. Cole Robbins (USA)
Kumul PNG World Longboard Championships Men’s Round Four Results:
Heat 1: Kai Sallas (HAW) 18.33, Piccolo Clemente (PER) 16.34, Rodrigo Sphaier (BRA) 13.20
Heat 2: Antoine Delpero (FRA) 15.76, Harley Ingleby (AUS) 14.56, Phil Rajzman (BRA) 12.90
Heat 3: Edouard Delpero (FRA) 16.67, Cole Robbins (USA) 14.34, Steven Sawyer (ZAF) 12.24
Heat 4: Taylor Jensen (USA) 16.73, Adam Griffiths (GBR) 15.94, Tony Silvagni (USA) 12.24
Remaining Kumul PNG World Longboard Championships Men’s Round Three Results:
Heat 6: Phil Rajzman (BRA) 16.20 def. Dane Pioli (AUS) 14.77
Heat 7: Steven Sawyer (ZAF) 13.07 def. Bage Brayner (BRA) 8.00
Heat 8: Cole Robbins (USA) 17.17 def. Jared Neal (AUS) 13.90
Heat 9: Edouard Delpero (FRA) 17.93 def. Kevin Skvarna (USA) 12.90
Heat 10: Ben Skinner (GBR) 15.93 def. Tony Silvagni (USA) 14.36
Heat 11: Adam Griffiths (GBR) 15.43 def. Matthew Moir (ZAF) 12.66
Heat 12: Taylor Jensen (USA) 18.10 def. Kaniela Stewart (HAW) 10.34
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