The world’s best longboarders revelled in the crisp two to three foot (1.5 meter) surf that was running up to 100 meters down the world-class pointbreak – Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka.
Prior to the first heat Head Judge Tim Marshall explained the new judging criteria to the competitors. It focuses more on variety of traditional and modern manoeuvres and includes style for the first time.
Phil Rajzman, (BRA) 2007 ASP World Longboard Champion had a great battle with Japanese longboarder Shohei Akimoto in the first heat of the 2011 SriLankan Airlines Pro. The lead changed multiple times, but it was Rajzman who used his superior wave selection to notch the win.
“I’ve been here for two days and my boards showed up this morning just in time for my heat,” Rajzman said. “I’m so happy to get through to the next round, I’ve been borrowing boards from friends and they haven’t felt right, but my board felt great in that heat.”
Harley Ingleby (AUS) won the all Australian clash against the youngest competitor in the field, Mitch Surman (AUS). Ingleby was clinical in his attack on the A-Bay point, surfing to the newly introduced judging criteria.
“It’s never good to go up against one of your mates in round one, but that’s competition,” Ingleby said. “I spoke to some of the boys who were here for an event last year and I’v been hanging to come. I’m so stoked to be Sri Lanka!”
Duane Desoto (HAW) reigning ASP World Longboard Champion won the heat against the local wildcard, Arna Siril with ease. Siril did however manage to get the crowd roaring when he performed a handstand on his board in a classic case of showmanship.
“There’s always pressure when you’re defending World Champ,” Desoto said. “I didn’t surf that great, but it was great to share the line-up with a local. Sri Lanka is a great place, the waves, the weather, the people, it doesn’t get much better.”
It’s very likely that the women will hit the water for the opening round of the SriLankan Airlines Pro – 6-Star ASP Women’s World Tour event tomorrow.
The event will be webcast live on www.srilankanairlinespro.com
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
SriLankan Airlines Pro Round 1 Results
Heat 1: Phil Rajzman (BRA) 11.50 def. Shohei Akimoto (JPN) 11.00
Heat 2: Harley Ingleby (AUS) 14.65 def. Mitch Surman (AUS) 10.25
Heat 3: Ned Snow (HAW) 14.25 def. Troy Mothershead (USA) 12.50
Heat 4: Kai Sallas (USA) 15.25 def. Adam Griffiths (GBR) 11.40
Heat 5: Justin Bing (ZAF) 12.25 def. Eduardo Bage (BRA) 8.70
Heat 6: Amaro Matos (BRA) 10.75 def. Zack Howard (USA) 9.25
Heat 7: Jared Neal (AUS) 12.00 def. Dane Pioli (AUS) 10.75
Heat 8: Duane Desoto (HAW) 12.75 def. Anra Sril (LKA) 4.20
Heat 9: Antoine Delpero (FRA) 14.40 def. Andre Derizans (HAW) 6.35
Heat 10: Jackson Close (AUS) 12.70 def. Remi Arauzo (FRA) 10.75
Heat 11: Bryce Young (AUS) 14.25 def. Jefson Silva (BRA) 13.75
Heat 12: Rodrigo Sphaier (BRA) 13.00 def. Matthew Moir (ZAF) 10.25
Heat 13: Edouard Delpero (FRA) 9.25 def. Krishantha Aariyasen (LKA) 4.20
Upcoming SriLankan Airlines Pro Round 1 Heats
Heat 14: Ben Skinner (GBR) vs Bradley Weare (ZAF)
Heat 15: Taylor Jensen (USA) vs Yasuaki Higashikawa (JPN)
Heat 16: Tony Silvagni (USA) vs Cole Robbins (USA)