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The world’s best flowriding athletes took centre stage at Wave House, Gateway Theatre of Shopping today for The Malibu FLOW Championships 2011 presented by the City of Durban.
The Men’s Strapless Division was always going to be a hotly contested bout of who would make the semi finals. US’s Eric Silverman, Wes Fischer from SA and Greg Lazarus were all expected to win their heats, and they did so with aplomb. The trick set that they possess would have been the envy of their fellow competitors, but the judges had a hard time scoring the heats, particularly because the chasing pack certainly weren’t far behind on the score sheets. Alfian Affandi from Singapore, Brandon Stevens (US) and Paolo Falconer (SA) showed that they are a force to be reckoned with – and Clayton Barker and Andrew Carrie, both from South Africa, showed that they could very easily win the event. Flips, varials and huge shuv-its were part of every run, with big spins needed to put the riders a cut above the rest.
These guys will have to dig deep to advance to the finals tomorrow – they showed that they have the mettle, but who has the strongest nerve and desire? Tomorrow will separate the men from the boys.
The Women’s Strapped riding was incredible. Amy Luis (US) and Clair Reid (UAE) stomped their heat and advanced to the final, while semi number two had Nicole Buraschi from Chile match flip for flip with Sarah Bloch from SA to advance to what should be an amazing tussle to take the title.
Bodyboarding Prone saw Billy Tennant and Michael Ossler run riot amongst the bodyboarders. They put their game faces on and took the field by storm. Chris Childers from the US and Jared Visick will be joining the two in the finals and will have to pull out all the stops if they are to triumph.
Dropknee master, Nick Nguyen, showed everyone in the crowd why he is the number one seed in the Dropknee Division. So stylish, so polished and technical. Just unreal to watch. Michael Ossler and Billy Tennant both followed Nguyen’s suit and busted some sick air 360’s and carved themselves a spot in the final with Chris Childers, who could be the dark horse of the heat and will be one to watch tomorrow.
The Men’s Strapped category ended the day’s competitive action and it had the crowd screaming. Eric S. stuck the biggest flips and is the definite threat in this division. Greg Lazarus was forced by Tyrone Rawlins to bring out his founding move, the Laz Flip, but Laz was looking solid throughout. Tyrone stuck text book front flips as part of his arsenal and thirteen year old Max Sokolov boosted as high as guys more than twice his age. Matt Lammers kept it very technical, but looked like he was keeping his best for the semis. While Paolo Falconer and Rob Whyte also got through to tomorrow’s climactic finale with a mix of skilled flip combos and aerial variations.
JP Campos from Chile attempted the biggest backflip ever witnessed on the D-Rex and almost stuck it – unbelievable to watch.
Team Chile has to be commended on their never-say-die attitude and everyone in their team who rode today was nursing some serious battle wounds and gave it their all. Their patriotism to their country was exemplary.
The best trick event was the greatest show we’ve seen on the D-Rex in its’ ten year history. Fireworks lit up the night sky – but the riding was what illuminated and energized the crowd. With Red Bull Mobile hand sets and cash money on offer, the riders put the pedal to the metal and destroyed the wave. The crowd picked their favourite and it was Michael Ossler’s run-in aerial one handed 360 that had their cheers of approval. There are three more prizes to be handed out, but we will leave the results for the final prize giving, which will take place at 5PM tomorrow South African time.
Competition resumes tomorrow at 12PM, so get to Wave House Durban or follow the action live on www.wavehouse.com.
Sponsors: Special thanks to Malibu, The City of Durban, Gateway Hotel, Primi Express, Quiksilver, Havaianas and Gateway Theatre of Shopping.
Team and individual results with scores to follow.