Newquay’s Ben Skinner beat Bradley Weare of South Africa in Round 1 to go through to a Round 2 match up against Edouard Delpero from France.
ARUGAM BAY, Sri Lanka (Wednesday, August 31, 2011) – Today at the SriLankan Airlines Pro the surf and conditions are a carbon copy of yesterday. The final 3 heats of the Men’s WLT Round One will take to the water first, followed by Round One of the 6-Star Women’s World Tour event.
“We had a massive day of surfing yesterday and we’re hoping for the same again today,” said Contest Director Dane Jordan. “The swell is similar to yesterday so we need to make the most of it because there are some possibly flat days on the horizon, but we’re expecting to finish in great waves on the weekend.”
The surf is expected to be in the 1 -3 foot range for the next few days, but is predicted to rise for an epic finish on the weekend.
Yesterday 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