Rising Swell and Challenges Greet Athletes in Gran Canaria


LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA, Spain – Thursday, 13th December 2018, marked the first official day of the APP World Surfing Tour‘s Main Event in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and we saw a swell on the rise to offer the athletes some size to work with on Day One. However, the building swell was not without challenges as athletes fought hard to maintain optimal position for take off, drive through to the inside and not get caught by the outside sets. Water conditions were difficult with onshore winds for most of the day, but APP World Tour athletes made the best of it through wave selection and powerful drives off the top. It was an exciting day to see the best in the world warm up to the competition in a swell that will only get better throughout the weekend.


app surf gran canaria day 1 1 app surf gran canaria day 1 2

Photos Courtesy: APP World Tour

The Men’s heats started with Sean Poynter taking off on an outside bomb to set the bar for the action ahead. Sean’s clear bid for the World Title here in Las Palmas is apparent through every heat and Thursday’s performance places him firmly in the next rounds. Other standout performances included Alexis Daniel, Leco Salazar and Poenaiki Raioha. Poe fought hard in Heat 7 to come back from behind and, in doing so, scored the highest wave of the day with a 9.33 to win his round over Benoit Carpentiere and establish himself in the lead. Poe’s bold drives, powerful snaps and ability to take big risks with much success sets him firmly into the next rounds. Watching this humble athlete attack every wave and assert his clear power is another standard to rise to in the days ahead.

Also advancing was Tamill Martino who claimed some challenges in the line up, citing poor waves during his heat and onshore winds making the conditions difficult. However, none of this deterred him as he moves forward into the next rounds.

Wellington Reiss dominated over APP World Title Racing champion Arthur Arutkin to win his way into the Quarter Finals as did Boardworks athlete Mo Freitas whose big wave skills set him on way outside taking off on towering lefts that he surfed clear into the shorebreak, drawing clean lines and turns all the way to the inside. The day’s final heats also saw Juan Barrios advance over Sebastian Gomez and Zane Schweitzer win his heat from Mehdi Oudani. The Men’s Repechage Rounds will begin Friday December 14, 2018 at 8AM in order to give the athletes a final chance to fight their way back into the Quarter Finals over the weekend.


app surf gran canaria day 1 iballa morenoIballa Moreno. | Photo courtesy: APP World Tour

The Women’s Round 1 showcased well executed technique and women on the charge for a World Title. Advancing through her heat against Candice Appleby and Alazne Alonso, Iballa Moreno showed her usual precise decision making and sharp cutbacks to bring her to success. In other rounds, Vania Olivieri Torres battled with Terrene Black and Lara Claydon to come out on top. Izzi Gomez dominated her heat, leading with the highest heat score of the day at 13.56 and followed closely by Shakira Westdorp with a 9.73. Nicole Pacelli overcame Gabrielle Sztamfer to insert her standings into Round 2 in the Main Event.

The ladies who didn’t come out on top of their heat will have another chance to fight their way into the Quarter Finals when on Friday, 14th December they enter into their Repechage Rounds for another look at their competitors. Women’s First Call is scheduled for 10AM and we will undoubtedly see some of the finest surfing of the competition in the Repachage Round as these fiery women will have one last chance to prove themselves and move forward.

Under 18

app surf gran canaria day 1 3Photo Courtesy: APP World Tour

Perhaps the greatest part of the competition for Day One of the APP World Tour’s final stop in Gran Canaria was when the youth took to the water. The APP World Tour stands out as a World Title event in that it encourages the younger generations to take the main stage with Pro athletes for a live competition with full media coverage. And what a day it was! The two youth divisions included an Under 18 competition and an Under 16 Round featuring some of the finest talent our world has to offer of up and coming talent on the Surf SUP scene.

Pro athletes and spectators alike gathered on the boardwalk to watch as, first, the Under 18 division took to the water in an overhead swell to make a name for themselves and capture a title. Energy, skill and tenacity all marked our future generation’s driving power out there in the surf in an inspiring display of performance. At the final horn, it was clear that standout Juan de los Reyes was the winner. He was followed by Leonardo Gimines in 2nd, Fernando Serra in 3rd, Daniel Cesar Ferlin in 4th and Arthur LeMenn, who also participated in the Under 16 category, in 5th. A great showing by all athletes!

Under 16 Category

The Under 16 category was no less impressive, perhaps even more so considering the size of the swell and the courage of these riders. Taking first place was Daniel Cesar Ferlin. Second went to Arthur LeMenn. Third place was won by hometown native and son of waterman legend fame Bjorn Dunkerbeck, Liam Dunkerbeck who is clearly following his father’s big footsteps at the early age of 15. Fourth place was awarded to Hugo Gonzales to round out the Under 16 podium spots.

Watch Friday’s broadcast LIVE starting at 8AM at appworldtour.com

app surf gran canaria day 1 4Photo Courtesy: APP World Tour

About the APP World Tour and Waterman League International

The APP World Tour is the Professional World Championship Tour for the Sport of Paddlesurfing (also known as SUP / Stand Up Paddling / Paddleboarding), officially sanctioned by the IOC recognized Federation for Surfing Sports, the ISA (International Surfing Association). Re-branded in 2017 as the APP World Tour (previously known as the Stand Up World Tour and Series) the APP has been crowning the sport’s World Champions for both Men & Women across Racing and Surfing since 2010.

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