CSIC - GT makes it a hat trick

Source: www.ibaworldtour.com

posted by Mark Fordham on 28th July 2004

Brazilian Guilherme Tamega, who had won the previous two events here at Shark Island, has beaten local wildcard Dave Ballard to take out his third straight Human Cronulla Shark Island Challenge crown. Placing 8th after the first round Tamega secured his win with one of the deepest barrels in round two and taking advantage of two solid rides to take out the event beating Ballard by only three points in one of the closes Shark Island events to date. Finishing runner-up to Australian Damian King in last years world title race Tamega has taken advantage of the first win and is already one step to reclaiming the world crown.

“This is unbelievable,” screamed Tamega. “To win back to back events here at Shark Island was incredible, to win three in a row words do not explain how I feel, I can not believe it. The Shark Island event is the hardest event for sure and to win it again is truly amazing. I wish to thank all the riders and officials for putting on such a great event. I am so stoked for Ballard, for a person who is not on the tour it was such a great achievement. With the proposed changes for next years tour I am so glad that Shark Island will still be part of the game plan”.

When asked how the rest of the year looked Tamega added. “There are three more contests ahead of us for the WST. I’m just going to try to keep surfing well against the younger guys, especially in Portugal and Brazil and hopefully in Hawaii we will see some more solid waves. If things happen for me then maybe there could be another world title. I’m looking for seven so look out.”

For Ballard, who has entered every single Shark Island event since its inception 8 years ago finished runner-up. The 30 year old local Cronulla dark horse fully impressed all with his superior wave selection throughout the challenge, placing 5th after round one Ballard continued to shine combining good tube riders with strong combining moves to secure his second place, his highest placing ever in the Shark Island Challenge.

“It’s great to see GT win his third title, he surfed well in the testing conditions, though if he didn’t make that second round barrel I would have had it in the bag.” laughed Ballard. “Only joking, to think that only three points separated us now only makes me more determined for next year.”

“The event is getting harder for some, they just seem to struggle in the wave select side of things. This year’s event was no different waves were coming in at all angles and if you picked the wrong ones you paid for it,” added Ballard. “I’ve never miss an event before and coming second has only made me hungrier. I’ll be back next year for sure.”

Third place was taken out by current IBA world champion, Australian Damian King (Port Macquarie) who was leading the event after the first round. He placed third behind eventual winner Guilherme Tamega by only 3.5 points and a mere 0.5 behind Cronulla’s Dave Ballard.

King, who won the Shark Island Challenge title back in 2001, posted the highest round one score of 37.8 points out of 60, but suffered in the second round due to a lack of waves in his second round heat. Nonetheless, his result places him in second right behind his arch rival Guilherme Tamega on the current IBA World Super Tour ratings.

“There was really nothing I could have done in the second round, I thought that I surfed well, if we had better waves for our heat things might have panned out differently,” expressed King. “Tamega surfed really well in the second round finding a number of high scoring waves, but like I said If more waves came through in my second round heat I might have had a better chance. The Shark Island event is great, I love the wave because it’s so challenging. I am happy for Guilherme and happy with third place as Ballard is a wildcard and his points do not count for the world title race. Third place definitely gives me a confidence boost for the remainder of the WST; I came second at the Sintra Pro in Portugal last year so I am pretty amped for that event which is coming up next in late August.”

Fourth Place was taken out by young gun, Australian Josh Kirkman (Forster, N.S.W), who joined the WST two years ago and only requalified for this year after a late withdrawal by one of the qualified WST riders. Kirkman showed some incredible surfing to make it to the top four. Showing good wave control in his first round placing 11th, his second round heat was much more impressive in which he managed to secure two early strong waves.

“To say I am stoked is an understatement. I went out with a game plan and just stuck to it,” said an elated Kirkman. “I just surfed as best I could, it is definitely a very daunting place especially as each wave has a mind of its own. You just have to be accustomed to the way it breaks and hope that the wave does the rest of the work.”

Finishing fifth in the Human Cronulla Shark Island Challenge was young Cronulla standout, 18 year old John Showell. Sixth place was taken out by Dave Winchester (Curl Curl, N.S.W) Seventh placing went to Cronulla’s International representative Andrew Lester (Cronulla, NSW) with eighth place going to South Coast ripper Grahame Miller (Kiama, N.S.W).

Best barrel was awarded to Dave Winchester for his amazing 8ft monster tube ride in round one. Winchester, who seemed to score one of the best heats during round one managed to score 36.6 out of 60, trailing by one point behind round one leader Damian King. “That heat was so sick. It was the last heat of the day, dead high tide and these massive sets just kept coming through and just holding up so perfect on the reef. You would be taking off on a wave knowing that there were thousands of people on the headland on Cronulla Point just cheering you on. I am stoked on the award, thanks to the Surf Travel Co and Endless Bodyboarding for the gift.”

Best Move went to Brazilian Guilherme Tamega for the second year running. Best move was for Tamega’s first round heat where he managed to execute one the events biggest rolls. “Yeah two years in a round, I am so stoked. I didn’t get to many good waves in my first round heat. I remember catching that wave and seeing the section coming, I was like yeah I am going to hit it and bang next thing I was flying through the air. I would also like to thanks to the Surf Travel Co and Endless Bodyboarding, I am sure Winchester and I can use the free trip to the Mentawai Islands to score more sick barrels.”

Bone crusher award was won by none other than Warren “Wazza” Feinbier for his fearless take offs during the last heat of the first round. “We were all just sitting out there and these huge waves started pumping through, I just surfed the island like I normally do, just sat on Surge and picked off the bombs.” Runner up went to Alex Bunting.

Below are the standings after the completion of two rounds

1.Guilherme TamegaBrazil67.9$6,000 US
2.Dave BallardLocal64.9$2,600 US
3.Damian KingAus64.4$2,200 US
4.Josh KirkmanAus63.9$1,800 US
5.John ShowellLocal63.7$1,500 US
6.Dave WinchesterAus63.0$1,300 US
7.Andrew LesterAus62.8$1,050 US
8.Grahame MillerAus61.1$1,050 US
9.Mitch RawlinsAus59.2$1,050 US
10.Jeff HubbardHawaii58.9$1,050 US
11.Ben PlayerAus56.5$1,050 US
12.Brenden NewtonAus55.0$1,050 US
13.Mike StewartHawaii50.3$950 US
14.Doug ShowellLocal49.9$950 US
15.Toby PlayerAus49.6$950 US
15.Alex BuntingAus49.6$950 US
17.Steve MackenzieAus47.2$950 US
18.Paulo BarcellosBrazil46.1$950 US
19.Warren FeinbierLocal44.6$800 US
19.Tristan BarfieldLocal44.6$800 US
21.Sean VirtueAus43.2$800 US
22.Jason HazleAus42.1$800 US
23.Shaun CooperAus40.0$800 US
24.Michael ChappleAus39.4$800 US
25.Christian RigucciniLocal38.2$700 US
26.Joe JordanoffAus35.0$700 US
27.Ryan McKinnonLocal30.4$700 US
28.Beau DayAus13.3$700 US

The Human Cronulla Shark Island Challenge is the most lucrative bodyboarding event in the Southern Hemisphere. The world’s best bodyboarders along with Cronulla's top locals chasing one of the most covenant titles in the world of bodyboarding.

Congratulations to Guilherme Tamega. 2004 Human Cronulla Shark Island Challenge Champion.

Next event on the IBA WST takes the riders to one of Europe’s biggest bodyboarding events - The Sintra Portugal Pro 2004: In conjunction with the Portuguese Federation of Surfing and City council of Sintra this spectacular event, Europe’s longest standing and most prestigious bodyboarding event will generate close to 220 male and female bodyboarding athletes from all around the world.. The Sintra Pro will be a dual sanction WQT / WST event, 25th to the 28th of August.



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