Isabela Sousa is the 2012 IBA Pipe Challenge Womens Champion
posted on 19th February 2012
In an attempt to retain her world title at the end of last year, she went for an air roll spin over dry rocks and injured herself so badly she had to be helped out the water and could not surf for a month. Now, fully recovered, Isabela Sousa, the 2010 world champion from Brazil, won the Women's 2012 IBA Pipe Challenge today, in fun three to four foot waves.
"It's my first final here at Pipe and it's my first win here. It's pretty incredible. I'm so happy", said Sousa.
En route to the final the bubbly Brazilian won every heat. In her semi-final heat - already in the lead - she took off on a set wave, raced into the bowl at Pipe and landed a technical air roll spin. She won her semi-final by such a margin her opponents needed to replace both of their scoring waves.
In the final, Sousa defeated fellow Brazilians, Neymara Carvalho - the defending champion - and Karla Costa-Taylor - a three times Pipe champion - as well as Japan's Minami Hatakeyama, a finalist in last year's event too.
Fellow Brazilian Karla Costa-Taylor had an equally strong run to the final and finished a close second with less than a point separating the two. Karla, a former world champ herself has been adopted by South Africans and Hawaiians alike. Married to pro bodyboarder Alistair Taylor the couple spent a few years living and competing in South Africa before relocating back to Oahu where they had spent many years.
On a comeback after retiring from the World Tour, Karla finished 2011 in 8th position which included an impressive win at the Mexico Pro in big surf. At Pipe Karla is the girl to beat - attributed with bodyboarding more like a man than a girl - and she gave Isabela Sousa a run for the money in the final with some fluid tube riding and powerful manoeuvres. On the day Sousa had it in her and proved she was a deserved champion.
The next Womens World Tour event is the Port Macquarie Festival of Bodyboarding which runs from April 14-23.