ANGLET, Les Dunes, France (Saturday, May 10, 2008) – The Oxbow WLT pres. by Orange got closer to its business end today and the 2008 Oxbow WLT Champion will be crowned tomorrow. The pressure rose at Les Dunes, back up venue South to the main event site of Les Cavaliers, and favorites took the best of the three foot (one meter) waves on offer to secure a spot in the finals. From the sixteen men who surfed in Round 4 today, eight only remain in the race for the title.
Matthew Moir (Cape Town, ZAF), 30, posted the best ride of the day on his way to defeat best scorer of the Oxbow WLT Taylor Jensen (USA) in Heat 3. Moir, who surfed with great speed and comitment, secured an excellent 9.35 point ride and finished with a 16.85 point heat score (out of a possible 20) to take the win and advance through to the quarterfinals.
“I am stoked to finally get an excellent wave,” Moir said. “Taylor (Jensen) let go two good ones in the beginning of the heat and I was ready to seize the opportunity and surf my best. Luck went on my side today.”
Moir, who will now surf against Oxbow WLT defending champion and reigning ASP World Longboard Tour Champion Phil Rajzman (BRA), has been among the world’s best longboarders for a decade now and targets the title at Anglet.
“At this stage of competition with excellent surfers, you need that kind of big scores to make the difference,” Moir said. “In the last two heats nothing really came to me but this one allowed me to do my things so I am happy to get the right feeling back. I am stoked to be in the last day of competition.”
Antoine Delpero (FRA), a local from Anglet who placed fifth last year in the Oxbow WLT, won a 100% French heat in Round 4 over Romain Maurin (FRA) to advance. Delpero, who will face Amaro Matos (BRA) tomorrow, surfed with confidence with his custom made classic longboard style and now looks forward to bettering his last year’s result.
“We had a great heat together with Romain (Maurin) and it was just about fun,” Delpero said. “I am still stoked to win it and have a chance to better my performance tomorrow. I feel like I delt well with the time and waves out there and did what I had to do.”
Delpero, who defeated Matos in Round 3 last year, will be a favorite in Quarterfinal No. 3. Matos, 42, remains a serious opponent and will be confident after creating the upset of the day when he defeated 2007 Oxbow WLT runner up Danilo Rodrigo (BRA) today.
“I got Matos last year and took the win so it is a good start,” Delpero said. “He is surfing good still and defeated Rodrigo but I will be focused to go as far as I can. I would love to take the title here, in front of all my friends and family.”
Carlos Bahia (BRA), 24, semifinalist in the Oxbow WLT last year, flew the Brazilian flag winning Heat 2 over fellow countryman Jamie Viudes (BRA) to advance through to the quarterfinals. Bahia, who was defeated by Rajzman last year in the semifinals, remains a serious contender for the crown.
“It was a tough heat against Jamie who is a good friend of mine,” Bahia said. “He is a very good competitor and I battled until the last seconds to get this win. I am stoked to make the quarters and I am proud to fly the Brazilian colours tomorrow.”
Bahia, one of three Brazilians still in the event, will surf against Harley Ingleby (AUS) when competition resumes at Anglet for the final day.
Bonga Perkins (HAW) and Colin McPhillips (USA), both Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Longboard Tour (WLT) veterans, advanced as well and will meet in a 100% former ASP World Longboard Champion quarterfinal tomorrow.
The Oxbow WLT will come to an end tomorrow and crown its champion in the afternoon. Seven heats remain in the event and some clean conditions are expected to give the last eight men a beautiful finish.
The Oxbow WLT pres. by Orange is webcast LIVE on www.oxbowpro.com and showcases the world’s best longboard action from Anglet, France.
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Heat 1: Harley Ingleby (AUS) Vs Carlos Bahia (BRA)
Heat 2: Matthew Moir (ZAF) Vs Phil Rajzman (BRA)
Heat 3: Amaro Matos (BRA) Vs Antoine Delpero (FRA)
Heat 4: Bonga Perkins (HAW) Vs Colin McPhillips (USA)
ROUND 4 RESULTS
Heat 1: Harley Ingleby (AUS) 12.25 pts Def. Eduardo Bage (BRA) 10.90 pts
Heat 2: Carlos Bahia (BRA) 11.80 pts Def. Jamie Viudes (BRA) 10.75 pts
Heat 3: Matthew Moir (ZAF) 16.85 pts Def. Taylor Jensen (USA) 14.95 pts
Heat 4: Phil Rajzman (BRA ) 11.50 pts Def. Duane De Soto (HAW) 8.90 pts
Heat 5: Amaro Matos (BRA) 14.90 pts Def. Danilo Rodrigo (BRA) 14.20 pts
Heat 6: Antoine Delpero (FRA) 16.00 pts Def. Romain Maurin (FRA) 12.45 pts
Heat 7: Bonga Perkins (HAW) 15.00 pts Def. Timothee Creignou (FRA) 11.20 pts
Heat 8: Colin McPhillips (USA) 16.75 pts Def. Jackson Close (AUS) 13.60 pts