Pictured: Antoine Delpero earned the day’s highest heat total.
The Oxbow WLT pres. by Orange, the first stop of two on the 2008 ASP World Longboard Tour (WLT), got underway at Les Cavaliers in Anglet, France today. Clean two foot (0.5 meter) waves were on offer for the first four heats of Round 1, before the high tide turned the waves uncontestable in the early afternoon.
Antoine Delperro (FRA), 23, was the man of the day at Les Cavaliers and advanced to Round 3 with the highest heat total of the morning, an excellent 16.90 points out of possible 20. Delperro, who bested fellow French Basque surfer Timothee Creignou (FRA) and Eugene Teal (JPN), employed a full repertoire of maneuvers today using his nine foot board at its most.
“It is just the best start I could hope for,” Delpero said. “I got the wave of the day right after the hooter sounded and it made my heat until the end. It is perfect for my confidence and I felt really good out there.”
Delperro, who placed 5th last year here at Les Cavaliers, was in top form for his opening Oxbow WLT heat and will now have at least a day break before facing his Round 3 opponent.
“I hope I can keep going like that later this week,” Delpero said. “I have been really busy this winter preparing for my coaching degree so I haven’t been training a lot. I have excellent boards from Alain Minvielle and I am super stoked to get this good start.”
Ben Skinner (GBR), longtime top European longboarder, was one of today’s standouts when he posted the second best heat score of the day with a 15.50 point tally. Skinner, who bested former ASP World Longboard Champion Taylor Jensen, avoided Round 2 – the sudden death round – and advanced through to Round 3 today.
“Just stoked to make this heat,” Skinner said. “Taylor (Jensen) is one of my favorite surfers and to finish ahead of him is really all I could hope for. I was a little sick this morning but I am really happy with that heat.”
Skinner, 23, posted an excellent 8.25 point ride in the tricky small conditions to secure his Round 3 spot.
“The waves were really tough out there and I just tried to make the most out of these two foot waves and it worked out well for me. I am just stoked to see how longboarding is back with these two events this year, and I want to thank Oxbow for all their comitment in the sport.”
Matthew Moir (ZAF) and Jackson Close (AUS) won the other two heats ran on Day 1 of the Oxbow WLT. Michel Demont (PYF), reigning ASP European Longboard Champion, finished last in Heat 1 and will have to get through Round 2 to keep his title hopes alive.