Some exciting surfing was seen this weekend at El Mix, Puerto Rico, the beach chosen for the final day of the 2006 ALAS Latin and Caribbean Tour – the last stage of the Reef Classic Latin Pro Puerto Rico. Argentinean Martín Passeri finally claimed the Latin Champ title, right after his closest rival, Jean Carlo Schaffer from Venezuela lost his semifinal heat.
Schaffer started the day with a strong performance, getting close to his only chance to get Passeri out of the first place seat when he won his quarter final heat. Once he got to the semis, the Venezuelan faced his country fellow man, David Díaz, who along with Carlos Cabrero did an excellent job on the heat and left Schaffer in third and out of the title race.
Passeri commented: “It really was a great year, Jean Carlo is an excellent surfer, and I knew he could win here, that´s why I came to Puerto Rico to get my semifinal. I didn’t get it, I don’t think I surfed bad, but the others surfed better in that heat. On balance, I think this was an excellent year, it was one of my best, I have my third National Championship, my first Latin Title; I’ve been fighting every day to have this, and now I have it.”
Strong performances were also seen from Carlos Cabrero from Puerto Rico, Diego Cadena from México, David Díaz from Venezuela and Manuel Selman from Chile – all of whom made the contest finals.
Cabrero started the final strongly with two waves over the six points range, getting the first place. Meanwhile Díaz did a great backside performance and gave a shot to win the contest. Cadena and Selman showed a great surfing level, but stayed far from reaching the first place.
Cabrero guaranteed his victory after he combined a good combo of five backside moves that ended with a clean reverse, scoring a nine points ride. Díaz answered back with a good wave in which he received 8.5, but wasn´t enough, the title stayed, just like last year, at Puerto Rico.
After he got out of his heat, Cabrero declared: “The final was interesting, it was great, there were some good waves, and all the competitors surfed really good, I am really happy about this win, thank God the waves came.”
In the final, Díaz placed second, Diego Cadena took third and Manuel Selman fourth. The other divisions were won by Ornella Pellizari from Argentina (Ladies), Manuel Roncalla from Perú (Juniors) and Guaili Ramirez from Puerto Rico (Longboard).
ALAS final ratings – Open division
• Martín Passeri (ARG) – 25440 points
• Jean Carlos Schaffer (VEN) – 23590 points
• Diego Cadena (MEX) – 20550 points
• Magnum Martínez (VEN) – 20150 points
• Diego Naranjo (CRI) – 20550 points
• Luis María Iturria (URU) – 18910 points
• Javier Swayne (PER) – 18580 points
• Gary Saavedra (PAN) – 18510 points
• Luis Vindas (CRI) – 18500 points
• Angelo Lozano (MEX) – 17490 points
2006 Ladies Champion: Ornella Pellizari (ARG)
2006 Junior Champion: Manuel Selman (CHI)
2006 Longboard Champion: Gerhard Weilheim (VEN)