Moroccan wildcard and aerial enthusiast Brahim Iddouch has won the Antofagasta Bodyboard Festival Pro Men’s Division today in rough but contestable 2 – 3 metre waves at La Cupula, Antofagasta. A consistently in-form Iain Campbell simply could not find the waves or the scores to keep up with the high-flying Moroccan in the Men’s Final, seeing him on the podium for the 3rd consecutive time and very much in the race for the world title this year.
Iddouch was in scintillating form from the get go, launching a huge ARS in the opening minutes of the 30 minute final, but failing to control the intense landing. Not one to hold back, Iddouch shook it off to quickly post the scores he needed early to stay ahead of South Africa’s Iain Campbell who seemed out of synch with the waves compared to previous heats.
Iddouch understandably ecstatic after the win, particularly given his preparation:
“This is just a crazy thing for this to happen. The last time I won was in 2012 in Brazil, so after that I have never won an APB event again. It was really difficult this year to prepare because since November 2016 I haven’t been able to get too much surf because I hurt my knee. After this I surfed maybe 20 times before coming here, and then I didn’t surf a month and a half because of Ramadan. So, I went straight to Arica, surfed there, then came here and it just happened! I didn’t think that I was going to win, but that is competition.”
A clearly disappointed Iain Campbell wasn’t completely deflated after the result in the final, given that he will most likely jump into first place on the ratings for the world title: “It’s hard to say how I feel like being in the lead on the rankings. I have only ever been here once before (last year). So, I am kinda trying to brush it off a little bit and not put too much pressure on myself for the rest of the year I guess.”
Iain was in the running for the world title last year leading into the final event at Fronton, a situation that was new to him at the time, and the pressure of a potential world championship was a lot to take in. “I definitely put too much pressure on myself towards the end of last year. To be in this position again is pretty good and I am feeling pretty confident. I know that my riding is going well, with these last three podiums showing it I feel,” he said.
Chilean Nelson Fores has backed up his Pro Junior victory in Itacoatiara with another win in Antofagasta, while former World Champ Neymara Carvalho, from Brazil, won the Womens Division where 3 years ago she retired from competitive competition. An unbelievable return to the world stage in Chile, she has achieved the impossible!
The next event on the World Tour is the Tahara Pro in Japan, which will feature both Men’s and Women’s divisions, but which is a lower rated event (1 Star).The European leg of the tour is where the action will really heat up starting with the Sintra Pro (4 Star) in early September. Stay tuned.
Highlights clip coming soon.