Arica Chilean Challenge
Event 3, Mens Grand Slam Series
El Gringo, Chile
20-29 May 2011
South American powerhouse, Guilherme Tamega (BRA, Copacabana) has defeated Dave Winchester (AUS, NSW, Mullumbimby) 16.00 pints VS 13.00 points, to take out stop No. 3 on the 2011 IBA World Grand Slam Series (GSS), the Arica Chilean Challenge.
The win, accompanied by 2000 GSS points was no easy feat. In building 3-4 meter swell, Tamega gained momentum on his fellow competitors, navigating through monstrous barrels and launching huge rolls over the notorious El Gringo reef, covered only by inches of water.
After being carried onto the podium by his fellow countrymen, Tamega covered up the tears as he thanked his family and friends for their support, contributing to this memorable win. "This is like a dream come true. I really needed this win to get my motivation going and show me that 2011 is not over," said Tamega.
With a half a dozen World Titles and runner-up finishes alike, Tamega will be a strong contender for the 2011 World Title.
Winchester was the man to beat, until reaching the final where he was unable to find the waves he needed. Winchester commented: "Every heat I was getting a bit more confident. I just got into a bad rhythm in that final and I could not get out of it, so I got second. I'm pretty happy with that."
With equal third place finishes, both Ben Player (AUS, NSW, Avalon) and Mark McCarthy (RSA, Richards Bay) walk away with 2400 points and $ 2500 each.
Player was in good form throughout the event, but was unable to match Winchester's semi final performance. Player commented: "I could not buy a wave out there and Winny is an excellent competitor. In my eyes he is Top 5 in the world, so I'm happy losing to him."
McCarthy was happy with his result, considering the conditions and risks involved during this event. "Tamega wanted it so bad, he is so hard to beat when its big and crazy like today. He deserved to win today."
McCarthy's performance has solidified his 3rd place on the GSS rankings, making him a title contender as the tour approaches the half-way mark at the Zicatela Pro in Puerto Escondido, Mexico from August 4-13.
Alan Munoz (CHI) stunned the bodyboarding world with his stellar performances and local wave knowledge. As a trialist, Munoz gained confidence with each heat, until running out of steam in Round 4. "I am happy to have competed at this level, but sad I did not make it further. I now am looking for a sponsor so I can go to the next event in Mexico.
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