GRAN Canaria, Canary Islands (Tuesday, November 9, 2010 - Tim Boal (Anglet, FRA) 27, won the Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro over rookie goofy-footer Jesse Mendes (Guarujà, BRA) 17, in a closely fought out 35-minute final at the right-hand point break, El Confital. The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) sanctioned event witnessed an intense final day with Boal dominating his three heat performances to claim the 2010 title.
Lines in the 3-4ft (1.0m) range wrapped along the reef during the high tide mark offering fun conditions for the final day of competition. The famous barrels that El Confital is famous for did not produce themselves during the finals however it was worth waiting for the improved swell as the strong field ripped to pieces the long right-hand waves.
Claiming his first ASP Star-Series victory of the season, Tim Boal was never challenged showing all his experience in the tricky conditions. A former 2009 ASP ‘Dream Tour’ member, Boal got off to an early start and built on his scores to eventually finish with a combined heat total of 14.23 out of 20.
“Actually I was really nervous so I don’t know if it was showing or not but I was surfing kind of weird, and tense. The waves I got probably could have got a lot better scores and Jesse was surfing really well and only needed a 6.50. I was lucky that it went kind of flat and I had priority so it is just the way it goes sometimes.”
Having finished equal third in Pantin and runner-up in Zarautz, Boal claimed his victory despite carrying an injury in his foot which has forced him to pull out of the upcoming Hawaiian events.
“It has been a good end to the season and now I want to get rid of a little injury. Last time I won an event I was injured too, in Zarautz in 2008. I guess when you are injured you focus on different things and it works out. Here is not the best place to be injured and surf but once in a while it is pretty good.” (laughs)
Although the barrels were not on offer today, the conditions were still some of the best we have seen during the European season maintaining El Confital and the Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro as a favourite amongst the athletes.
“We didn’t see the real Confital but two days ago it was pretty much the same as today. Tomorrow is going to be too big for here. On the European leg this year we have had some really good days and some really small days so it is great to finish like this in some decent waves for sure.”
Jesse Mendes made history as the first goofy-footer to ever reach the final in the nine year history of the Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro. The young Brazilian was hurting after his runner-up placing having come so close to winning an ASP Star-Series event in his first finals appearance.
“It is hard but you have to learn and you learn more when you lose so that is what I am doing. Congratulations to Tim who was ripping the whole contest and hopefully he can make some more big results.”
As the tide dropped late this afternoon sets became more infrequent and luck started to play a role in deciding who would find the high scoring rides. Mendes took his opportunities as they came but fell short of the mark.
“Right before the final a bunch of sets come through but in the heat I just couldn’t find the right one. My good wave, it kind of ran a little bit too fast so it happens sometimes like that. Tim was destined to win here. I’m stoked with the result and I want to look forward and see what happens next year.”
Mendes needed a modest score which he tried in vain to obtain on several occasions. Almost pulling off a huge air-reverse was one of his last throws of the dice. Timing and tidal conditions affected his chances late in the heat.
“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to get the 6.50 that I needed but I thought that some kind of a set would come but the waves I got ran a bit too much and the super low tide right now changes the wave a lot.”
Defending Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro champion Jonathan Gonzalez (Tenerife, CNY) 30, placed equal third after losing narrowly to Jesse Mendes in a tight fought semi-final battle that included some tactical issues. Gonzalez opened his account with the highest score of the entire heat however made a wave selection error while holding priority in search of his backup score.
“I knew it was going to be a tough heat because Jesse has been surfing strongly the entire event. I started off really well with an 8.00 but then when that set came in I went for the first wave to make sure of a score because I was in second and only needed a small score. However the next wave was a lot better which ended up being the last good wave of the heat and that’s where he got to hang on to the lead. In the end no more sets came through and that was it.”
Gonzalez knew after that exchange he needed to gain priority and the two surfers forced a strongly contested paddle battle. Gonzalez eventually gained his priority again but not before getting tangled up with Mendes half way to the peak.
“I thought I had it all under control because he had caught the last wave but we had a good battle and I pushed all the way. I had to change my line to get off the top of him and then managed to get out there first but as I said nothing came through really in the last minutes and there was nothing I could do.”
Nick Riley (Manly, AUS) 22, finished equal third after being ousted by Tim Boal in a slow low scoring second semi-final encounter. Knowing he needed to get a big score and take control, Riley waited patiently for his chosen wave. Without priority and in a wave starved semi-final the set of the heat eventually arrived however with only one quality wave which Boal picked off and secured his win.
“I waited almost 12 minutes for that one wave that came through and Tim got it. I had a couple of 6.00 point rides but I tried to get the best waves I could but Tim was in the right spot and got that good one that came through. He surfed really well the whole heat so good on him.”
Riley had a simple game plan which failed to produce the goods. Whereas Riley waited for the best waves, his opponent kept busy picking off waves and building on his account.
“I stuck to my game plan and it didn’t work, it is as simple as that. When conditions are like they are today it is just so hard out there and you have to get that right wave. You just can’t sit there 20 minutes of the heat just for one wave. I surfed what I surfed but it was not enough today.”
His best result of the year, Riley has gained valuable World Ranking points and a big confidence boost towards his 2011 campaign. Heading home to friends and family, Riley has finished strongly here in the Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro and looks forward to next year.
“I’m stoked with a third and it is my best result of the year. It has given me some confidence looking at next year and hopefully I can take it on with me when I start up again next year.”
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Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro Final Result
Tim Boal (FRA) 13.90 Def. Jesse Mendes (BRA) 12.66
Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro Semi-final Results
Heat 1: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 14.70 Def. Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 14.67
Heat 2: Tim Boal (FRA) 14.23 Def. Nick Riley (AUS) 12.66
Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro Quarter-Final Results
Heat 1: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 16.57 Def. Glen Hall (IRL) 14.17
Heat 2: Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 15.20 Def. Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 10.23
Heat 3: Tim Boal (FRA) 11.60 Def. Heath Joske (AUS) 10.07
Heat 4: Nick Riley (AUS) 11.50 Def. Charlie Brown (BRA) 8.97