SARI OHHARA AND TRISTAN ROBERTS DOMINATED THE ABF 2023 CAME TO AN END AS THE JUNIOR MEN AND DROPKNEE DIVISIONS WERE DETERMINED 2023
The event organizers delivered a favorable assessment, emphasizing the participation of 180 competitors, the presence of a large audience at Playa Llacolén, and the remarkable quality of waves that Antofagasta offers for the sport of Bodyboarding.
On the closing day of the Antofagasta Bodyboard Festival (ABF), riders and their teams started saying goodbye to the city, preparing to take on their upcoming endeavors. However, before their departure, there remained one final stage of the event to be completed, where the champions of the JUNIOR MEN and DROPKNEE divisions would be decided.
The audience once again arrived early at Playa Llacolén, securing prime positions along the shore to cheer on their favorite riders. In the first final, the 16-year-old Peruvian Micheel Yancee secured his first ABF title, surpassing the Brazilian Roger Fusculin. The heat was one of the closest in the finals, with both riders alternating in the top spot. However, Yancee took greater risks in the final minutes and impressed the judges with his superb maneuvers, ultimately setting himself apart.
After celebrating with the enthusiastic Peruvian team, who continued to cheer for their fellow countryman, the newly crowned JUNIOR MEN division champion expressed his joy and gratitude to his family and all those who support him in his emerging career. “I am extremely happy to win this final because these points contribute to my pursuit of the world title at the end of the year. Now, I look forward to further preparing myself for the upcoming competition events. I express my heartfelt appreciation to my family and all the supporters in Peru who follow and encourage me,” Yancee commented.
Subsequently, the highly anticipated final of the DROPKNEE division unfolded. This ultimate showdown is eagerly awaited by Bodyboarding enthusiasts, as the maneuvers captivate with their visual impact and demanding level of skill. It is noteworthy that the day didn’t start on a positive note for the local riders, as Manuel Cepeda, representing Antofagasta and the sole Chilean competitor, fell short in his semifinal heat, thus missing out on the grand final contested by Frenchman Amaury Lavernhe and Hawaiian Dave Hubbard. Ultimately, it was Hubbard who claimed the championship title, surpassing his opponent with a total of 16.75 points against Lavernhe’s 10 points.
“I’m super stoked! This was a beautiful event, a great way to finish. I didn’t want the heat to end! When the jetski came, I was like, ‘I wanna keep surfing, it’s so fun out there.’ It’s always a pleasure to surf with Moz (Amaury Lavernhe). This event is so special; look at all the people here. It’s an amazing way to start the tour for me. I’m so thankful, thank you to my wife, so supportive, Evelin. I love you, and to everyone who is watching, thanks for the messages. And, of course, all the glory belongs to God,” expressed Hubbard when concluding his participation. When asked about his thoughts on the ABF 2023 event, he replied, “This was one of the best events I’ve ever been to. We had 11 days of firing waves. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that at any venue. It was just non-stop every day: JUNIOR MEN and JUNIOR WOMEN, DROPKNEE, MEN, and WOMEN. Everyone was just sending it! It was awesome to be part of such a huge festival. The ABF is an amazing festival for our sport.”
As the competition drew to a close, the much-anticipated awards ceremony took place, where the winning riders proudly hoisted the cup and celebrated alongside the audience. Once again, they expressed their heartfelt appreciation for the overwhelming support and affection they received from the thousands of Antofagasta locals throughout the intense eleven-day event.
After the awards ceremony, the event organizers conducted evaluations and assessments of this sporting event. Abel Benítez, Director of Corporate Affairs at Escondida | BHP, expressed, “Antofagasta holds tremendous potential, not only in terms of its economic and innovative contributions but also its alluring tourism, making it the focal point of this grand sports event. We take pride in our continuous support from the beginning, fostering local talent and placing the Antofagasta Region on the global stage.”
Arturo Soto, Director of ABF, conveyed his gratitude to the entire event team and underscored the significance of Antofagasta in the worldwide advancement of Bodyboarding. He stated, “Once again, we have proven that Antofagasta is capable of hosting world-class international sports events. Our coastal region is unparalleled, and riders from around the globe acknowledge its worth. As a team, we take pride in our accomplishments and remain committed to further popularizing this sport in our country. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all those who believed in and supported this initiative.”
Press Release by Eric schnitzler and Ricardo Jeria
Date: May 28, 2023, from 6:50 am GMT -3
Location: Llacolen, Antofagasta,Chile
Wave: ” La Cupula de Poder”