Estoril, Portugal. 22nd of November 2009 :
Ben Skinner (U.K) claims his second European Tour of Longboard Title in the closing event of the season, winning the Estoril contest for the 3rd time.
Once again, Estoril offered amazing 5ft hollow waves for the last and crucial event of the season. After a rough start Saturday in wind-blown conditions in Praia Sao Pedro, the event was moved to the beautiful back-up venue of Praia Santo Amaro, where the top European longboard surfers could display the whole repertoire of classic and modern maneuvers.
Before this last event, the top 6 ranked surfers on the E.T.L were within the reach of the 2009 Title.
First upset was the double loss of Antoine Delperro (2009 I.S.A World Champion) and Rémy Arauzo (2008 E.T.L Champion), both eliminated in round 3 (4 men semi finals), putting an end to their crowning hopes this season.
Alexis Deniel (Perros Guirrec) got the best out of Aurélien Meynieux (Reunion Island) in a wave-starving first semi final. Qualifying for his first final of the season.
The second semi, oposing French young sensation Edouard Delpero to superchamp Ben Skinner, was luckier with the waves and was all the more deciding because, regarding to the ratings, the European Title would eventually go to the heat winner. In a high scoring heat, the British surfer outscored the French wunderkid with an impressive 17.25 points tally (out of a possible 20), securing his ticket to the final and his second European Tour of Longboard title.
The final heat then was just the icing on the cake for the new champion and this 30 minutes decider was again an outstanding exhibition of modern, powerful longboard surfing from some of the best surfers on the World scene. French favourite Alexis Deniel eventually ended runner-up by a paper-thin margin (13.93pts to14.6pts) to an unstoppable Skinner, winning the Estoril event for the third consecutive year.
« I’m over the Moon » states the new Champion « I knew before coming here it would be pretty tight for the Title, but this wave really suits my surfing and my boards work unreal ! it’s been such a good season for me, getting both the ASP and the ETL titles, 3rd in the World ISA, Top WLT… i couldn’t ask for more ! I’m really stoked the way European longboard surfing is improving. Antoine’s (Delpero)World Title definitely helped putting our Continent on the map and this European Tour, as well as dangerously gifted kids like Edouard (Delpero)are all the more promising. Now i’m just gonna head back home, taking care of my family, relax, and charging bombs with my tow-surfing team »
Runner-up Alexis Deniel commented « i’ve had a quite good season with a 2nd at the ASP 09 rankings, but was still looking for a good result, without pressure. I’ve been working and training a lot this year and this 4th place on the final E.T.L rankings is a good way to secure an interesting seeding for next season, wich i hope will be better. »
Another great event organised by all the good guys at Estoril Surf Club, great waves and vibes.
The final Top 5 of this wave-rich 2009 European Tour of Longboard season is:
1. Ben Skinner (U.K)
2. Edouard Delperro (France)
3. Antoine Delperro (France)
4. Alexis Deniel (France)
5. Rémy Arauzo (France)
Next season looks really promising with plenty of new proposed events, and longboard surfers willing to now compete on the highest performance longboard tour in the World, with the best athletes out on the scene.
On behalf of the European Surfing Federation, Congratulations to E.T.L 2009 Champion Ben Skinner, thanks to all the organizers, helping hands, sponsors, contestants and see you all next season !
Julien « Vico » Hamel
Thank you Julien for this reports