21 October 2008
Matthew Moir was the toast of Team South Africa when he successfully defended his ISA World Longboard title on the final day of the 2008 ISA World Surfing Games at Costa de Caparica in Portugal on Sunday.
The Capetonian was not the only South African to make it onto the podium; Dave Lee earned the copper medal for fourth place in the men’s bodyboarding and the SA tag team also captured the copper medal in the Aloha Cup.
Australia emerged as the champion nation at the 22nd edition of the “Olympics of Surfing”, earning the accolade for the third consecutive time.
The USA’s CJ Hobgood took the men’s surfing title, Sally Fitzgibbons of Australia triumphed in the women’s surfing, Marcus Lima of Brazil won the men’s bodyboarding, Natasha Sagardia earned a first gold medal for Puerto Rico in women’s bodyboarding, and France won the Aloha Cup tag team event.
Moir won each of the five heats he contested en route to his second successive gold medal. Now he is hoping to match the three consecutive longboard titles recorded by Brazil’s Marcelo Freitas.
“I’m so, so stoked. I never thought I would have the chance to win two events in a row,” Moir said from the victory dais.
‘I’m pretty happy’
“Marcelo Freitas won it three times in a row and I’ve done it twice, so I’m pretty happy for that. I had great support from my teammates on the beach. That was amazing, I just can’t believe it.”
Moir fought out a high scoring duel with Australian champion Harley Ingleby in the final, mastering the tricky half-to-one-metre waves to rack up five rides over 7.5 points.
His best two rides of 9.22 and 8.90 gave the champion a heat total of 18.12 that left US Open champion Taylor Jensen (USA) and reigning ASP World Champion Phil Rajzman of Brazil needing a combination of two scores in third and fourth places respectively.
Only Ingleby, with the heat high score of 9.74 on his final ride, was within one score of overtaking Moir when the siren sounded to end the final.
Lee dropped into the gruelling man’s bodyboard repecharge rounds when he placed third behind teammate Sacha Specker and 2006 champ Manuel Centeno of Portugal in round four of the winner’s stream.
He then battled his way through three more rounds to reach the Grand Final where Lima emerged victorious after Lee, Centeno and 2006 runner-up, Hugo Pinheiro of Portugal, were all penalised with interference calls in the hotly-contested encounter.
Specker finished fifth overall after a great run in the event where he advanced straight to the winner’s stream final before being relegated to the repecharge final in which he placed third behind Lee and Lima to just miss out on a place in the Grand Final and a medal.
The South Africa tag team finished second behind France and ahead of Australia and the UK to qualify for the final of the Aloha Cup event – a form of relay surfing contested by the teams finishing in the top eight at the previous ISA World Surfing Games.
The South Africans’ form was not as good in the final and they finished well off the pace in fourth place behind France, who recorded the narrowest of victories over host nation Portugal, with surprise package Costa Rica in third.
Overall, Team South Africa finished in seventh place amongst the 29 national teams attending the event. Australia, who had three team members in the Grand Final of the men’s surfing – the highest counting division – finished nearly 3 000 points ahead of the second placed USA.
Brazil took third place and France recorded their best ever result by snatching the copper medal for fourth, just one point in front of Costa Rica, with Portugal in sixth.
World Champion Nation
- Gold: Australia – 17.238 pts
- Silver: USA – 14.284 pts
- Bronze: Brazil – 12.610 pts
- Copper: France – 11.819 pts
- South Africa: – 7th – 11.237 pts
Open Men’s Surfing
- Gold: CJ Hobgood (USA)
- Silver: Heath Joske (AUS)
- Bronze: Dayyan Neve (AUS)
- Copper: Kai Otton (AUS)
- Klee Strachan – 13th
- Matthew Kruger – 21st
- Ryan Payne – 29th
- Devyn Mattheys – 61st
Open Women’s Surfing
- Gold: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
- Silver: Marie Dejean (FRA)
- Bronze: Camila Cassia (BRA)
- Copper: Lauren Sweeney (USA)
- Tarryn Chudleigh – 8th
- Chantelle Rautenbach – 16th
- Gold: Marcus Lima (BRA)
- Silver: Manuel Centeno (POR)
- Bronze: Hugo Pinheiro (POR)
- Copper: David Lee (RSA)
- Sacha Specker – 5th
- Gold: Natasha Sagardia (PRI)
- Silver: Heloise Bourroux (FRA)
- Bronze: Rita Pires (POR)
- Copper: Lilly Pollard (AUS)
- Pamela Bowren – 11th
- Gold: Matthew Moir (RSA)
- Silver: Harley Ingleby (AUS)
- Bronze: Taylor Jensen (USA)
- Copper: Phil Rajzman (BRA)
- Gold: France
- Silver: Portugal
- Bronze: Costa Rica
- Copper: South Africa
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