Sintra Pro coming in hot

And the World Title race is reaching is getting gnarly.
The APB World Tour machine is rolling on to Europe with the Sintra Portugal Pro kicking off from Monday, September 22 to the 28th (men’s, women’s, dropknee, pro junior). With the event recently being upgraded to a four-star rating in the men’s, the event has huuuge World Title implications. We put a call in to Aussie Ben Player – the country’s only hope in the top 10 – but Benny says he has elected to “peel out of the race… to focus on movies on trips” for the rest of 2014. Before we look at who could take it out let’s hear from APB CEO Alex Leon.

RIPTIDE: We’ve seen that the comp has been upgraded to a four-star event – what was the reason for the upgrade and how will this affect the impact it will have on the World Title race (e.g. How many points does a four-star event garner compared to a three-star like Antofagasta)?
We held a meeting and decided it was necessary to upgrade the event due to its long-standing history and the later date this year, which increases the probability of swell. A 4-star events gains 1600 points for 1st. 

Can you give us a list of competitors that will be making the trip to Sintra?
Very similar field to the other events this year. Pierre Louis Costes, Amaury Lavernhe, Jared Houston, Lewy Finnegan, Mike Stewart, Uri Valadao, Alex Uranga, Guilherme Tamega, Jacob Romero and also the Hubbards [Jeff and Dave]. Plus we also have the Women’s, DK and the Pro Junior, which is a new category we’re working on with event promoters.

Has there been any more news on the season-ending Fronton event – is it looking likely?
We have heard from the event promoter on Canary Islands and there seems to be a shortfall on budget still as the sponsorships and government funding is scarce there. We’re trying to help them with some sponsorship discussions, but nothing has been secured as yet and we only have another week to confirm it on or off.

If Fronton wasn’t to go ahead would you say the Sintra event may be one of, if not the, deciding factor in this year’s world title moving forward in 2014?
We still have Panama and Venezuela coming up next month, which could be a deciding factor in this year’s tour, but they’ll be a two or three-star rating, which may not affect the title (pending Sintra results) but will play a big role in who qualifies for the 2015 tour.

Thanks Alex.

Pierre Louis Costes is currently leading the men’s rankings with Uri Valadao, Amaury Lavernhe, Jared Houston and Alex Uranga trailing him in the 4000 points-plus group, with Mike Stewart just behind them. We’re not mathematicians here at Riptide, but we’re guessing you’re looking at the World Champ somewhere in that group. In the women’s Canary Islands’ teenager Alexandra Rinder’s fairytale run sees her in top spot, with Aussie hope Lilly Pollard in second and Japan’s Sari Ohhara third. In the dropknee Josh Trotter (Hawaii) and Edgardo Gomez (Puerto Rico) are trailing five-time DK World Champ Dave Hubbard, who you’d be pretty hard-pressed to bet against.

We’ll bring you more news as it comes to hand.