Amaury “Moz” Lavernhe’s World Title defence seems to be not a case of “if” but “when” after the Reunion Island bodyboarder took out the opening event of the APB Tour in dominant fashion.
The reigning world champion will take his rightful spot at the top of the World Bodyboarding Tour rankings after destroyed his opposition to win the Itacoatiara Pro in Brazil.
Moz won every heat throughout the five-day competition, culminating in a decimation of 2008 World Champion, and local hope, Uri Valado in the event final.
Lavernhe came out firing in the final, putting in a pair of massive backflips which scored 7.0 and 8.0 respectively to push Valadao into combo territory.
Valadao never recovered, with Moz winning the final comfortably 15.00 to Valado’s 5.15 points.
It was the second Itacoatiara Pro trophy in two years for Lavernhe, who took the title in 2013 and has many wondering if the defending champ can be stopped in 2015.
One of Lavernhe’s main rivals, Frenchman Pierre-Louis Costes, was eliminated in round seven of the contest by Portugal’s Antonio Cardoso. Despite a series of backflips during his heat, PLC was unable to overcome Cardoso’s high scoring barrel ride which was awarded a 9.25 by the judges.
Meanwhile in the Pro Junior division, Hawaii’s Tanner McDaniel defeated Brazillian Matheus Bastos in the final heat.
The two exchanged the lead several times throughout the man on man final, however McDaniel was able to surge to the front after a pair of backflip-to-roll combinations.
In the first heat of the morning, 2008 World Champion Uri Valadão (Brazil) and Australian young gun Lewy Finnegan advanced to the next round and eliminated 6-time World Champion and event Wild Card Guilherme Tâmega (Brazil) in the process. Helliton Loureiro (Brazil) and Chilean Sacha Damjanic advanced out of heat eight to fill the last remaining slots in round seven.
With the Men’s field of competition narrowed down to the last sixteen, riders battled it out in man-on-man heats to determine who would advance to the quarterfinals. Local Wild Card Kalani Lattanzi, Tanner McDaniel (Hawaii), Matias Dias (Chile), 2-time Defending World Champion and 2013 Itacoatiara Pro Champion Amaury Lavernhe (Reunion Island), Francirley Ferreira (Brazil), Antonio Cardoso (Portugal), Uri Valadão, and Lewy Finnegan squared off to determine who would appear in the semifinals. In semifinal one, Amaury Lavernhe defeated the crowd favorite Kalani Lattanzi. Semifinal two saw Uri Valadão overtake Antonio Cardoso.
Following the Men’s semifinals, the Pro Junior final hit the water where Tanner McDaniel went up againstMatheus Bastos (Brazil). The two battled back and forth for most of the heat, exchanging the lead several times. Eventually, though, Tanner was able to create some separation in the scores with a pair of backflip-to-roll combinations that helped Tanner procure the win. Moving back into Men’s competition, Kalani Lattanzi defeated Antonio Cardoso in the Men’s Consolation Final. As a result, Kalani finshed in 3rd place, and Antonio Cardoso finished 4th overall.
The Men’s Final was a battle of world champions with Amaury Lavernhe going up against Uri Valadão. Amaury came out strong right from his first wave and dominated the final. A pair of big backflips scored a 7.0 and an 8.0 for Amaury, pushing Uri into combination situation (needing two completely new scores) from which he never recovered. The awards ceremony closed out the event. A large crowd of enthusiastic bodyboarding fans and spectators watched as Tanner McDaniel received his Pro Junior Champion trophy, and Amaury Lavernhe claimed his second Men’s Champion Trophy in three years at Itacoatiara. The crowd, also, watched as Guilherme Tâmega took to the stage and officially announced his retirement from full-time competition on the world tour.
The APB now heads to event two on the 2015 world tour schedule, The Arica Chilean Challenge (July 17th-26th), which will feature both Men’s and Women’s competition.