Aussie edged out of series
SOUTH American powerhouse Guilherme Tamega defeated Mullumbimby bodyboarder Dave Winchester 16 points to 13 on his way to taking out the Arica Chilean Challenge at the weekend.
The win at stop number three on the Grand Slam bodyboarding series was no easy feat.
In building three-metre swell, Tamega navigated his way through some monstrous barrels and launched huge rolls over the notorious El Gringo reef, covered only by inches of water, to win a thrilling final.
After being carried onto the podium by his fellow countrymen, Tamega covered up the tears as he thanked his family and friends for their support.
“This is like a dream come true,” he said.
“I really needed this win to get my motivation going and show me that 2011 is not over.”
With a half a dozen world titles and runner-up finishes to his credit, Tamega will be a strong contender for the 2011 world title.
Winchester was the man to beat until reaching the final where he was unable to find the waves he needed.
“Every heat I was getting a bit more confident,” Winchester said.
“I just got into a bad rhythm in that final and I could not get out of it, so I got second.
“I'm pretty happy with that.”
With equal third place finishes, Australian Ben Player and South African Mark McCarthy collected 2400 points and $2500 each.
Player was in good form throughout the event, but was unable to match Winchester in their semi-final.
“I could not buy a wave out there and Winny is an excellent competitor,” Player said.
“In my eyes he is top five in the world, so I'm happy losing to him.”
Meanwhile, Byron Bay's Garrett Parkes placed second in yesterday's Chill Pro Junior at Trigg Point, Perth.
Parkes lost to New Zealander Matt-Lewis Hewitt in the final, but now moves to No1 on the ASP Australasian Pro Junior ratings.