"I knew where my weaknesses were on the wave and managed to avoid them. The conditions at Neart were fab and I felt good about most my rides in the final heat," said QUENCH after his win. "You get that tingle inside that you know -- oh yeah baby! This wave wants me! And then you go for all!"
29 surfers competed in seven qualifying heats at the Reaction Longboard Epic, out of a total of 35 registered, sending 15 surfers through to the semi-finals. However, two of the semi-finals produced two second place ties, forcing the judges to call a semi-final tie-breaker heat with five surfers to decide who would join semi-finals winners Christine Daffodil, Pova Rustamova and VW Sands in the final heat.
"QUENCH came through from a highly competitive semi-finals tie-breaker heat," said Sally LaSalle, SLSA director and one of the three judges at the competition. "And the tie-break had the highest average scores of any heat of the day."
Desne Aabye, Paeida Allen, Desirae Beaumont, Abel Halderman and QUENCH Spotter all faced off in the tie-breaker, which saw Desne, Paeida and QUENCH go through to the final. "I was so stoked to make it to the semis: that alone to me was an achievement," said QUENCH. "Once I passed that and found out that I was in a tie-breaker heat, I was in Second Life shock!"
QUENCH shared the winners podium with second place VW Sands and third place Christine Daffodil (see pic above). SLSA Marshall Tauri Tigerpaw was awarded the Surfcamp Outstanding Sportsmanship Award of the event.
The Reaction Longboard Epic at Neart was the fourth competition in the SLSA calendar and the SLSA season's first competition with Epic waves. It was also the first surfing competition to be held applying the SLSA's new 'wave count rule' in the event's semi-finals and finals heats, allowing all semi-finalists and finalists to catch four waves each.
FINALS HEAT SCORES
1. Quench Spotter (17.83 points)
2. VW Sands (17.50 points)
3. Christine Daffodil (17.16 points)
4. Pova Rustamova (16.66 points)
5. Paeida Allen (16.5 points)
6. Desne Aabye (16.0 points)
SurfWatch: LIVE RESULTS -- Reaction Longboard Epic (24 May 08)
SurfWatch: SLSA draws Neart heats (24 May 08)
SurfWatch: Lady in red (21 May 08)
SurfWatch: Surfing Calendar May-June 2008 (19 May 08)
SLURL: Neart, West of Ireland