Mens top 5
- Kai Lenny
- Sean Poynter
- Mo Freitas
- Caio Vaz
- Zane Schweitzer
Ladies top 5
- Izzi Gomez
- Iballa Moreno
- Nicole Pacelli
- Aline Adisaka
- Olivia Piana
Press release : Waterman League
Kai Lenny proves victorious in the World Tour Surfing at the Abu Dhabi All Stars
After 3 days of intense action at Wadi Adventure Park in the UAE, it all came down to one final heat: 3 lefts, 3 rights and 3 closeouts as 3x World Champion Kai Lenny (Naish) from Maui stepped it up a gear to secure his first win of the season here at the Abu Dhabi All Stars Grand Slam.
The final was one to remember, as the 2 on form surfers of the event, Sean Poynter (Starboard) from Florida and Kai Lenny (Naish) battled it out to the bitter end, going wave for wave in the completely unique format that the Abu Dhabi All Stars provides.
Clash of the Titans in the Final of the Abu Dhabi All Stars
Despite considering himself weaker on his backhand, Kai rode 2 flawless lefts to start off the exchange, with scores in the excellent range, making it a chasing game for the on form Sean Poynter, as Sean attacked the rights and closeouts with everything he had to achieve the 9.27 he needed to take the win.
But it all came down to a last wave of Sean to get the score, as Kai waited for his last wave and turns of the event. In the end, Sean’s score was not enough, as Kai executed a perfect air reverse into 360 by way of a victory lap before getting carried out of the pool by his team mates. A great result for the 3x World Champion after a disappointing finish in Brazil, relighting his competitive fire as we move into the World Series component of the Abu Dhabi All Stars Grand Slam.
Sean Poynter, the on form Surfer of the event posting high scores throughout
Sean Poynter (Starboard) was without doubt the on form surfer of the event, posting some of the highest scores of the event through all his heats, linking critical and controlled turns together for an explosive display of progressive Stand Up Paddlesurfing.
In the quarters, he took down fellow teammate and Abu Dhabi All Star in 2013, Zane Schweitzer, before dispatching the young phenom Mo Freitas (Focus SUP) in the semis. In the Finals, he put up a good fight, but didn’t find the flawless form he had had through the event, unable to match this year’s Abu Dhabi All Stars Champion.
Mo Freitas puts on a performance to remember reaching the Semi Finals
Mo Freitas (Focus SUP) put on a clinic of full rail surfing here at this year’s Abu Dhabi All Stars, driving full power turns off the bottom through the lip, and carving roundhouses like no-one else. He made it all the way to the semis, only falling short by the smallest of margins to Sean Poynter (Starboard).
Once again, a real testament to his potential on the World Championship Tour – at just 17 years old, he has a bright future ahead of him.
Caio Vaz keeps his momentum through Stop 3 of the 2014 Stand Up World Tour
Caio Vaz (Art in Surf) put on a stellar performance throughout the event, with progressive surfing propelling him through the rounds, only falling short to Kai Lenny in the Semi Finals (Naish) by 0.23. Coming off 2 back to back wins on the Stand up World Tour at Sunset and then in Brazil, Caio kept his momentum and with a 3rd place finish here at the All Stars, is still sitting on top of the world with 2 firsts and a third. An impressive scoreline in his campaign for a World Title in 2014, as we hit the midpoint of the year and every point starts to count.
Other Standouts at the 2014 Abu Dhabi All Stars Grand Slam
Other standouts of the event included Zane Schweitzer (Starboard), Abu Dhabi All Star in 2013, who fell to team mate Sean Poynter (Starboard) in the quarter finals, but also 2nd place finisher last year, Ian Vaz (Art in Surf), narrowly missing out on advancing through against Mo Freitas (Focus SUP).
Kody Kerbox and Poenaiki Raioha make their presence felt in Abu Dhabi
Kody Kerbox (Naish) continued his great form this year, taking out Keahi de Aboitiz (JP Australia) in Round 3, but just falling short to Caio Vaz in he quarters, and Poenaiki Raioha (F-One) from Tahiti once again demonstrated his incredible talent, getting all the way to the quarterfinals only to come up against eventual Champion Kai Lenny (Naish). In a last hail Mary, Poenaiki pulled off an impressive air reverse into 360, getting the crowds to their feet, but it was not enough to take down Lenny, who advanced on to win the contest.
Izzi Gomez comes from behind to take victory at the Abu Dhabi All Stars
Coming off an impressive win at the last stop of the Stand Up World Tour in Brazil, Izzy Gomez (Starboard) started slower at the open of the 2014 Abu Dhabi All Stars, but soon found her stride and gained momentum through the rounds to take victory at stop #3 on the 2014 Stand Up World Tour. With an incredible winning record (2 out of 3 this year and 4 out of 7 since the beginning of 2013), Izzi is proving herself to be a dominant force in the sport of Stand Up Paddling and a true Champion.
Izzi Gomez comes from behind in the Final against the on form Iballa Moreno
Izzi Gomez’ road to the Finals was exciting, as a slow start saw her build momentum through the rounds, to overpower the new talent on Tour and 3rd place finisher in Hawaii, Sophia Bartlow and then the on form Aline Adisaka (New Advance) from Brazil.
In the Final, she seemed up against the ropes with Iballa Moreno (Starboard) opening strong with a couple of high scoring lefts. However through the rights and closeouts, Izzi was able to post scores in the excellent range, taking her to victory in this prestigious Abu Dhabi All Stars.
An incredible performance by this young Champion, as she continues to strengthen her position on the World Championship Tour and as one of the very best Stand Up Paddlesurfers in the World.
Iballa Moreno puts together a solid event campaign, narrowly missing out on win
Iballa Moreno (Starboard) has shown flashes of brilliance over the past year on the Stand Up World Tour, with displays of radical performance surfing in a wide variety of conditions. Unfortunately, she hasn’t until now been able to piece these moments together for a strong heat performance, meaning that she has often been knocked out earlier than perhaps her talent would indicate.
However this changed at the Abu Dhabi All Stars, as Iballa Moreno (Starboard) turned it on and powered her way through the rounds to the final, taking down current Ratings leader and 2013 World Champion Nicole Pacelli from Brazil in the process.
Despite just falling short in the final against Izzi Gomez (Starboard), Iballa can return home proud of the fact that she has turned a corner with her competitive surfing and has shown she is capable of taking down the very best in the world and is now lying in 4th place overall: clearly a name to watch out for through the 2014 season.
Nicole Pacelli goes down in the Semi Finals, but not without a fight
Nicole Pacelli puts on an impressive performance at the ABu Dhabi All Stars Grand Slam, notching up the highest heat score total in Round #1, then blazing her way through the quarterfinals to the semis, where she was finally stopped by the on form Iballa Moreno (Starboard) from Spain. Even though Nicole would have wanted a win here in Abu Dhabi, she has to be happy with 3rd place finish, to complement her 1st and 2nd in Hawaii and Brazil respectively. She is now tied for 1st overall in the rankings with Izzi Gomez (Starboard), so it will be interesting to see how the final 2 events of the year will play out.
Aline Adisaka excels and moves up to 3rd overall in the ranking with a 3rd here
Aline Adisaka (New Advance) has been continuously improving over the past few years and is now seen as one of the leading talents on Tour. She reaffirmed this with another strong finish here at the Abu Dhabi All Stars Grand Slam.
Taking out the ever powerful Candice Appleby in the quarterfinals, Aline went onto meet her great friend and eventual event winner Izzi Gomez (Starboard) in the semis, and while she wasn’t able to make the finals, she put up a good fight and it was a closely fought battle.
Aline is certainly a talent to look out for on the Stand Up World Tour as we pass the mid point of the year and look towards potential World Title scenarios.
Other Standouts at the 2014 Abu Dhabi All Stars Grand Slam
As the level of women’s surfing on the Stand Up World Tour continues to go from strength to strength, our international talent pool continues to grow as the women are stepping up to be counted.
In this event, we saw the welcomed return of Olivia Piana (Fanatic) and Caroline Angibaud from France, but also Candice Appleby and Sophia Bartlow. As the competition intensifies, the level of women’s surfing is getting supercharged as this dynamic competitive platform continues to drive the performance level forward.
A wrap for stop #3 of the Stand Up World Tour & Open for the Stand Up World Series
So that is a wrap for Stop #3 on the 2014 Stand up World Tour, as we celebrate an epic showdown out here in the desert of Al Ain, where history was once again made at Wadi Adventure for the Abu Dhabi All Stars Grand Slam: this year as the first Official International World Championship event was brought to the UAE for a spectacle like no other.
However, the All Stars is not over yet, as the World’s best racers will be congregating in Yas Marina tomorrow for Stop #2 on the 2014 Stand Up World Series. Make sure to join us LIVE tomorrow from 3pm UAE time at www.watermanleague.com. Day 1 will be the long distance and Day 2, the World Series Sprints, with the morning of Day 2 hosting a 3km open course and youth activities througout – all in all something for everyone.