Had he won he would have become the first person to win two divisions in the same event. Dave Hubbard from Hawaii showed his versatility on a bodyboard when he won the dropknee final against new world champion Damian King and came second to Frenchman Pierre-Louis Costes in the men’s final at the Encanto Pro Puerto Rico today.
With less than 30 seconds left in the final the Frenchman still needed a good scoring wave to win, in the hollow four to six foot conditions. A wave came his way and he gave it his all, landing two back flips in a row and getting the score. His friends carried him on their shoulders to the presentation area where he celebrated his first Grand Slam Series win in front of the cheering crowd. “It feels amazing, it’s my first grand slam victory. I’ve been waiting for this one for a while. If you don’t win you’re never happy and I finally got that feeling” said Pierre-Louis Costes.
Before she surfed in the final, Lilly Pollard from Gerringong in New South Wales Australia told current Women’s World Tour leader Eunate Aguirre, she would win the event for her. A win would stop her nearest rival, other finalist and reigning world champion Brazilian Isabela Sousa, closing the gap between them in their title race. The Brazilian could not find the form she had in her semi-final performance, where she scored a perfect ten, was left in a combination situation at the end of the final.
Pollard’s experience of riding the heavy reefs around her hometown helped her to victory as she rode two barrels, rolling out of the one, flawlessly. “After seeing Isabela’s heat yesterday I knew it was going to be a challenge”, said Pollard after the final.
Both Men’s and Women’s World Tour titles will be decided at the final event of each respective tour; the Men’s in the Canary Islands and the Women’s in the Azores. Pierre-Louis Costes has leapfrogged up the rankings to second and 300 points behind tour leader Jeff Hubbard while Pollard’s win has pushed her into third position on the WWT and Aguirre has maintained a 379 points lead on Sousa.