Day 1 of the 2016 Jeep World Longboard Championship presented by Wanning has kicked off with Women's Round 1 being completed. Competitors were greeted in the morning with clean 2-to-3 foot waves at Riyue Bay that gradually faded throughout the round.
Justine Mauvin of Reunion Island played a patient game in her Round 1 matchup. The stylish goofy-footer was trailing for the entire heat needing a mid-range score. In the dying seconds of the heat Mauvin found a set wave and rode it to the beach, weaving and nose-riding the entire way. The judges loved it and gave her a 7.33 (out of a possible 10) to give her the heat win and progress directly into Round 3.
"First heat of the entire contest is always tough," Mauvin said. "When you're in the first heat you are the guinea pig for the judging scale so you never really know how they're going to score you. I knew I needed a score at the end but just took off and did what I would usually do and didn't think too much about it. In the end I got the score so I'm really happy."
The most dominating performance of the day went to young Brazilian sensation Chloe Calmon. Calmon didn't have an easy run coming up against former World Champion Kelia Moniz and Californian Karina Rozunko. Calmon wasn't phased by her opponents posting two excellent single wave scores, an 8.00 and an 8.83 for a heat total of 16.83, the highest of the contest so far.
"I always like to stay busy which worked well in that heat," Calmon said. "I always try and get scores early in a heat so I can relax. The waves were pretty slow so that method worked well for me. I was still nervous at the end because I knew Kelia (Moniz) and Karina (Rozunko) could easily get a score so I had to make sure I used priority well. China is like a second home for me; I spend a lot of time here and have been here for a few weeks so I'm feeling nice and comfortable which is good."
All eyes were on Heat 3 of Round 1 with reigning Women's World Longboard Champion Rachael Tilly hitting the line-up in her proudly worn Jeep Gold Jersey. The Californian continued her love affair with the long reeling walls of Riyue Bay costing to a win and a spot into Round 3.
"Round 1 being non-elimination is always good as there isn't much pressure," Tilly said. "Being patient was hard during that heat but it seemed to pay off. I knew that there would be at least one decent set so if I could just wait it would pay off. It's great to be back in China, especially in the yellow jersey."
After just missing out on the World Title in 2015 finishing runner-up, Crystal Walsh has returned in 2016 with the hope of going one better. The Hawaiian got her campaigned kicked off perfectly with a Round 1 win.
"There seemed to be a lot of waiting in that heat," Walsh said. "There is never to much pressure in Round 1 but skipping into Round 3 is a massive bonus. Last year, after the event, all I could think about was winning this year and it really drove me. Now that I'm here I'm not thinking too much about it at all which is better for me I think."