The world's best longboarders will once again hit the sands of China to compete at the prestigious ASP World Longboard Championships (WLC). This year's GoPro World Longboard Championship, China presented by Wanning will see a combined waiting period for both men's and women's events that will run from December 5-12 at the lefthand poinbreak Riyue Bay off Hainan Island, China.
Kelia Moniz (HAW), reigning two-time ASP World Longboard Champion will be the toughest draw at this year's event, having made the Final at Riyue Bay the past three years, coming away with a runner-up finish the first year and winning the past two. Interestingly, all three Finals have been against Australia's Chelsea Williams, with the two surfers building a healthy rivalry on China's long lefts. Moniz's classic style mixed with her Hawaiian power-surfing has seen her prevail and she's still coming to grips with the her back-to-back wins.
â€œIt was a very accomplishing feeling to bring a second title home last year,â€ Moniz said. â€œI really can't believe I did this two times. It just makes the first one feel more legit, if that makes sense. Good results can make such a foreign place almost feel like home. The waves have always been fun for us at Riyue Bay, I mean it's a left hand point break so I really can't complain being a goofyfooter. There's just something so pure and rich about the culture and people in Hainan that I just love.â€
Piccolo Clemente (PER), reigning WLC fought through the tough field of powerful, traditional and progressive surfers to claim his maiden world title at last year's event. Clemente defeated event standout Rodrigo Sphaier (BRA) in an exciting Final, claiming the required score on his last wave to etch his name in the history books.
â€œWinning the world title changed many things in my life,â€ Clemente said. â€œIt's made a huge difference for my sponsors and my private life. I'm really looking forward to returning to China, it will bring back all the memories of winning this beautiful championship. I really hope to be on the podium again this year but it will be difficult because of the high level of talent that we have in the event.â€
GoPro will be signing on as this year's title sponsor. GoPro also sponsors the event favorite, Moniz.
"The ASP World Longboard Championship is hands down one of the most important professional longboarding event of the year, making it a natural fit for GoPro to sign on as this year's title sponsor," said Todd Ballard, GoPro's Director of Global Sports Marketing. "We wish GoPro athlete Kelia Moniz the best of luck as she defends her title as ASP World Longboard Champion, for the third consecutive year."
A new deal has been arranged that will see the event continue to run in China for the next three years. 2009 ASP World Longboard Champion and current WLC surfers representative Harley Ingleby (AUS) says the agreement will bring a sense of stability to the Championships.
â€œAwesome news to be heading back to Hainan for the ASP WLC for another three years,â€ said Ingleby, who finished equal third at last year's event. â€œThis means a lot to have some stability in our tour for a few years. Hainan is not like you'd expect China to be, the waves can be really good, it's quite tropical and rural for the most part with plenty of nice uncrowded beaches.â€
Dane Jordan, ASP Australasia General Manager, has seen ASP World Longboard Champions crowned in China for the past three years. He thanked GoPro, the People's Government of Wanning, Hainan and the surfers for their support to make this event happen for another three years.
â€œThe ASP is grateful for the support from GoPro, the surfers and the people of Wanning, Hainan," Jordan said. "The locals and the government have been so welcoming to the world's best longboarders and we're all excited to be going back next month. These surfers are fantastic to watch and the long lefthanders at Riyue Bay are perfect to showcase their talent.â€