Piccolo Clemente (PER) and Atalanta Batista (BRA) lead the World Surf League (WSL) South America Longboard Series after winning for the second consecutive year at the Huanchaco Repalsa Longboard Pro presented by Claro and Samsung at Playa El Elio, La Libertad, Peru.
Clemente remained in top form throughout the event and left little doubt as to the outcome. The local surfer had the entire crowd cheering him on as he showed impeccable familiarity on the ultra-long lefthanders breaking in the 3-4 foot range (1 meter) at El Elio. Clemente's first victory of the day was over William Saldaña (PER) in the Quarterfinals by a score of 16.00 to 10.90 respectively.
In the Semifinals, Clemente was matched up against his friend (and rival) Rodrigo Sphaier (BRA). Both athletes had previously claimed the WSL South America Longboard Series title twice and today's meeting was well fought with Clemente defeating Sphaier by a slim margin, 15.73 to 15.50.
Augusto Olinto (BRA) came into the Huanchaco Repalsa Longboard Pro as an underdog, but was quickly regarded as a force to be reckoned with as he took down several heavy-hitters on his was to the Final. Olinto was able to blend his innovative style with very technical maneuvers to beat Phil Rajzman (BRA) in Round 2, Jeferson Silva (BRA) in the Quarterfinals and Jefson Silva (BRA) in the Semifinals before facing Clemente in the Finals.
Olinto began with an early lead over Clemente and kept things close for the majority of the Final. But with five minutes remaining, and the title on the line, Clemente sealed his victory with flawless surfing on two waves to earn an 8.73 and a 9.13 for the highest heat total of the entire event, 17.86.
"I'd like to thank all of my friends here in Huanchaco for all their support and to all of my sponsors for believing in me," declared the 3-time WSL South America Longboard champion, Piccolo Clemente. "Augusto (Olinto) is a great competitor and I think that we had a good exchange in the Final. There were some great waves out there during the final day and I think that everybody that competed today would agree. It feels great to have gotten this victory and I dedicate it to everybody that was rooting for me."
Despite not winning the Final, Olinto was still pleased with his performance. "I'm feeling pretty emotional with my result and I'm kind of speechless. It's hard to describe what I'm feeling," Olinto said. "I definitely want to come back here next year and I just wanted to thank everybody in Brazil for all their support and to Peru for having such excellent waves along their coastline. The Final was a little complicated for me, Piccolo (Clemente) is such a great competitor, he's a World Champ, so I'm very excited with my result. Thank you everybody!"
In the women's division, Atalanta Batista (BRA) lived up to expectations as she won the Huanchaco Repalsa Longboard Pro for the second time. By displaying steely nerves and utmost patience, Batista waited for the best waves on the largest sets to earn a 7.00 and a 7.50 for a 14.50 total over newcomer, Maria Fernanda Reyes (PER) who scored an 8.44 heat total in the Final.
"I'm so stoked! Maria Fernanda (Reyes) gave me a hard time during the heat, but I'm glad to be surfing here and winning again in such a marvelous place," exclaimed Batista. "I didn't start off well, but I caught those last two waves and they let me throw a bunch of turns to get the scores I needed. I'd like to thank everybody in Brazil that was cheering me on and to the great audience here in Peru that came to see this incredible event in Huanchaco."
From 2011 to 2014, the Huanchaco Repalsa Longboard Pro was the only event held that determined the WSL South America Longboard titles. Now in 2015, a second event was added to the calendar: the Rip Curl Longboard Pro. The event will take place on July 24-26 in San Bartolo, Peru. The athletes leading the rankings after the conclusion of this additional event will establish the continental title.