Jensen sets sail in Arugam Bay

By Naushad Amit in Arugam Bay

Taylor Jensen from the USA fashioned the day with perfect paddling skills while fellow compatriot Kai Sallas put up a formidable display on the waves on the fifth day of the SriLankan Airlines Pro Surfing 2011 competition in Arugambay yesterday.

American surfer Taylor Jensen who dazzled Arugam Bay yesterday, taming the waves.

Jensen made the most amount of points of the day as he scored a total of 18.50, becoming one of the hot favourites for the Men’s Longboard World Title which was introduced to the Sri Lankan shores this year. He accumulated 9.5 points and 9 out of possible Ten in his double attempt while surfing an almost perfect heat to qualify for the quarterfinal stage.

His unorthodox styles in addition to traditional surfing maneuvers helped to stamp his authority in the competition which approaches its end today.

Jensen beat fellow American Tony Silvagni in the final qualifying heat of the day which went on as a nail biter. Silvagni unfortunately had to bow out of the competition despite scoring 14.25 points. The second heat which Sallas won too was a keenly contested battle as the loser Ned Snow of Hawaii came up with a great effort. Snow gathered 14.60 points which still was insufficient against 14.85 points of Sallas.

Australian Harley Ingleby, a former ASP World Longboard Champion recorded the first win of the day as he conquered the waves of Arugam Bay with further two minutes remaining. Ingleby who is renowned for his own variety of surfing progressed to the quarterfinals and will meet Sallas in the first battle today.
Ingleby beat South African Phil Rajzman in a close competition before claiming a win narrowly by margin of 0.35 points. Brothers from France, Antoine Delpero and Eduardo Delpero advanced to the quarterfinals with well earned victories. The winner of the Men’s World Longboard Tour will grab 10000 ASP points and a handsome cash award of US$ 10000 while the loser is set to receive 8000 ASP points and US$ 4000 in cash. The losing semi-finalists will win 6500 ASP points and US$ 2000 each and the fifth seed will receive 5200 ASP points and US$ 1600. The event will proceed today from the quarterfinals and will continue with the final.

American pair Lakey Peterson and Courtney Conlogue displayed impressive performances in the semi-finals yesterday to qualify for the Women's 6-Star final which is scheduled for today. Peterson got the better off New Zealander Sarah Mason who was not so lucky though putting up a brave fight. Both competitors aged 16, astounded the crowd with stylish moves to the delight of the spectators.
The women’s final is tipped to be an exciting battle between Peterson and Conlogue who beat former European and French champion Pauline Ado in the second semi-final. The winner of the final will walk away with 3500 ASP points and a cash award of US$ 4500 while the loser is set to receive 2640 ASP points and US$ 2300 as prize money. The losing semi-finalists shared 4225 ASP points. The SriLankan Airlines Pro 2011 is an internationally sanctioned competition by the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) which is sponsored by the country’s national carrier for the second consecutive year.

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