The Elite League competition commenced today in Cumbuco, Brazil, where Heats 1 to 3 were completed for the men, which the competition put on hold from Heat 4 due to the dropping wind conditions.

The morning started with Round 1 Heat 1 for the men, which saw Luis Alberto Cruz from the Dominican Republic start the day with a bang, throwing an impressive 317 right at the start. He continued riding exceptionally well, even though he has been recovering from an injury sustained in the final in El Gouna, where he hurt his ribs. He showed no sign of weakness as he continued gaining high scores, and will pass through directly to Round 3. Joining him will be young Brazilian rider Manoel Soares, only 17 years of age, who rode a fantastic heat, not crashing any of his trick attempts. He also advances directly to Round 3.

Heat 2 saw former World Champion Liam Whaley struggle to gain his focus during the start of his heat, but managed to turn it around impressively towards the end, gaining some great scores that put him in 1st position on his last trick attempt. 17 year old Adeuri Corniel from Cabarete will be joining him in Round 3 after riding consistently well, his motivation level high after his podium finish at our last event in Egypt. Alex Neto from Brazil narrowly missed out on 2nd position, and will have to battle it out in Round 2. He put on a strong performance, clearly comfortable riding in his home country.

It was Stefan Spiessberger from Austria who took the win for Heat 3, beating out two former World Champions, Youri Zoon and Alex Pastor. Spiessberger was on form and maintained good focus throughout his heat. He will now pass directly through to Round 3. Arthur Guillebert from France will be joining him, putting on a strong performance with some innovative tricks.

“After seeing the draw for the first round I really didn’t expect too much for today. Every heat has some really heavy guys in there. But I knew I was riding on a good level here in Brazil since I arrived. I had a really good time before the event already and just want to carry that feeling into the competition now. I don’t really feel I need to perform to have a good ranking or anything, I just want to perform the way I know I can and then see what comes out of it in the end. Round 1 was really good but that’s just the start of the competition and the next heat starts from zero. But I’m definitely stoked to win against two former World Champions and three crazy good riding young guns!” Stefan Spiessberger

Heat 4 was unfortunately abandoned after the first round of trick attempts due to the dropping wind conditions. The Men’s Round 1 will be resumed tomorrow morning, with the skipper’s meeting called for 7.30 and the first possible start at 8am.