The final day of the 2016 WSL QS1,500 Maui and Sons Arica Pro Tour in Chile has been an exhibit of spectacular surfing. 4-6 foot waves have produced barrel after barrel at the El Gringo reefbreak. William Aliotti of France has emerged as the winner of the event after defeating Australian Dean Bowen by a 2.50 Margin in the Final heat.
Aliotti first posted a 7.50 score on a throaty barrel, and then an additional 7.07 to back it up in the beginning of the heat. He paddled into a set wave and pumped down on a lengthy tube ride, completely disappearing before he emerged out of the spay. He scored a perfect 10 from all judges.
Shortly thereafter, while he was paddling back to the takeoff zone, he witnessed his opponent, Dean Bowen (AUS) dropping into a barrel and making it through the spit to earn a 9.17 score.
Bowen had the opportunity to turn the tables with the clock winding down. He was able to ride into what is considered the best wave of that heat but he failed to finish off perfectly.
This will be the first QS event Aliotti was able to complete this year. This Maui and Sons Arica Pro Tour victory gave him $10,000 in Prize money and 1,500 points for the World Surf League Qualifying Series Ranking.
Despite not winning, Bowen was still pleased with his results in this Arica event. He has not been involved in competition in the recent years after his promising junior career. But Bowen is keen to get back into competitive mode.
Goofy-footers have a definite advantage over regular-footers at the El Gringo’s powerful waves. From the Quarterfinals onwards, all surfers on regular-foot stance had been eliminated. But it was also a surprise not to see any of the Chilean surfers make it to the Semifinals after Bowen has eliminated Chilean surfer Manuel Selman.
Alonso Correa, a Peruvian representative looked sharp throughout the competition but has not been able to get past Aliotti.
William Aliotti’s win bumps him up to 150th place in the WSL QS rankings with just one event. On the other hand, Dean Bowen’s second place finish has moved him up to 119th place from 202nd. Correa on the other hand, was the only surfer in the event that was able to breach the top 100 by securing 86th rank, jumping from 118th, on the QS rankings.