Jeff Hubbard captured his second International Bodyboarding Association Grand Slam event of the year in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, Saturday.
Hubbard got past his brother, Dave Hubbard, in the quarter finals to set him up for Pierre-Louis Costes of France in the semis, according to a release from the IBA World Tour.
Hubbard advanced to the finals after Costes, working through some incredible tube rides, was unable to exit one, a costly factor in the semifinals.
Working through 10- to 12-fot surf, Hubbard edged out Ryan Hardy of Margaret River, Australia, 14.00 to 10.50 to capture the 20-11 AGIT/Turbo Zicatela Pro presented by Found Boards, ID Boards and Colorada Surf.
“Ten to 12-foot Puerto for a contest, it does not get any better,” said Costes in the IBA release. “To have a competition in this gets me so amped. I am so proud to be a bodyboarder these days.”
Both Hardy and Hubbard are equally capable in big surf and each has won an event on the 2011 Grand Slam Series, states the IBA release.
Hubbard proved his worth at home in Hawai‘i by taking the first stop of eight, the Pipeline Pro in February. Hardy took charge at the Box Pro in Western Australia, the second stop of eight, not losing a single heat throughout the event.
Hubbard lost little time in Mexico, working his high-flying maneuvers and launching the biggest air-reverse of the event. However, unable to complete the move left him with 5.0 points for the efforts. Hubbard continued his aerial assault, backing the 5.0 showing with a 5.5, leaving Hardy in the lineup to answer.
Hardy needed a 6.0 point ride to take the lead after being able to accumulate just a couple of small scores.
Following the announcement on the beach commentary, Hardy locked into a right-hander, whipped a clean spin under the lip and finished with a big roll, earning him the 6.0 ride and the lead.
With just three minutes remaining in the heat, Hubbard found a huge ramp, giving him one last chance to score big and took to the skies with one of his invert airs.
Launching well into the flats and completing the move without fault, Hubbard collected an 8.5 from the judges, catapaulting him into the lead.
“It was really heavy out there,” Hubbard said. “I was just blessed to be in the right spot a few times. This is my second win this year — this one is so important to me. It’s been a dream of mine to win in Puerto.”
Hardy had the priority with two minutes remaining in the heat but was unable to improve on his situation.
“The waves today were so big and perfect,” Hardy said. “It’s pretty much as big and good as a beach break can get. Jeff turned it up in the final. I was just watching his airs from behind and hearing the hoots from the crowd which were totally deserved. He is a machine and a really good athlete.”
Following his second win on the Grand Slam Series, Hubbard sits at the top of the IBA ratings with 6,220 points followed by Guilherme Tamega of Brazil at 5,550 points, the Brazilian rider dropping to Hardy, 16.50 to 12.75 in the quarterfinals.
Hardy finishes with 5,384 points for third in the rankings.
Visit www.ibatour.com for complete scoring on the 2011 AGIT/Turbo Zicatela Pro.