MAKAHA, Oahu/Hawaii (Thursday, November 4, 2010) - Duane DeSoto (HAW), 33, won the Oxbow ASP World Longboard Championship over Antoine Delpero (FRA), 25, clinching his first ASP World Longboard Title at his local break of Makaha after 17 years of ASP WLT competition.
The Oxbow ASP World Longboard Championship was a standalone event, with Desoto's single event victory over the world's best longboarders earning him the 2010 ASP World Longboard Title.
DeSoto, who posted some of the event's highest scores, took five heat victories to clinch his inaugural ASP World Title in front of his friends and family at his home beach of Makaha, marking a career high for the talented Hawaiian.
"This feels insane," DeSoto said. "I've been trying for so many years and I'm 33 and I finally got a title. I started doing these when I was 16. I'm just so incredibly happy to be here and it couldn't get any better. It's right here at Makaha beach, where I grew up my whole life with my family. To have my beautiful family here behind me, I don't even know. I don't know when it's going to kick in. Today was all time Makaha. Everything just lined up beautifully."
DeSoto's rise to the top was nothing short of impressive, as he capitalized on his intimate knowledge of the righthand pointbreak to top two-time ASP World Longboard Champion and fellow Hawaiian Bonga Perkins (AHW), 38, in the Semifinals before defeating Delpero in the Final.
"Looking at Bonga's (Perkins) high scores for the contest, I knew I had to turn it on," DeSoto said. "I knew if I didn't do my best surfing, there was no final for me. It really made me turn the throttle on. Then I had Antoine (Delpero), as consistent as he is, in the Final, I knew I had to turn it on again, but I just took it heat by heat. I didn't want to focus my energy on the future or the past. The clock never went so slow in that Final once I took the lead."
Delpero, who displayed memorable performances throughout the event's entirety by combining classic longboarding and stylish rail-to-rail surfing, was one to watch in every round, but was unable to match DeSoto's charge in the Final, finishing ASP World Longboard No. 2 for 2010.
"I did my very best and I'm happy with my result," Delpero said. "I enjoyed Makaha. Being out there with only one other guy and looking at the beautiful mountains and having great waves, it was a great event for me."
Bonga Perkins (HAW), 38, past two-time ASP World Champion, posted the highest scores of the entire event of a near-perfect 9.60 out of 10 single-wave score and a 17.87 out of 20 heat total in his Quarterfinals heat, but was unable to find the waves needed to top local talent DeSoto in their Semifinals matchup and finished equal 3rd overall.
"I wish I could have given that guy (DeSoto) more of a challenge," Perkins said. "I sat too far out. I didn't want to sit too far in. I had good heats leading up to that one, so I can't complain. Duane is my good friend. I'm not bummed at him, just bummed I didn't give him a run for his money. I wanted to go wave-for-wave, that way you know you got beat by a better surfer, not by yourself."
Perkins admitted the tragic passing of friend Andy Irons and thoughts of his family made it hard to focus on today's competition.
"I've got a lot of emotions running though my head," Perkins said. "Losing my good friend Andy (Irons) and my Mom, for me to make it this far into the event with these many things in my head, I'm pretty happy. I'm pretty stoked."
Rusty Keaulana (HAW) who is a local Makaha legend and past ASP World Longboard Champion, entered this year's event via a wildcard and charged to the Semifinals with his mastery of classic longboarding. Keaulana was unable to top young Frenchman Delpero in their Semifinals bout and finished equal 3rd overall, but was thrilled to see a fellow local win the ASP World Longboard Title at his home break.
"I've got three titles and I'm proud of Duane (DeSoto) for winning this," Keaulana said. "I've tried to win this event at Makaha before, but no excuses about me, I'm just happy for Duane right now."
For event highlights, photos, info and more log on to oxbowavesliders.com
For additional ASP information log on to aspworldtour.com
Oxbow ASP World Longboard Championships Final Result:
1 - Duane DeSoto (HAW) 14.97
2 - Antoine Delpero (FRA) 13.53
Oxbow ASP World Longboard Championships Semifinals Results:
Heat 1: Duane DeSoto (HAW) 14.30 def. Bonga Perkins (HAW) 12.83
Heat 2: Antoine Delpero (FRA) 13.67 def. Rusty Keaulana (HAW) 11.33
Oxbow ASP World Longboard Championships Quarterfinals Results:
Heat 1: Bonga Perkins (HAW) 17.85 def. Phil Rajzman (BRA) 11.90
Heat 2: Duane DeSoto (HAW) 11.70 def. Bryce Young (AUS) 7.85
Heat 3: Rusy Keaulana (HAW) 13.30 def. Kai Sallas (HAW) 13.05
Heat 4: Antoine Delpero (FRA) 11.90 def. Taylor Jensen (USA) 11.65
Oxbow ASP World Longboard Championships Round 2 Results:
Heat 5: Kai Sallas (HAW) 15.85 def. Matthew Moir (ZAF) 9.50
Heat 6: Rusty Keaulana (HAW) 8.20 def. Eduardo Bage (BRA) 4.50
Heat 7: Antoine Delpero (FRA) 11.90 def. Alex Salazar (BRA) 3.85
Heat 8: Taylor Jensen (USA) 13.75 def. Kekoa Auwae (HAW) 11.00