Australia’s Dave Winchester has been crowned the winner of the 2012 Stealth Arica Chilean Challenge at El Gringo which saw glassy 6ft conditions.
Winchester took out lasts year’s winner, GuilhermeTamega, with a huge invert followed by a tight spin and close out roll awarding him a score of 9.84 in the dying seconds of the final heat.
This is the second win at Arica for the 30-year-old from New South Wales who has had more success here than at any other wave on the Grand Slam Series.
“I am so happy to beat Tamega today. I just wanted to get him back for beating me in the final here last year. It was even better that it all happened in the last few seconds, because he thought he had it,” said Winchester in today’s IBA press release.
The Chilean Challenge presented by Bodyboard Surf Co is the third stop on the IBA World Tour Grand Slam Series. The competition is a firm favourite for many of the athletes as-well as spectators. “It’s the biggest stop on tour as far as the crowd goes,” said current world number 2 Tom Rigby.
With huge waves breaking so close to the rocks it is never a surprise to see some of the riders take a hit or two in Arica. Former world champ Ben Player describes the wave as “pretty bloody scary,” but said that “most of the competitors would rather be hurt than knocked out.”
With two third place finishes, today’s win sees Winny take control of the 2012 IBA GSS rankings, 900 points ahead of number 2 seed, Jeff Hubbard from Hawaii.
“I would have to say this is the highlight of my career so far, I’m pumped. And I can’t forget to thank Lester and Hardy for the carry, good blokes.”