We wanted it, we worked for it, we got it all.
The weekend of September 10th-11th marked a before and after in the spanish, european and possibly, world skimboarding history.
After the fifth edition of the Internacional Trafalgar 2021, we set out to take the event a little further, work hard and try to be part of the most important skim league in the world: United Skim Tour. It is just one step to show that a world championship with stages in different countries could be a reality.
A few months ago we had the green light and UST would be back to had a stage outside the United States -after a long time- once again and this time, for the really first time, in Spain. It sounds easy, but it is not. The pressure and responsibility increased. We had the focus of the skim world on our event and we should to do just three things: 1. Make the best work, 2. Fulfil expectations and 3. Do not make mistakes. All three done.
On September 9th, the beach was filled with skimboarders who want to discover and enjoy Faro de Trafalgar spot. Skimboarders from nine (nine!) different countries enjoyed the epic conditions that Trafalgar Lighthouse give us as a present. Top level riders as the current champion, the Brazilian Lucas Fink, the Mexican Yahir Valencia, the Filipino Sonny Boy or the local rider Juanlu González, Ale Montañes, Javi García and Javi Sola from Malaga (current international European champion) give a show during a nice sunset with perfect conditions that will be remembered for a long time.
Saturday morning started with an historical record, 43 participants of 9 different nationalities in the Open category and waves size not recomended for heart disease. That was unbelievable with presence of some of top skimboarders arrived from entery world. Missing just a few as the Portuguese legend Hugo Santos or Simao Pinto.
Almost all top seeds advanced without problems to the top 12. Mentioned guys and the Americans Tim Fulton or Sam McCoy advanced to the round where the 1vs1 heats would start. Third round was a cribe for some European classics as Ricardo Dias, Martí Avilès, Jesule González, Miguel Braz o Emmanuel Embaixador this time.
Sunday started with perfect conditions. Not as big as the day before, but was a glassy morning. More than perfect conditions for a high-level championship.
Under16 and Master categories were the first on the water, just before female category. An opportunity to see how the female skimboarding grows and how girls and women improve their skills and level every day. Demostration much respect they deserve. Xoxe Conde and Pipa Pinto advanced without problems to the final, accompanied this time by Kika Freire and Marina Alarcón.
Then, open quarter finals… One-on-one matches started with two of the three Spaniards in the top 8. Epic battle between Javi Sola and the local -and young- Ale Montañés. Javi advanced by tenth. After that, Sonny boy get the first place in front of Sam McCoy, who had an excellent championship finishing fifth. Yahir Valencia, who in just two days won the hearts and support of all the Spanish crowd, left Californian Tim Fulton behind and Lucas Fink advanced over the local hero, Juanlu González in a battle expected by many.
After a break to eat and rest some legs, we all was waiting for the perfect tide conditions. Finals started when sun is going down, where Nico Morales, a 14-year-old competitor, won the junior title from Enrique Pérez and exchanged his spots for the 2021 contest. In masters, Emmanuel Embaixador “Mega” was championed by Adrián Clavijo, who despite competing hampered by a muscle injury. In the women’s division, Xoxe Conde won the fisrt trophy again, to add it to her collection of victories. Quite a show, once again, showing that girls can also slide to the waves that break further back. Pipa Pinto, another legend, was runner-up this time ahead of the other Portuguese, Kika Freire and Marina Alarcón, from Malaga.
ÁxhAll the people was on fire waiting for the sunset, ready to enjoy two of the most epic battles of the entire event. In the first place, Javi Sola pushed Lucas Fink to the limit, who ended up winning by a short differnence and Yahir Valencia played his own way with crowd support agains Sonny Boy.
The UST title was on the table, where Yahir needed to win to keep his chances before the final stop in California and Lucas needed to win to mathematically clinch his second UST title.
Awesome battle that was somewhat undermined by a penalty because Yahir’s interference during the first few minutes, but which, despite everything, was something to remember for a years.
Lucas Fink got it and leaves Spain with his homework done and a title to be proud of. Yahir left smiling, happy and assuring us that he would undoubtedly return next year. This time, accompanied by his brother Gerardo, UST champion in 2021 who this time could not attend.
We look for it, we work on it and we achieve it. Those who came will come back and those who didn’t come, now still be dreaming of coming one day to enjoy the shorebreak of Trafalgar spot. We’ll cross our fingers and dream about it. Sometimes, only sometimes, dreams… come true.
*THANK YOU TO ALL THE TEAM WHO CAN MAKE THIS POSSIBLE: Lorena, Shein, Jaunlu, Xoxe, Eric, Raio, Eva, Fer, Mate, Boca, Alberto, Javi and their colaboration to Anika, Janovi, Anna, Sola, Julia, el chiringuito del Faro, liveguards team and local servers who help us to move all the inraestructure.
And of course to all sponsors who collaborate with us. THANKS SO MUCH!
1. Lucas Fink // 2. Yahir Valencia // 3. Javie Sola // 4. Sonny Boy // 5. Sam McCoy // 6. Ale Montañes // 7. Juanlu González // 8. Tim Fulton
1. Xoxe’ Conde // 2. Pipa Pinto // 3. Kika Freire // 4. Marina Alarcón
1. Nico Morales // 2. Enrique Pérez // 3. Gonzalo Caro // 4. Álvaro Revuelta
1. Emmanuel Embaixador // 2. Adrián Clavijo // 3. Artur Costa // 4. José Costa
Photos: Artur Costa, Martí Avilès y David Jodar