Izzi Gomez comes from behind to take victory at the Abu Dhabi All Stars - Photo by: Abdel Elecho
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - Coming off an impressive win at the last stop of the Stand Up World Tour in Brazil, Izzy Gomez (Starboard) started slowly at the open of the 2014 Abu Dhabi All Stars, but soon found her stride and gained momentum through the rounds to take victory at stop #3 on the 2014 Stand Up World Tour. With an incredible winning record (2 out of 3 this year and 4 out of 7 since the beginning of 2013), Izzi is proving herself to be a dominant force in the sport of Stand Up Paddling and a true Champion.
Izzi Gomez on the podium at the Abu Dhabi All Stars SUP World Tour Event
Izzi Gomez came from behind in the Final against the on form Iballa Moreno:
The road to the finals for Izzi Gomez was exciting. She began slowly but built momentum through the rounds to overpower the new talent on Tour and 3rd place finisher in Hawaii, Sophia Bartlow. She then defeated Aline Adisaka (New Advance) from Brazil. In the Final, Izzi seemed up against the ropes with Iballa Moreno (Starboard), who opened with a couple of high scoring lefts. However, through the rights and closeouts Izzi was able to post scores in the excellent range to take the victory in the prestigious Abu Dhabi All Stars event. It was an incredible performance by this young Champion who continues to strengthen her position on the World Championship Tour as one of the very best Stand Up Paddle Surfers in the World.
Iballa Moreno puts together a solid event campaign, narrowly missing out on win:
Iballa Moreno (Starboard) has shown flashes of brilliance over the past year on the Stand Up World Tour, with displays of radical performance surfing in a wide variety of conditions. Unfortunately, she hasn't until now been able to piece these moments together for a strong heat performance, meaning that she has often been knocked out earlier than perhaps her talent would indicate. This changed, however, at the Abu Dhabi All Stars as Iballa Moreno (Starboard) turned it on and powered her way through the rounds to the final, taking down current ratings leader and 2013 World Champion Nicole Pacelli from Brazil in the process. Despite just falling short in the final against Izzi Gomez (Starboard), Iballa can return home proud of the fact that she turned a corner with her competitive surfing and has shown she is capable of taking down the very best in the world. Iballa is now sitting in 4th place overall and is clearly a name to watch out for through the 2014 season.
Iballa Moreno looking solid at the Abu Dhabi All Stars SUP World Tour Event - Photo by: Abdel Elecho
Nicole Pacelli goes down in the Semi Finals, but not without a fight:
Nicole Pacelli put on an impressive performance at the ABu Dhabi All Stars Grand Slam, notching up the highest heat score total in Round #1 and then blazing her way through the quarterfinals to the semis where she was finally stopped by Iballa Moreno (Starboard) from Spain. Even though Nicole would have wanted a win in Abu Dhabi, she should be happy with her 3rd place finish which complements her 1st and 2nd in Hawaii and Brazil respectively. She is now tied for 1st overall in the rankings with Izzi Gomez (Starboard), so it will be interesting to see how the final 2 events of the year will play out.
Aline Adisaka excels and moves up to 3rd overall in the ranking:
Aline Adisaka (New Advance) has been continuously improving over the past few years and is now seen as one of the leading talents on Tour. She reaffirmed this with another strong finish at the Abu Dhabi All Stars Grand Slam. Taking out the ever powerful Candice Appleby in the quarterfinals, Aline went onto meet her great friend and eventual event winner Izzi Gomez (Starboard) in the semis. While she wasn't able to make the finals, she put up a good fight and it was a closely fought battle. Aline is certainly a talent to look out for on the Stand Up World Tour as it has already passed the mid point of the year.
Other Standouts at the 2014 Abu Dhabi All Stars Grand Slam:
The international talent pool continues to grow as the women are stepping up to be counted. The All Stars event saw the welcomed return of Olivia Piana (Fanatic) and Caroline Angibaud from France, but also Candice Appleby and Sophia Bartlow. As the competition intensifies, the level of women's surfing is getting supercharged with dynamic competitive performances which continue to drive the performance levels forward.
Stay tuned to www.watermanleague.com for highlights.
Remember that the All Stars event is not over yet! The World's best racers will be congregating in Yas Marina tomorrow for Stop #2 on the 2014 Stand Up World Series. Make sure to watch LIVE tomorrow from 3pm UAE time at www.watermanleague.com. Day 1 will be the long distance race of the SUP World Series and Day 2 will include the World Series Sprints, with the morning of Day 2 also hosting a 3km open course and youth activities - all in all there will be something for everyone.