South African Jared Houston is the 2015 APB World Bodyboarding Champion. The 26-year-old Capetonian endured a stressful wait on the beach in Puerto Rico as he watched his world title rival, Frenchman Pierre-Louis Costes, compete in an action packed Encanto Pro Final against Hawaii’s Jeff Hubbard.
Earlier in the event Houston’s world title hopes seemed dashed after a shock round six loss at the hands of Hubbard and Chilean Nelson Flores.
Houston’s exit in Round six put Amaury “Moz” Lavernhe of Reunion into the frame. The Reunion Island rider needed to progress past the quarter finals to win the World Title but was unable to overcome the high flying antics of Jacob Romero of Hawaii who won their quarter final heat taking Lavernhe out of the title race.
Costes needed to win the Encanto Pro to overtake Houston on the rankings but the Frenchman had no answer to Hubbard’s early aerial assault on the Middles’ waves. The Hawaiian took the win after posting a heat score of 17.00 points to Costes’ 13.40 in the Final
While the action was taking place in the water Houston was visibly nervous on the beach as he had to wait right until the final minutes of the heat to clinch his inaugural world title.
“There are no words to describe this moment,” Houston said has he fought back tears. “That was the longest day of my life. I am super happy. I worked really hard this year so I am happy I got it. Congratulations to Jeff (Hubbard) and Jacob (Romero).”
Houston becomes the first South African to win a bodyboarding world title since Andre Botha, who won two world titles in 1998 and 1999.