Phil Rajzman Claims His Second World Longboard Title in China

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Riyue Bay, Wanning/CHN (Sunday, December 11, 2016) – Nine years after his first Title, Brazilian Phil Rajzman has taken out the 2016 Jeep World Longboard Championship presented by Wanning. Rajzman overcame Steven Sawyer in the Final, which was held in 3-5-foot waves at the left hand point break at Riyue Bay.

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Phil Rajzman said his second World Longboard Title is his sweetest ever victory. WSL/Bennett

Rajzman surfed a solid event but left his best performance till last displaying huge commitment to nose rides and smooth flowing power turns to post a huge heat total of 17.34 (out of a possible 20). Sawyer, needing an excellent single wave score of 8.85 (out of a possible 10) took a number of waves under priority but was unable to find the score he needed, leaving Rajzman to take his second WSL Longboard World Title.

“This does not feel real,” Rajzman said. “I feel like it won’t hit me properly for a few days. This event is so amazing because us Longboarders only catch up a few times a year and we are like a big family. Coming and seeing everyone is great and then to win and have all of this support is just unbelievable. I am just so happy.”

Rajzman made history in 2007 becoming the first Brazilian Surfing World Champion. Nine years later he has done it again and believes this one is the sweetest.

“In 2007 I was young and didn’t work too hard for it and didn’t think to much about winning the Title. This one is different – it’s nine years later and I have been working so hard to keep surfing at a high level. All of the work has paid off and it is so important to me, this is the greatest win of all.”

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The Champion hanging ten toes over the nose: WSL/Tim Hain

Steven Sawyer surfed under the radar all event, waiting patiently for only the best waves that would offer him excellent scores which often left him chasing a score in the dying minutes. The final was no different with Sawyer chasing from behind the entire time. He found some long set waves under priority but couldn’t quite post the excellent score he needed. After finishing in last place at his first WLC in 2015, to finish second in the world is as good as any win for Sawyer. “I am so stoked, I just can’t believe it,” Sawyer said.

“There were a few things I could have done better in that heat to win but I’m just as happy with second as I would have been winning the thing. Every heat I made was just a bonus, when I made it to the fourth round I was ecstatic. Making it to the Final I feel like I can go home and be proud forever.”

The happiest runner-up in the world, Steven Sawyer. Pic: WSL/ Tim Hain
The happiest runner-up in the world, Steven Sawyer. Pic: WSL/ Tim Hain

Two of the other standouts of the event were two time World Longboard Champion Taylor Jensen and Brazilian ripper Rodrigo Sphaier. Both put in massive performances but were knocked out in the Semifinals by the eventual finalists. Jensen and Sphaier finished in equal third in the world. An amazing accomplishment from two of the world’s best.

For more information on the 2016 Jeep World Longboard Championships hosted by Wanning Province with support from Corona head to www.worldsurfleague.com or the WSL App.

About the World Surf League

The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com