Photo: IBC World Tour
From the rider’s area, surrounded by fellow athletes and members of the Gran Canaria Frontón King organization, Hawaiian Tanner McDaniel witnessed the quarterfinal performance of the Frenchman Piere Luis Costes, his sole rival for the bodyboard world title. McDaniel held back his emotions until the moment the buzzer sounded. Lifted onto the shoulders of his supporters, he received the trophy that declared him the best in the world. Piere needed to win the event to steal the title, but he was eliminated in that heat.
In the Frontón King category, the title went to local hero David Pérez, who started competing in the first heat. He emerged victorious in the final against Robin Legros, a rider from Reunion Island residing in Gran Canaria. Their performances throughout the event were outstanding, making it a historic final contested for the first time by two riders who were not in the top 10. Pérez had to face top-notch competitors, including Amauri Lavherne, a two-time world champion and three-time Frontón King winner.
In the junior category, Peruvian Michael Yancce claimed the world title and the Frontón King crown, demonstrating exceptional skill and style in each heat. He also reached the semifinals in the open category and earned the $1,000 Red Bull Banana Challenge prize for the most radical maneuver of the championship, an inverted left.
The Gran Canaria Frontón King distributed a total of $30,000 among the top four finishers in the open category and $10,000 for the junior division.
In this eleventh edition, two new prizes were introduced. Provitel sponsored the award for the best Canarian junior, which was shared by Gabriel Mendoza, who made it to the semifinals and remained in contention for the world title, and Gadiel Ruano. Another €500 prize, named after Julián González Pérez and sponsored by GNRTM, was awarded to the best Canarian male rider, which was won by David Pérez, a native of Tenerife.
As for the newly crowned world champion, the 24-year-old Hawaiian rider expressed his relief and joy after a stressful two weeks. He mentioned that he had been a runner-up many times before and had dreamed of this moment for years. McDaniel also praised his rival, two-time world champion Piere Luis Costes, as an idol who had inspired him to become better.
Yancce, known as Pirpo, draped in the Peruvian flag, expressed his immense happiness at winning a title he had been chasing for three years. He thanked his community in the Lima neighborhood of Punta Arena for their support, as they had organized raffles, food sales, and other activities led by his mother to raise the funds necessary for him to travel and compete on the world tour. Yancce’s natural talent and radical style have earned him a legion of fans in his country, leading to what is now referred to as the “pirpomanía.”
David Pérez, who won the Frontón King crown for the second consecutive year, is undoubtedly the present and future of this sport.
The trophies were presented by Julio Mateo Castillo, Deputy Mayor of Gáldar, and Ancor Bolaños, Councilor for Physical Activity, Sports, and Health. They awarded the winners in the eleventh edition of the Gran Canaria Frontón King Pro 2023, part of the IBC Bodyboarding World Tour. The traditional bunch of bananas was lifted by the champions in addition to the trophies.
Apart from the high-level sporting spectacle that unfolded over the six days of competition, the Frontón King offered a program of activities and concerts that concluded with the grand closing party at the event venue.
The Gran Canaria Frontón King is organized by Epic Events and promoted by the Gran Canaria Island Council through Gran Canaria Tourism, the Insular Sports Institute, and its brand “Isla Europea del Deporte,” as well as the Presidency Department with its brand “La Isla De Mi Vida.” The event is also supported by the Gáldar City Council.
For more info check the IBC World Tour