"If more events were like this, I'd do them!"
Albee Layer has won the 2015 Red Bull Unleashed wave pool comp in Wales. The Hawaiian was crowned champion beating New Zealand's Billy Stairmand 3-1 in the final surrounded by a two thousand-strong audience. The first ever wave pool competition showed that wave pool technology has improved and may herald a new era of competitive surfing as we know it.
Albee Layer is your 2015 Red Bull Unleashed champion after a string of spectacular displays carried him to victory at Surf Snowdonia in North Wales today. Hawaiian powerhouse Layer beat New Zealand's Billy Stairmand 3-1 in the final battle in front of a raucous, two thousand-strong audience. After a long hiatus from the surfing arena, wave pool technology is very much back in the game, and the last three days of high performance surfing had the assembled crew of superstar talent buzzing about not only the state of things to come, but the situation as it currently stands.
"It's cool!" said Jordy Smith spectating at the event. "You both have an equal opportunity, and there's no two ways about it, the best surfer always wins. You can't afford to fall so you really have to walk the fine line between pushing it to the limit and pushing it too far."Throw in an audience 10-feet away and a DJ pumping out the surfer's chosen tracks, and you have a stadium-worthy spectacle. "The crowd's right above you, as close as you can possibly get to someone on a wave," said Smith, "some guys thrive off it, other don't. It's an arena for those who can feed off the energy of the crowd."
The Maui freesurfer beamed with pride on the podium and expressed his delight in taking home the silverware. "I didn't know what to expect coming here. "It's been incredible. Surfing so close to so many people, music playing, heaps of energy in the air, to get the win is crazy. If more events were like this, I'd do them!"
Red Bull Unleashed Results
Albee Layer (HAW) 3 def. Billy Stairmand (NZL) 1
SF1. Billy Stairmand (NZL) 3 def. Jack Freestone (AUS) 0 SF2. Albee Layer (HAW) 3 def. Mitch Crews (AUS) 2
QF1. Billy Stairmand (NZL) 3 def. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 1 QF2. Jack Freestone (AUS) 3 def. Kai Hing (AUS) 1
QF3. Albee Layer (HAW) 3 def. Jayce Robinson (GBR) 1 QF4. Mitch Crews (AUS) 3 def. Ian Crane (AUS) 1
H1. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 3 def. Alan Stokes (GBR) 0
H2. Billy Stairmand (NZL) 3 def. Leo Fioravanti (ITA) 1 H3. Jack Freestone (AUS) 3 def. Evan Geiselman 0
H4. Kai Hing (AUS) 3 def. Kalani David (HAW) 0
H5. Jayce Robinson (GBR) 3 def. Hiroto Arai (JPN) 0
H6. Albee Layer (HAW) 3 def Ian Gouveia (BRA) 2
H7. Ian Crane (AUS) 3 def. Mikey Wright (AUS) 2
H8. Mitch Crews (AUS) 3 def. Reubyn Ash (GBR) 1