Smooth sailing for Williams
Paul-Andre Walker, Staff Reporter
LUKE WILLIAMS continued to prove his worth in this season's surfing circuit, winning the second in as many National Open contests yesterday at Makka Beach in Yallahs, St. Thomas.
Williams, for the second time, edged out defending champion Icah Wilmot in an action-packed final.
After tough heats and two screaming semi-finals, the difference between the two came down to one wave, indicating the fight for the title of national champion is well and truly on.
As a matter of fact, the final that saw the best seven surfers in the island facing off was a close one throughout, with Inilek Wilmot holding on for third place.
Fourth went to Jason Pusey, who was seventh in the championship standings, at the start of the contest.
Joel Lawrence, who held down fifth position in the standings, was consistent in finishing in the same place.
While Shane Simmonds could only manage sixth in the tough line-up.
Ackeam Phillips also made his way into the final, but had tough breaks with his waves to end seventh. That placing will hurt his fourth-placed position in the Championship standings.
After the contest, Williams indicated that having won his second tournament of the year, he is now a confident man.
"It gives me a boost. I've been surfing the least out of everybody else, but it definitely gives me some confidence," Williams said.
"The level of surfing out there today was pretty high. I was watching some of the guys catch some of their waves and I knew they were surfing well so I was trying to push myself to try and keep up," he said.
Meanwhile, defending champion Icah Wilmot sounded a warning to the early leader, saying there were still three more tournaments to go and he would be back.
"I'm not really worried because I got second this time. I did that the last time so if I win two of the other events then we'll be tied and the last event will determine it," Icah said. "I like the competition, funnily enough, it tends to bring the surfers together," he said.