LACANAU, France - The Sooruz Lacanau Pro an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) sanctioned event is set to step into top gear with the top seeds prepared to hit the water in what is tipped to be one spectacular day of action with an excellent forecast for swell conditions for day 4 of this 145,000$US event.
Surfers competing at the Sooruz Lacanau Pro are out to add to their ASP World ranking with the valuable points on offer. European surfers are also chasing points for the overall European Men’s title here at stop nº 6 of 12 of the European Series.
Clean 3-4ft (1m) waves with light off-shore winds greeted event officials and surfers at dawn this morning for the resumption of Round One of competition at the Sooruz Lacanau Pro and the surfers took full advantage of the excellent conditions to finally put their skills to the test after almost one week of wave starved conditions. The tide pushed in throughout the morning and forced a halt to proceedings when eventually late in the afternoon the final three heats of Round One were completed.
Standout surfers were Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) with two solid scoring rides in his 25-minute clash and Richard Christie (NZL) who pulled off the wave of the day scoring an 8.00 out of a possible 10 with a series of on-the-rail turns followed by an air-reverse to complete an impressive display of modern, progressive surfing.
Fellow countryman and runner-up at the recent Newquay Borardmasters Jay Quinn (NZL) had to pull all his tricks out of the bag to advance in a low scoring tactical battle along with Jorge Spanner (BRA) as they found themselves in an unusual wave starved heat.
“I watched the guys in the other heats before me,” explained Quinn. “All three heats before me there were lots of waves and then it just slowed down a bit. There are a couple of peaks out there so I was just paddling around and seeing if I could pick something off early. I almost got lucky on that first wave but I missed out on the count-down so that one didn’t count for me at the start of the heat.”
Knowing that it was going to turn into a make or break situation Quinn set his attack plan which eventually helped him to advance into the next round.
“When we got to the half way stage and there were only a few scores I knew it was going to be a low scoring heat so I had to get moving and paddled on search of a few inside peaks. I haven’t really surfed for a week with the flat spell we have been having but I still feel good after Newquay and hopefully I can continue with it.”
Tim Boal (FRA) 27, former 2009 Dream Tour member was pleased with his pass into the next round and is keen to get into some quality waves which are predicted for the following days. One surfer not to be under estimated in any conditions Boal will definitely be a handful for many of his fellow opponents in the rounds to come.
“It was a little slow with not many waves out there but it was good just to get a couple of waves and get through that heat and make it into tomorrow and hopefully have better waves.”
Having competed in selected events throughout 2010 Boal explains how his year is going and his approach to the remainder of this competitive season.
“I haven’t done to well at the start and the last couple I’ve just had one of those years with a couple of interferences here and there and a couple of mistakes but I have only done about four events at this stage. I’m planning on doing the whole European leg. It is good with the way they are changing the format, it has made me take a step back and get ready for next year.”
Gordan Fontaine (Brittany, FRA) 20, has been travelling down to Lacanau since he was 10-years-old and in this 31st edition of the Sooruz Lacanau Pro found himself as an alternate on the waiting list of the event. Eventually his enthusiasm and urge to compete paid off for the young Frenchman as he got his call-up to surf in a mid-morning heat.
“I was really lucky to get into the event because I was waiting all day yesterday and I woke up at six this morning to be ready for any heat and then again I was fortunate during the heat because I caught some good waves and then there was an interference so luck was definitely with me today I guess.”
Getting off to a solid start and an early lead Fontaine decided to change his board midway through the heat in search of furthering his lead. His opponents closed in on him however with his two last scoring rides the victory and a pass to advance onto the main event was his.
“I didn’t feel really comfortable on this board so I felt the other one would be a little bit better so I changed quickly and it paid off because I got an even better score after so I am pretty happy about that right now.”
To cap off an amazing day of surfing and to give the huge crowd a taste of what can be expected tomorrow Alex Ribeiro (BRA) in the last minute of the last heat nailed a mind-blowing front-side air-reverse to claim a near perfect 9.4 score and set the scene for an amazing day to come.
“The waves are very good now,” said a smiling Ribeiro. “I am so happy with my big air to get the best score in the heat. Surfing against Jihad (Khodr) is so hard and I had two good waves and I want to do the same again tomorrow”
SOORUZ LACANAU PRO ROUND 1 RESULTS
Heat 13: Billy Stairmand (NZL) 14.50, Kiron Jabour (HAW) 13.67, Chad Du Toit (ZAF) 10.13, Vincent Primal (FRA) 6.53
Heat 14: Richard Christie (NZL) 14.17, Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 8.90, Jay Davies (AUS) 8.53, Luca Petersen Guichard (NOR) 7.70
Heat 15: Russell Molony (AUS) 12.33, Ricky Basnett (ZAF) 11.46, Reubyn Ash (GBR) 10.44, Robertson Goncalves (PRT) 5.87
Heat 16: Jay Quinn (NZL) 9.83, Jorge Spanner (BRA) 8.80, Norman Landa (EUK) 8.07, Kyle Lane (ZAF) 7.37
Heat 17: Gordon Fontaine (FRA) 11.97, Klee Strachan (ZAF) 10.33, Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 6.17, Cody Sammons (USA) 2.10
Heat 18: Adrien Toyon (REU) 11.46, Damien Chaudoy (REU) 8.50, Edouard Delpero (FRA) 8.50, Joao Guedes (PRT) 5.04
Heat 19: Tim Boal (FRA) 11.40, Paulo Moura (BRA) 11.10, Dylan Southworth (MEX) 7.94, Omer Bar (ISR) 6.42
Heat 20: Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 14.60, Tiago Camarao (BRA) 13.13, Kieran Horn (USA) 8.73, Christophe Allary (REU) 7.97
Heat 21: Brent Dorrington (AUS) 12.80, Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 11.60, David Weare (ZAF) 9.93, Jared Thorne (USA) 5.67
Heat 22: Eneko Acero (EUK) 12.83, Odirlei Coutinho (BRA) 10.64, Bruno Rodrigues (BRA) 7.37, Ricardo Lange (DEU) 5.00
Heat 23: Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK) 13.00, Kevin Sullivan (HAW) 12.10, Oli Adams (GBR) 9.47, Jayce Robinson (GBR) 7.03
Heat 24: Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 16.90, Jihad Khodr (BRA) 14.96, Manuel Selman (CHL) 10.77, Frederico Morais (PRT) 9.00