SAN SEBASTIAN, Euskadi – Marie Dejean (La Sauzaie, FRA), 17, and Thomaz Petterson (Santa Catarina, BRA), 20, have won the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Grade-1 Vans Pro Junior event, respectively in the women’s and the men’s divisions.
Finishing first after four days of intense action that witnessed some impressive scores and progressive surfing, both champions were able to oust event favorites in their respective categories, Dejean clinching her maiden ASP Pro Junior event and Petterson his second consecutive title in a month-time.
Thomaz Petterson, who waited the last minute of the thrity-minute decider to come back from fourth to first in a desperate tentative to post the event’s highest score with a 9.50 point ride, was impressive throughout the event using his unstoppable speed and flying ss to better defending champion Marc Lacomare (Hossegor, FRA), 18, and leave local favorite Jatyr Berasaluce (Sopelana, EUK), 20, in second.
“It’s just amazing to win this event, the second one in a row for me,” Petterson said. “I was just out of the race for the whole heat and I knew that I had to risk everything to hope for a win or a second place. That left came and I just let go with these two airs and landed them. I am so stoked right now.”
Petterson, whose performance in the final showed again he was solid enough to best Europe’s best representatives on their home lands, moves the following event with an immense confidence after achieving in a month more than he had ever done before flying to Europe.
“I never thought it would go my way like that on my way to Europe,” Petterson said. “I won my first ever event in Portugal two weeks ago and to get a second one in a row is just above any of my hopes. I will be at the next event then go home in August so I hope I can keep things rolling well next week.”
Local favorite Berasaluce, who ended up second in the Vans Pro Junior, led the final until Petterson’s last assault, the young Basque surfer watching his home event crown fading in the last minutes of the event. His run rockets him to No. 4 on the ASP European Junior ratings, two spots behind Marc Lacomare. Last and event revelation was Jayce Robinson (GBR), 20, the young British surfer making the first final of his young career today to climb up the ratings jumping from outside the Top 50 to a promising No. 19 rank with solid confidence.
Marie Dejean (La Sauzaie, FRA), 17, finished on top of the event’s thirty-two women field today after clinching the ASP Grade-2 Vans Pro Junior women’s event ahead of fellow finalists Johanne Defay (REU), 15, reigning ASP European Women’s Junior champion and ratings’ leader Alizee Arnaud (Hossegor, FRA), 18, and outsider Johanne Panzini (FRA). Dejean, who won her maiden ASP Pro Junior event today at San Sebastian, showed consistency and maturity in her competitive approach besting favorite Arnaud who remains on top of the regional hierarchy ten point only ahead of rising talent Johanne Defay.
“I am super happy to take this win,” Dejean said. “I felt a bit under pressure for the final and I wanted to get that victory so I tried and stay away from the three others on a different peak and I got the better waves. It’s really nice to start the summer with a win and I am looking forward to building momentum from this event into the next one starting Thursday.”
Dejean, who just graduated from high school and has already decided to go to university next year, will have no pressure in the upcoming events making her a potential regional title contender if she keeps up her promising form.
“My only goal this summer is to as good as I can and enjoy my time competing,” Dejean said. “I am going to University so I have no real competitive goal but to surf well and win as much heats as I can.”
VANS PRO JUNIOR FINAL
1 - Thomaz Petterson (BRA) 15.50 pts
2 - Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK) 13.93 pts
3 - Marc Lacomare (FRA) 13.03 pts
4 - Jayce Robinson (GBR) 11.70 pts
VANS PRO JUNIOR GIRLS FINAL
1 - Marie Dejean (FRA) 12.50 pts
2 - Johanne Defay (FRA) 11.53 pts
3 - Alizee Arnaud (FRA) 9.34 pts
4 - Johanne Panzini (FRA) 7.40 pts