Protest Vendee Pro Gets Underway

LA SAUZAIE, France - Excellent conditions were on offer today for the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Protest Vendee Pro held at the main break of La Sauzaie on the second day of competition. After yesterday’s lay day action at the Protest Vendee Pro got into full swing with the completion of round 1 and the majority of round 2 despite the difficulties many of the surfers are experiencing trying to reach the event on time.

Clean 3-4ft (1m) waves entered the reef break of La Sauzaie improving as the tide pushed in offering excellent conditions for the opening rounds. With an expected drop in swell event officials made another call late in the afternoon to run as many heats of round 2 as possible.

With many surfers still having difficulties arriving on time for their heats because of the volcano ash transport crisis in Europe, contest director Julien Hamel along with surfer’s rep Tim Boal and ASP head judge Iain Buchanan decided to adjust heat running order taking into account the exceptional circumstances many surfers found themselves in.

With an unexpected swell increase overnight event officials gave the green to commence with local surfer Gregory Pastusiak (FRA) one of the standouts of the day advancing into round 3 after two impressive displays in his early round heats. With local knowledge of the tricky break at La Sauzaie playing a major role in his victories Pastusiak looks set to surprise in the later rounds.

“It is very difficult to catch the good waves because you have a couple of good ones but you have to wait a long time. You have to be really patient and not try and surf too strong because the wave is clean but it is not really powerful today so you have to slide, that’s why I use the epoxy board with a four fin system, the “Flyer F” it is very good for this wave and it has more flotation so I’m happy and ready for the next one.”

Demitri Ouvre (FRA) surfing for the first time at La Sauzaie scored the highest single score of the day, an 8.33 giving him also the highest two wave total of 14.66 out of a possible 20. The 18-year-old based in France for the last 3 years displayed strong powerful surfing in conditions that from the shore sometimes look better than they really are.

“It’s a reef break and it is small but good and a bit difficult so we have to fight a lot but it’s still fun and the wave is not too bad.”

“It’s my first time here in Vendee and I just want to enjoy the competition and go on with the heats as far as I can.”

Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK) advanced to round 3 in his first appearance in Vendee as a Protest team rider. Keen to impress and get a good result in the Protest Vendee Pro Berasaluce had to work hard to find possible high scoring rides. The ever smiling Basque surfer summed up his first performance.

“I’m very happy to be here with my new sponsor and the truth is I’ve always liked Vendee and there are lefts and rights on the peak which is where I could go OK.”

“It was tough out there because late this afternoon the tide was still coming in again and the shape of the waves was difficult,” continued Berasaluce. “Lots of cutbacks to try and find a section to do some turns. I had to catch a lot of waves but I was lucky in the end.

The Protest Vendee Pro is stop nº2 of 12 in the ASP European Star Series 2010 which will eventually crown this year’s European men’s champion.

Heat 2: Tim Boal (FRA), Eduardo Fernandes (PRT), Joaquim Guichard (DNK), Antonio Marques (CNY)
Heat 4: Rudy Palmboom (ZAF), Miguel Ximenez (PRT), Gordan Fontaine (FRA), Jullian Cuello (CNY)
Heat 13: Romain Cloitre (FRA), Romain Laulhe (FRA), Yuri Sodre (BRA), Ian Fontaine (FRA)
Heat 14: Joao Guedes (PRT), Rowan Aish (NZL), Jules Thomet (FRA), Robertson Goncalves (PRT)

Heat 1: Alain Riou (PYF) 11.43, Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK) 10.27, Filipe Jervis (PRT) 8.17, Thiago Tipas (PRT) 4.42
Heat 3: Gregory Pastusiak (FRA) 11.73, Jay Quinn (NZL) 11.67, Patrick Beven (FRA) 10.27, Txaber Trojaola (EUK) 6.20
Heat 5: Bobby Morris (USA) 11.67, Eric Rebiere (FRA) 10.30, Vincent Primal (FRA) 6.20, Richard Christie (NZL) inj
Heat 6: Frederic Robin (REU) 13.60, Damien Chaudoy (REU) 11.17, Jason Harris (USA) 9.44, Frederico Morais (PRT) 6.04
Heat 7: Jose Maria Cabrera (CNY) 10.40, Igor Munian (EUK) 8.94, Hugo Savalli (REU) 7.43, Jose Ferreira (PRT) 5.20
Heat 8: Joan Duru (FRA) 12.33, Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 7.50, Paul Tesson (FRA) 4.63, Benoit Potier (FRA) 3.83
Heat 9: Billy Stairmand (NZL) 8.47, Jager De Yannick (NLD) 7.57, Medi Vemenardi (REU) 7.50, Alessandro Piu (ITA) 3.73
Heat 10: Jarrad Sullivan (AUS) 13.67, Abdel El Harim (MAR) 10.30, Adrien Toyon (REU) 8.15, Borja Agote (EUK) 6.06
Heat 11: Demitri Ouvre (FRA) 10.43, Nicolaus Rupp (DEU) 10.00, Russell Malony (AUS) 7.50, Omer Bar (ISR) 4.10
Heat 12: Marc Lacomare (FRA) 8.20, Alexandre Ferreira (PRT) 7.66, Matt Pagan (USA) 6.44, Oli Adams (GBR) 4.00
Heat 15: Alan Stokes (GBR) 10.33, Christophe Allary (REU) 9.83, Hugo Debosc (FRA) 7.34, Nuno Florencio (PRT) 6.07