TAPIA DE CASARIEGO, Spain (Friday, April 10, 2009) – It was a day of domination for all Goanna Pro Tapia event top seeds as the expected four leaders confirmed their strong start by winning their Quarterfinal match-ups for a spot into the Semifinals of the ASP Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) 1-Star event. With consistent four foot (1.2 meter) waves breaking along Spain’s Northern coast, British representative Ben Skinner (GBR) showing the French contingent he was ready to battle for a spot into the final with the day’s highest heat result.
Ben Skinner (GBR), who defeated Spain’s Gabi Garcia (ESP) with style, showed great control of both classic and progressive longboarding style to advance through to the Semifinals of the event, a great confidence boost for the man who came for a minimum runner-up result that would give him the wildcard for the Oxbow World Longboard Tour (WLT) event.
“I am surfing with a new board by Luffi and it’s been going great so far,” Skinner said. “I got into my heat straight after the start and surfed my waves confidently, well enough to get a good finish.”
Skinner, who came to Tapia with hopes of winning the event crown, will be looking forward to the precious WLT ticket tomorrow, both finalists securing their qualification.
“I came here for this wildcard into the WLT so I am happy to be getting closer,” Skinner said. “One more heat and I’ll be done so I am going to get ready for that semifinal that will not be an easy one against Remi (Arauzo).”
With the three French favourites completing the final four, favourites were definitely in control on this second day of competition, yesterday’s second best scorer Alexis Deniel (FRA) showing his promising ss again to advance ahead of Ricardo Fernandes (ESP) and get his Semifinal No. 2 berth where he will meet friend and fellow French surfer Damien Castera (FRA).
“I am really happy to get an second interview today because it means things are going well so far,” Deniel said. “The swell picked up today and that inside righthander was just what I needed today to get my win. There’s been a great atmosphere around the event since we got here and with such massive crowds being around for the Eastern weekend, I am so stoked we are able to show our sport to that many people.”
Deniel, who will have to best Castera when competition resumes, seems in excellent form since his equal 5th place in the LQS 1-Star event in California and is a favourite for the crown.
“One more heat and I’ll be through to the final with my qualification ticket for the WLT secured,” Deniel said. “Not an easy heat ahead but I am feeling great and hoping the swell gives us the waves we need to surf at our best.”
The Women’s LQS 1-Star Goanna Pro Tapia got underway as well today with trialists battling it out for two spots into the Semifinals of the event. Netherlands’ Renate Moerman (NDL) and Candice O’Donnell (GBR) managed to grab their ticket to join event top seeds Estitxu Estremo (EUK) and Myriam Imaz (EUK) and will surf tomorrow for a shot at the valuable crown and wildcard for the Roxy Women’s World Longboard Championships (WWLC) that will take place in Biarritz next July.
MEN’S GOANNA PRO TAPIA QUARTERFINALS RESULTS
Heat 1: Ben Skinner (GBR) Def. Gabi Garcia (ESP)
Heat 2: Remi Arauzo (FRA) Def. Lucien Le Ray (FRA)
Heat 3: Damien Castera (FRA) Def. Jesus Del Valle (ESP)
Heat 4: Alexis Deniel (FRA) Def. Ricardo Fernandes (ESP)
MEN’S GOANNA PRO TAPIA UPCOMING SEMIFINALS
Heat 1: Ben Skinner (GBR) Vs Remi Arauzo (FRA)
Heat 2: Damien Castera (FRA) Vs Alexis Deniel (FRA)
WOMEN’S GOANNA PRO TAPIA UPCOMING SEMIFINALS
Heat 1: Estitxu Estremo (EUK) Vs Candice O’Donnell (GBR)
Heat 2: Myriam Imaz (EUK) Vs Renate Moerman (NDL)
The Goanna Pro Tapia will offer LIVE SCORING facilities for all heats, news and photos available at www.aspeurope.com