SAO MIGUEL, Azores Islands/Portugal (Friday, August 13, 2010) – The Billabong Azores Islands Pro presented by Nissan an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) sanctioned event has called a lay day due to small, inconsistent conditions. Event officials met early with surfer representatives to assess conditions and despite making another call later in the morning officials were left with no other choice than to postpone proceedings. A building swell is predicted to arrive overnight and increase through to Sunday allowing a restart to the 145,000$US event.
Waves in the 1-2ft (0.50m) were on offer at the main contest site with long flat spells between the small sets. Clear skies and light winds made for perfect clean conditions however the lack in size and the inconsistency of the waves were the major factors in calling a lay day.
Contest director Rodrigo Heredia explains the reasons behind the decisions made this morning and the possibilities on offer for the remaining days remaining in the waiting period.
“Basically due to the small conditions and the forecast which does not look good for today so maybe tomorrow we will try and run the event on double banks and that was also a good decision from the surfers because they all want to finish the contest. So we have all the support from the surfers to try and run the event and finish on Sunday as scheduled.”
“This is a Prime event and it is not nice to run the event in 1ft waves and the surfers travel too far to surf in these poor conditions in a Prime. Usually it is always consistent here and as it sometimes happens with a contest there will be insane waves next week starting on Sunday and a 17 period swell for the south coast of the island but it is not nice because that’s what we want to show the world how the Azores has great quality waves. I hope there are waves for the next contests because we are selling Europe and its waves and so far the summer has been quite poor for waves.”
Jay Thompson (AUS) 27, current member of the elite 2010 ASP World Tour was on hand this morning looking at conditions along with Alain Riou (PYF) and Chris Davidson (AUS). The consensus amongst the athletes competing in the Billabong Azores Islands Pro presented by Nissan was to hold off today so as to give all surfers an equal opportunity to perform in waves adequate in size and scoring potential and to wait for the expected increase in swell.
“At the end of the day it is a 6-Star Prime event and there are not many of them,” explained Thompson. “We are here to get waves and the best result with the best surfer winning the event. The conditions today a barely surfable but I am definitely all for running as much as we can tomorrow if the waves are contestable and there are enough waves for everyone and right now it is about half a foot so there aren’t enough waves for everyone. “
“I am sure every other surfer here is thinking the same as I am, in that if there is swell we run if not we hold off until Sunday and do as much as we can but having said all this we are relying on the ocean and it is not producing at the moment.”
All surfers competing at the Billabong Azores Islands Pro presented by Nissan are out to gain crucial points for their 2010 ASP World Star ranking while Europeans are searching to improve their points tally on the ASP European Open Series ranking.
First call tomorrow will be at 07:00 (local time) for the ASP PRIME Billabong Azores Islands Pro presented by Nissan with a possible start shortly after depending on conditions. The Billabong Azores Islands Women’s Pro final with Courtney Conlogue (USA) up against Laura Enever (AUS) is also on call for a possible crowning of the 2010 women’s champion during the day.
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