LACANAU, France (Friday, August 13, 2010) – The opening day of the ASP Grade-2 Oakley Pro Junior Lacanau went straight into serious business, the final event of this year’s ASP European Junior tour completing Rounds 1 and 2 as well as half of Round 3. With consistent two to three-foot sets delivering good scoring waves, athletes lost no time to step-up and battle hard to advance through their respective heats.
Dominating both his opponents and the tricky changing conditions affected by the tides, Day 1 front-runners included South African standouts Michael February and Chad du Toit followed by inform regional ratings’ men Nico Von Rupp (Praia Grande, DEU) and Tom Cloarec (Hossegor, FRA), all unleashing their best surfing to secure a Round 4 berth.
“It’s good to get things going right on the first day and the waves were pretty fun,” current ratings’ No. 2 Tom Cloarec said. “I am taking things heat after heat and looking at another good result if possible. I hope the waves remain good enough but it’s a tough event with lots of good surfers.”
Coming from a solid series of results including an equal 3rd place finish last week in the Canary Islands, Cloarec is a favourite for the ASP European Junior title and is expecting another long day tomorrow, the battle for the title is heating-up fast as current leader Filipe Jervis (Ericeira, PRT), 20, will only start his French campaign tomorrow.
Flying the South African flag through two rounds of competition and posting the day’s highest heat score, February has made his intentions clear from the first heat netting 18.20 points (out of a possible 20) before advancing through to Round 3 easily and readying to face progressive surfer Tristan Guilbaud (Vendee, FRA) tomorrow.
“I had a pretty good run today to start with and it definitely gives good confidence,” February said. “I am focused on enjoying my surfing and these two rides I got this morning were pretty good and allowed me to go vertical and push my turns. I will now face regional top seeds so it’s a different story and won’t be easy.”
With average conditions forecast and the will to use most out of the good contestable surf on offer, event officials had to split the first rounds in two, all even number heats running up north of the Oakley Pro Junior Lacanau main site on another quality sand bank.
“It wasn’t an easy day but it was definitely the good call to save time and get the surfers out there in some good conditions,” contest director Cyril Camu said. “We are hoping the slight north push n the swell allows another good day of competition tomorrow and we’ll meet tomorrow at 8.30 AM to assess conditions with the head judge.”
With the race to the regional crown on all top seeds’ minds and the year-end overall ratings’ Top 4 being a priority to get the chance to compete at this year’s two ASP World Junior Tour events, pressure and intensity will rise fast tomorrow as the ASP Grade-2 Oakley Pro Junior Lacanau will get closer to its exciting final rounds where One-to-one battles are scheduled from the Quarterfinals.
“I came today because I wasn’t sure they were going to run the whole round 3 but now I am first heat Saturday and I can’t wait to start this one,” Oakley Pro Junior defending champion Charles Martin said.
Officials have decided for an 8.30 AM check-in for remaining heats of Round 3 and the plan is to run through Rounds 4 and 5 if the surf allows it, the Oakley Girls Pro Junior scheduled to kick-off Sunday at Lacanau.
All news, photos, videos, results and LIVE webcast are available at www.aspeurope.com