ZARAUTZ, Basque Country (Friday, September 3, 2010) – The San Miguel Pro Zarautz presented by Euskaltel witnessed an amazing turn about in events to finish up with one of the best sessions of competition held so far during the ASP European summer leg. Event officials were greeted this morning with inconsistent 1ft (0.30m) waves and were forced to go on hold for over three hours. After debating whether to start Round two the green light was finally given and not only did the heats begin but the swell started to pump as well. Long, clean lines in the 3-4ft (1.2m) range meant big moves and big scores at this Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 6-Star 145,000$US sanctioned event.
Royden Bryson (ZAF) summed up better than anyone today’s conditions.
“It is pretty radical the way it has changed today. We were meant to go at 8 o’clock and we waited until 11 with some guys not really adamant about starting but in the end the contest director definitely made the right call. These are some of the funnest waves we’ve had in five weeks. You have to wait for the sets but you can’t complain because it’s 3 maybe 4 foot with a bigger set at the start of my heat.”
Feeling totally at home on his backhand surfing the winding rights, Royden Bryson (ZAF) smashed every section that came in his path to not only win but thoroughly enjoy his 25-minute clash.
“I grew up surfing right point breaks in East London which is a couple of hours away from J-Bay so I’ve surfed a lot on my backhand over the years and it is just so good to have a heat in waves again.”
Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16, blew the crowd and his opponents away with a magnificent display of innovative, modern surfing late this afternoon. Pulling two consecutive airs on his first real scoring ride, Medina took control with a 9.33 which he then backed up with an 8.93 on his last wave to claim the highest single and combined total of the event.
A definite crowd favourite the young Brazilian was flocked by autograph hunters and fans keen to have their photo taken with the new surfing sensation post heat. Medina made it look so easy during his heat that he has left everyone thinking what is this boy capable of.
“I was able to catch two good lefts in that heat and to do those airs was a great feeling. I am happy to be here in Zarautz and I am pleased with my scores today and I want to go even higher in the next heat.”
Eneko Acero (EUK) had one of the heats of his career scoring a 9.00 out of a possible 10 and a combined two wave heat total of 17.87, one of the highest in the event. The veteran Basque surfer received a huge ovation from the supportive crowd lining the beach and esplanade here in Zarautz. Coinciding with one of the best moments of swell and tide, Acero destroyed the long rights with his typical blend of power-smooth surfing.
“It is always a special feeling to do well in your home area and then my heat was at the right moment of the tide and the swell has increased so when these things are combined into one heat, I couldn’t feel any better right now.”
Acero comments on what it means to have such a perfect heat and why. Having years of experience on the ASP Men’s Star-Series Tour, Acero maintains his composure and assesses what it all means.
“This is what surfing has a lot of the times. You have to be there, in the right spot at the right moment and in this heat, that’s what happened to me. More or less, as surfing is an up-and-down ride with some good days and some bad days, in the end I just try to enjoy the good moments and maintain myself during the bad times.”
The ever smiling Indonesian Dede Suryana 24, was another crowd favourite as he was applauded for his runner-up placing behind Lincoln Taylor (AUS) in a closely fought heat. Trailing with only 5 minutes remaining Suryana nailed a solid 7.83 to jump into second place and managed to hang on to claim his pass into the next round.
“I’m super stoked to get through that heat right now. It is hard out there and in my heat there were some great surfers like Kai Barger, former World Junior Champion and Pedro (Henrique) from Brazil who is really light and surfed well. Even though I came second in the heat, I am so stoked to make it.”
“I had a good result in Sri Lanka where I made the Round of 16 and hopefully in this one I can do it again. I feel confident and I just hope the waves stay big enough for me. (laughs)”
Defending San Miguel Pro Zarautz presented by Euskaltel title holder Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) advanced in first place into Round Three. Despite trailing until the half-way stage, Zubizarreta had the situation under control knowing he lacked his backup score. With the sets pouring in, a 7.07 point ride gave the 25-year-old the lead which he held until the final siren.
“That was a tough heat but I am motivated to keep going after my 5th placing last week and I am keen to repeat my performance from last year. I love being in Zarautz and the waves today are unreal so it is a real bonus.”
“Last year I won the contest and that is the goal I have set myself again this year, explained Zubizarreta. “I am treated really well and I have some good friends here who I have known since we were kids. Basically I love the waves and the people here and with such a high level of surfing this year in the water it is not going to be easy.”
A call will be made at 07:30am for a possible start shortly after for the remaining heats of Round Two, nº21 to 24, followed by Round Three and Round Four. Event officials have also stated that there is a possibility of having to start the day on ‘Split Banks’ if conditions early tomorrow are not favourable and force a late start to proceedings.
The ASP Europe sanctioned specialty event ‘Cash for Tricks’ is scheduled to run tomorrow afternoon at the end of the day’s competition with some of the world’s best aerial specialists fighting it out for the cold, hard cash up for grabs.
Surfers competing at the San Miguel Pro Zarautz presented by Euskaltel are looking for valuable ASP World Ranking Points and for the European contingent they are at stop nº 8 of 12 on the ASP European Men’s Series which also has points up for grabs.
For all results, videos, daily highlights, photos and news log-on to www.aspeurope.com
Remaining San Miguel Pro Zarautz Round 2 Match-Ups
Heat 21: Sebastien Zietz (HAW), Yuri Sodre (BRA), Jack Perry (AUS), Alan Stokes (GBR)
Heat 22: Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA), Messias Felix (BRA), Jared Thorne (USA), Glen Hall (IRL)
Heat 23: Dyyan Neve (AUS), Nathan Hedge (AUS), Shaun Joubert (ZAF), Nick Riley (AUS)
Heat 24: Heitor Alves (BRA), Igor Muniain (EUK), Brendon Gibbens (ZAF), Richard Christie (NZL)
San Miguel Pro Zarautz Round 2 Results
Heat 1: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 14.17, Tonino Benson (HAW) 10.23, Charles Martin (GLP) 9.60, Mario Azurza (EUK) 8.00
Heat 2: Jayke Sharp (AUS) 13.73, Nat Young (USA) 10.17, Marlon Lipke (DEU) 9.10, Paulo Moura (BRA) 6.33
Heat 3: Nic Muscroft (AUS) 13.34, Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 10.44, Karlos Gomez (EUK) 9.30, Sunny Garcia (HAW) 9.27
Heat 4: Dion Atkinson (AUS) 11.57, Jason Torres (CRC) 9.64, Abdel El Harim (MAR) 9.60, Jeronimo Vargas (BRA) 2.03
Heat 5: William Cardoso (BRA) 16.26, Brian Toth (PRI) 14.00, Manuel Selman (CHL) 11.60, Taylor Thorne (USA) 11.27
Heat 6: Jean Da Silva (BRA) 13.73, Tim Boal (FRA) 13.53, Austin Ware (USA) 11.30, Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) 10.13
Heat 7: Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 15.43, Dede Suryana (IDN) 14.36, Pedro Henrique (BRA) 13.27, Kai Barger (HAW) 11.63
Heat 8: Eneko Acero (EUK) 17.87, Junior Faria (BRA) 15.90, Ricardo Santos (BRA) 12.10, Jose Maria Cabrera (CNY) 11.93
Heat 9: Royden Bryson (ZAF) 16.40, Andre Silva (BRA) 13.50, Alain Riou (PYF) 11.10, Adrien Toyon (REU) 9.33
Heat 10: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 13.00, Romain Cloitre (FRA) 12.60, Damien Chaudoy (REU) 7.43, Norman Landa (EUK) 7.23
Heat 11: Edouard Delpero (FRA) 14.43, Leonardo Neves (BRA) 14.33, Odirlei Coutinho (BRA) 12.60, Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.94
Heat 12: Gabe Kling (USA) 14.77, Mitch Coleborn (AUS) 14.60, Billy Stairmand (NZL) 13.87, Tomas Hermes (BRA) 8.13
Heat 13: Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 13.24, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 11.80, Ruda Carvalho (BRA) 11.50, Eduardo Fernandes (PRT) 10.77
Heat 14: Mickey Picon (FRA) 13.94, Marc Lacomare (FRA) 11.16, Frederico Morais (PRT) 11.06, Indar Unanue (EUK) 6.40
Heat 15: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.26, Gustavo Fernandes (BRA) 10.33, Jano Belo (BRA) 9.23, David Weare (ZAF) 8.83
Heat 16: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 13.47, Pablo Gutierrez (ESP) 13.34, Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 13.07, Cory Ziems (AUS) 12.30
Heat 17: Bernardo Miranda (BRA) 12.23, Cory Lopez (USA) 11.50, Diego Rosa (BRA) 10.57, Chase Wilson (USA) 7.80
Heat 18: Medi Vemenardi (REU) 14.63, Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 12.90, Hodei Collazo (EUK) 12.83, Jules Thomet (FRA) 8.00
Heat 19: Adam Robertson (AUS) 16.47, Pablo Paulino (BRA) 13.33, Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 11.96, Brent Dorrington (AUS) 11.30
Heat 20: Nathaniel Curran (USA) 16.10, Brandon Jackson (ZAF) 14.17, Klee Strachan (ZAF) 13.90, David do Carmo (BRA) 10.80