TAPIA DE CASARIEGO, Asturias / Spain (Friday, April 22, 2011) – The opening day of the 2011 Goanna Pro Longboard Tapia, first of two events on this year’s ASP European Men’s Longboard Series, saw top seeds lead proceedings with a firm grip, international elite members Ben Skinner (GBR) and Remi Arauzio (FRA) advancing through to the Semifinals along with European top athlete Adam Griffiths (GBR).
Delivering an exciting mix of classic nose-rides and progressive longboard surfing, the sixteen athletes enjoyed the contestable three-foot (one meter) waves on offer, the usual massive Eastern weekend crowds baring witness to the 19th edition of the ASP sanctioned competition in Tapia de Casariego.
Griffiths (Newquay, GBR) made his intentions clear towards a win in the ASP 1-Star Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) event, the natural-foot experienced surfer posting the day’s highest single wave score after tearing a long right-hand peeling all the way through to the beach in the bay of Tapia. Securing a 9.00 point ride for a mix of hang-ten and on-the-rail fast frontside maneuvers, Griffiths set the bar before tomorrow’s showdown.
“The waves were pretty fun and some of the best we’ve had in Tapia ever,” Griffiths said. “I felt good out there, focusing on the better sets and did my thing. I got that big score and it is great before the finals tomorrow. It’s good for confidence. Hopefully tomorrow brings same, if not better, waves.”
Griffiths, 23, who has been touring on the ASP European Longboard Series for four years, is eyeing a win here to keep his overall rankings’ Top 2 finish hopes alive, the Fistral Beach resident looking to a first participation on the ASP World Longboard Tour.
“I’ve came close a few times already and I am really focused on making the Top 2 this year in Europe and qualify for the ASP World Longboard Tour events,” Griffiths said. “I would love to win tomorrow and head to the next event confidently, as it will run at my home beach of Fistral in Newquay, where I will be comfortable. Hopefully I can start from here and capitalize on this to fulfill my goal, a spot onto the ASP World Longboard Tour.”
Follwing Griffiths’ high performance and advancing through to the Semifinals in style, International elite member Remi Arauzo (Vieux Boucau, FRA) posted two impressive results on Day 1, the renowned talented progressive longboard surfer popping an exceptional ‘Superman’ maneuver to secure the day’s second highest wave score.
Arauzo, who entered the ASP WLT elite in 2009, is considered one of Europe’s most promising longboarders and will be focusing on a first win in Tapia when competition resumes. At 22, Arauzo has yet to take out his maiden ASP sanctioned event win, a goal he will be looking to achieve when he paddles back out for his Semifinal.
“The waves turned on for my heat and I was lucky to get some really fun rippable waves out there,” Arauzo commented. “I am looking at progressive maneuvers and innovation in my surfing and I am happy it paid-off today with that Superman air. I am still chasing a first win on the ASP tour and I hope I can keep going tomorrow.”
Arauzo was by far today’s most innovating surfer pushing his turns and looking for hollower sections, the young French man taking advantage of the improving surf conditions to secure his Semifinal berth.
“I’ve dropped off the ASP World Longboard Tour this year and I am just so focused on getting back up there,” Arauzo said. “I’ve been training a lot to improve and continue doing well so this event is just a first step before the one this summer and hopefully the qualification for the WLT. It’s on my mind and I hope I can start tomorrow with a win here.”
Former Goanna Pro Longboard Tapia champion and once again in unstoppable form, British surfer and former ASP World Longboard No. 9 Ben Skinner (Newquay, GBR) also managed to advance through two roudns today and will surf against Arauzo tomorrow.
“It’s always great to come back here and get the chance to compete,” Skinner said. “I’ve won here in the past and it’s special to me so I am looking forward to surfing my best tomorrow. I need a result here before heading to the second event at home next August where I’ll be focused on requalifying for the ASP World Longboard Tour.”
Athletes and officials will meet at 12.00 Saturday, April 23, and assess conditions for a possible 1 PM start, priority being given to the best tide and wave conditions for the finals.
All results, photos and news releases at www.aspeurope.com
GOANNA PRO LONGBOARD TAPIA SEMIFINALS
Heat 1: Alexis Deniel (FRA) Vs Adam Griffiths (GBR)
Heat 2: Ben Skinner (GBR) Vs Remi Arauzo (FRA)
GOANNA PRO LONGBOARD TAPIA QUARTERFINALS
Heat 1: Alexis Deniel (FRA) 14.50 Def. Eduardo Bage (BRA) 12.95
Heat 2: Adam Griffiths (GBR) 15.51 Def. Jose Luiz Berasaluce (EUK) 8.60
Heat 3: Ben Skinner (GBR) 16.15 Def. Yoan Anerot (FRA) 6.25
Heat 4: Remi Arauzo (FRA) 15.75 Def. Ronald Reyes (VEN) 9.50