LA SAUZAIE, France (Friday, April 22, 2011) –The remaining 10 heats of Round 2 of the Protest Vendee Pro were completed during an early morning and another late afternoon session of competition in wind affected 3-4ft (1m) peaks at the main event site of La Sauzaie. Strong cross-shore winds made for difficult conditions and wave selection proved crucial when searching for the higher scoring potential waves.
Frederico Morais (Cascais, PRT) 19, took out a stacked heat against Alain Riou (PYF) and Abdel El Harim (MAR) two of Europe’s most experienced competitors with a controlled display of tactical surfing in the low-scoring early morning high-tide encounter. A combination of strong turns and flowing carves allowed Morais to take an early lead with a 7.00 out of 10 and then backed it up with 6.40 to consolidate the win.
“It was a tough heat because Alain (Riou) and Abdel (EL Harim) are two really experienced surfers. The waves were difficult with the strong winds but I did my best and I hope to get through the next one too.”
Morais, fresh from a quarter-finals finish in the Reunion Island Pro Junior and a two months stint earlier this year competing in Australia, demonstrated a competitive edge against his opponents learnt from his overseas travels.
“I was surfing the Pro Juniors and the Star event at Burleigh Heads and there were a lot of good surfers there. It helped me to think more in the water and to compete and to do everything better. I have been training and I have been trying to improve my technique and I feel good so I want to continue in this way.”
Marlon Lipke (DEU) 27, a former Asp Dream Tour member, battled against nerves and young French junior Tom Cloarec in the tricky mid-tide conditions to claim a low scoring win to open his account at the Protest Vendee Pro. Trademark backhand hacks and forehand carves on the wind affected faces gave Lipke a two wave heat total of 10.66 and a narrow win over Cloarec who also advanced.
“It is always good to get through the first one and I felt a little nervous at the beginning. I still always feel it so maybe I should do a warm up jog along the coast before my heat because I always calm down after a while. There are not that many waves at the moment so you run the risk of not catching waves and losing the heat. I think it is a good progression into the next Round and looking forward to it.”
Lipke, one of Protest’s star riders, comments on how he sees the evolution of this event and the impact his sponsor is having at the event.
“Protest you can really see that they are stepping up into the surfing industry and it is really cool the way they are doing it and now seeing them with an event here every year with better organisation and we have great surfers here now so it’s great to see Protest doing well.”
Romain Laulhe (Anglet, FRA) 26 and Lincoln Taylor (North Stradbroke Is, AUS) 22, advanced despite suffering from a serious back injury and an interference call respectively. Laulhe, who has limited flexibility due to a heavy fall in Scotland, relied on excellent wave selection to win the heat ahead of Taylor who was penalized early in the heat and regathered his composure to place runner-up in the clash.
“On my last day in Scotland,” explained Laulhe surprised with his heat win. “I surfed a huge slab and it was very shallow. I had a few waves but it was too hard to catch the waves paddling. I had a wipe-out and injured my back on the rocks so I haven’t surfed since then. I did the best I could in the water today but the injury stops me from bending over so I made it and I don’t know how.” (laughs)
“I am happy to have the day off now,” continued Laulhe. “I want to just relax and hope my back gets better for the next Round tomorrow.”
Adrien Toyon (REU) took full advantage of his early morning encounter to blast his way through to the next Round with excellent following turns on the peeling lefts at La Sauzaie. Coming off an equal 9th placing last week in Scotland, Toyon kept his momentum in check and feels his confidence growing as the event progresses.
“You really have to choose to pick up the good ones and I think the lefts are better because the right has too much wind on it at the top of the wave. I feel confident at the moment and I have some good boards and if the waves are good and I can catch the better waves then I am really confident and hopefully I can do well again here.”
Toyon, despite arriving on site shortly before his first up heat, managed to shake off the early morning cobwebs to demonstrate the potential his surfing has developed over the past months.
“I didn’t sleep to well last night so this morning I am not really awake yet. I should have come down earlier to check conditions but I will not make that mistake again tomorrow.”
Other Round Two heat winners included former Asp Dream Tour member Mickey Picon (FRA), current ASP European champion Charles Martin (GLP) and former French Open champion and La Sauzaie local Gregory Pastusiak.
The Protest Vendee Pro, stop No. 2 on the ASP Europe Men’s Series, offers surfers valuable ranking points on both the Asp Europe Men’s Series and the ASP World rankings.
The Protest Vendee Pro is scheduled from April 21-25, 2011. For more information, and all upcoming results, photos, video highlights, press releases and LIVE webcast log-on to www.aspeurope.com
Upcoming Protest Vendee Pro Round Three Match-ups
Heat 1: Joan Duru (FRA), Txaber Trojaola (EUK), Vincent Duvignac (FRA), Hugo Savalli (REU)
Heat 2: Marc Lacomare (FRA), Frederic Robin (REU), Gordan Fontaine (FRA), Chris Friend (AUS)
Heat 3: Brent Dorrington (AUS), Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK), Demitri Ouvre (FRA), Alain Riou (PYF)
Heat 4: Filipe Jervis (PRT), Norman Landa (EUK), Adrien Toyon (REU), Frederico Morais (PRT)
Heat 5: Tim Boal (FRA), Romain Laulhe (FRA), Tom Cloarec (FRA), Nic von Rupp (DEU)
Heat 6: Lincoln Taylor (AUS), Borja Agote (EUK), Marlon Lipke (DEU), Adrien Valero (FRA)
Heat 7: Mickey Picon (FRA), Gregory Pastusiak (FRA), Eneko Acero (EUK), Jose Ferreira (PRT)
Heat 8: Dane Anderson (USA), Justin Mujica (PRT), Charles Martin (GLP), Joao Guedes (PRT)
Protest Vendee Pro Round Two Results
Heat 7: Adrien Toyon (REU) 11.50, Demitri Ouvre (FRA) 10.54, Nicholas Squires (AUS) 10.06, Jayce Robinson (GBR) 7.54
Heat 8: Frederico Morais (PRT) 13.40, Alain Riou (PYF) 8.70, Abdel El Harim (MAR) 6.32
Heat 9: Tim Boal (FRA) 11.74, Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 8.75, Ruben Gonzalez (PRT) 7.80, Jules Thomet (FRA) 7.20
Heat 10: Romain Laulhe (FRA) 11.40, Borja Agote (EUK) 7.83, Christophe Allary (REU) 7.36, Hugo Debosc (FRA) 6.60
Heat 11: Marlon Lipke (DEU) 10.66, Tom Cloarec (FRA) 9.03, Pierre-Valentin Laborde (FRA) 7.83, Alexander El Naib (DEU) 1.63
Heat 12: Adrien Valero (FRA) 10.67, Nic von Rupp (DEU) 7.46, Nelson Cloarec (FRA) 5.40, Vincent Primal (FRA) No Show.
Heat 13: Mickey Picon (FRA) 11.77, Dane Anderson (USA) 11.60, Leonardo Neves (BRA) 11.00, Yannick de Jager (NDL) 4.86
Heat 14: Gregory Pastusiak (FRA) 11.33, Justin Mujica (PRT) 11.00, Patrick Beven (FRA) 10.80, Yassine Ramdini (MAR) 7.20
Heat 15: Charles Martin (GLP) 13.33, Eneko Acero (EUK) 11.03, Luis Eyre (GBR) 8.40, Robertson Goncalves (PRT) 7.66
Heat 16: Joao Guedes (PRT) 12.30, Jose Ferreira (PRT) 11.30, Chris Salisbury (AUS) 10.84, Igor Munian (EUK) 9.27