LES BOURDAINES Seignosse, France (Saturday, June 4, 2011) – Sarah Mason (Gisbourne, NZL) 16, took out the ASP 2-Star Swatch Girls Pro Junior France over Dimity Stoyle (Sunshine Coast QLD, AUS) 19, in a closely contested 35-minute final that went down to the wire in tricky 3ft (1m) waves at Les Bourdaines.
Europe’s finest under-21 athletes faced some of the world’s best up-and-comers in the Swatch Girls Pro Junior France in their attempt to qualify for the ASP World Junior Tour which starts October 3, in Bali, Indonesia.
Mason, who impressed the entire event with her precise and stylish forehand attack, left little to chance in the 35-minute final, getting off to a quick start to open her account and then built on her two-wave total to claim the victory with 11.73 out of 20. The quietly spoken goofy-footer was a standout performer in the ASP 6-Star Swatch Girls Pro France and backed it up with a commanding performance against her fellow Pro Junior members.
“It is amazing. I am so happy and it is one of my best results for sure. It was tricky to try and pick the good ones but I picked a couple so it was great. All the girls are definitely ripping so you have to step up the level to get through your heats so I am stoked with the win. It has been super fun and I have enjoyed the entire event so to win is just amazing.”
Dimity Stoyle was unable to bridge the gap over her opponent in the final finishing seconds despite holding priority several times in the later stages of the encounter. The Swatch Girls Pro Junior France has proved the perfect training ground for Stoyle to continue with her excellent results already obtained this season on the ASP Australasia Pro Junior series where she is currently ranked nº2.
“I am still happy with second and I really wanted to win here but I tried my best. This is the best event I have been in so far, it is really good, the set up, the waves and everyone loves it. I can’t believe how good the French crowd are. They love surfing and they love us all so I am definitely going to come back.”
Felicity Palmateer (Perth WA, AUS) 18, ranked nº9 on the ASP Women’s Star Tour, finished equal 3rd in a low scoring tactical heat against Stoyle where positioning and priority tactics towards the final part played a major role as the frequency of set waves dropped.
“When I first paddled out I thought it was breaking more out the back but as the tide started to change it moved in and became a little inconsistent. At the start of the heat there were heaps of waves but then it went slow and priority came into play and I kept trying to get one. I am not really fussed because I am traveling with Dimity (Stoyle) and am stoked that she has made the final.”
Palmateer has used the Swatch Girls Pro Junior France as a building block towards her ultimate goal of being full-time on the ASP Women’s World Tour. Her objectives are clear and 2011 is an extremely important year.
“I would love to get a World Junior title but at the moment my goal is to qualify for the World Tour through the Star events. If I can get more practice without that much pressure on me like this year and then if I qualify it will be even better for 2012.”
Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 17, placed 3rd in the Swatch Girls Pro Junior France after failing to oust eventual event winner Sarah Mason in semi-final nº1. Buitendag looked dangerous throughout the final day of competition and was unlucky not to find any quality scoring waves in a slow heat. Trailing for the majority of the encounter, Buitendag secured her best ride in the final moments which proved not enough to advance.
“The swell definitely dropped and although the conditions were quite nice I didn’t get any good scoring waves. I have a Pro Junior event coming up in South Africa and it is very important to get a result there to qualify for the World Juniors.”
Maud Le Car (St Martin, FRA) 19, claimed the best result of the European contingent finishing equal 5th to jump to nº1 position on the ASP Women’s European Pro Junior series. Le Car led a low scoring Quarterfinal bout against Bianca Buitendag until losing priority in a tactical error which allowed her opponent to sneak under her guard and claim the modest score required to win.
“I didn’t surf really well in that heat and I am a little bit disappointed because it is for the selection to the World Juniors with the other European girls. The waves were not the best and it was difficult to catch some good waves and unfortunately I didn’t make it. It is really good to be at the top but I have some other contests to improve and to do some good results and to make it to the World Juniors.”
The Swatch Time to Tear Expression Session was won by the team composed of Swatch Girls Pro France finalists Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Sage Erickson (USA) and equal 3rd placed Courtney Conlogue (USA) in a dynamic display of modern progressive surfing in the punchy 3ft peaks in front of a packed surf hungry audience lining the shore.
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Swatch Girls Pro Junior France Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Sarah Mason (NZL) 14.00 Def. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 9.60
SF 2: Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 10.67 Def. Felicity Palmateer (AUS) 9.57
Swatch Girls Pro Junior France Quarterfinal Results
QF 1: Sarah Mason (NZL) 12.75 Def. Lakey Peterson (USA) 6.25
QF 2: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 8.95 Def. Maud Le Car (FRA) 8.50
QF 3: Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 11.00 Def. Georgia Fish (AUS) 4.50
QF 4: Felicity Palmateer (AUS) 17.00 Def. Nao Omura (JPN) 8.75
Swatch Girls Pro Junior France Round 3 Results
Heat 1: Sarah Mason (NZL) 15.25, Maud Le Car (FRA) 11.00, Marie Dejean (FRA) 9.35, Camille Davila (FRA) 4.90
Heat 2: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 14.50, Lakey Peterson (USA) 11.50, Justine Dupont (FRA) 10.75, Phillipa Anderson (AUS) 5.10
Heat 3: Georgia Fish (AUS) 12.50, Felicity Palmateer (AUS) 9.15, Joanne Defay (FRA) 7.15, Loiola Canales (EUK) 2.90
Heat 4: Nao Omura (JPN) 10.00, Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 9.50, Barbara Segatto (BRA) 3.90, Ana Morau (FRA) 3.05