LACANAU, France (Friday, August 12, 2011) – Second-to-last event on this year’s ASP European Men’s Junior Series, the ASP 2-Star Airwalk Lacanau Pro Junior got underway in consistent three-foot (one meter) waves today, a hungry field of competitors delivering a series of high-performance battles and giving the thousands of spectators a great surf show.
Having entered late and consequently starting early in the competition, ASP World Rankings No. 20 Gabriel Medina (Sao Paulo, BRA) set the performance bar at its most, the talented 18-year-old goofy-foot securing the day’s highest scores in spectacular fashion with his custom-made progressive aerial surfing.
“I had fun during my heats and paddled-out to enjoy and catch some waves,” Medina said. “I came early in Lacanau to get ready for next week’s ASP 6-Star event and definitely want to do well in the Junior Pro event to gain confidence.”
With a handful of tricks including rocket-fast frontside air reverses and full-speed aggressive tail-slides, the Brazilian wunderkid left his opponents away from any heat win hopes netting an outstanding 19.94 point Round 1 heat score (out of a possible 20). With a couple of consecutive 9.97 point rides to set the crowds on fire at the water’s edge, Medina confirmed he is one of the world’s most progressive and talented surfers.
“I love doing airs and will be looking at doing my thing heat after heat,” Medina added. “It’s my second time here in Lacanau and I like the huge crowds, the fun waves and the good vibe. Definitely looking forward at tomorrow’s heats.”
While Medina’s domination was unstoppable throughout the first day of action, close followers managed to fill-in the scoreboard to clearly set the tone of this 2011 edition, top seeds watching the close battles before their start tomorrow in the Airwalk Lacanau Pro Junior.
Showing some solid surfing and using the consistent wave potential with a series of clean on-the-rail and fast maneuvers, Australia’s Ryan Callinan (AUS) was able to advance through two rounds of competition today and will meet with last event winner Ian Fontaine (FRA) in Round 3. Starting early in the ASP 2-Star pro Junior but showing some top seed levels, Callinan was in control for his start belting a 7.50 pointer to open his Round 2 battle before closing the show with an 8.40 score.
“It’s been a good start for me today and I felt in rhythm out there,” Callinan said. “I managed to find enough potential to surf well and get some decent scores so I am definitely feeling good right now. Hopefully things continue to roll tomorrow and I can continue.”
Featuring a hungry army of up-and-coming talented athletes, day one of competition was the stage to several good exchanges, one of the event’s youngest competitors Diego Mignot (FRA) finishing atop his four-man battle.
“The high tide definitely brought some great fun waves at the inside sections and I started off well with a couple of good waves,” Mignot said. “I was excited to paddle-out as I love surfing on my forehand and that left on the high-tide sandbank gave plenty of opportunities.”
Based in Mexico, the French native was at ease in the fun beach breaks of Lacanau and will be surfing against current European rankings No. 2 Dimitri Ouvre (St Martin, FRA) in Round 3 of competition.