LACANAU, France (Saturday, August 13, 2011) – The ASP 2-Star Airwalk Lacanau Pro Junior, second-to-last event on this year’s European men’s Junior Series, moved through another twenty-four heats on Day 2 of competition, good three-foot (one meter) surf conditions allowing for a second consecutive exciting show of surf.
Hitting back with power and winning a fourth consecutive heat with combination over his opponents, Gabriel Medina (Maresias, BRA) was unstoppable securing a Quarterfinal berth with ease and adding antoher event scoreboard top 3 result with 17.97 points (out of a possible 20).
“I was looking at two good waves and not to paddle to much in that heat to save energy and keep my focus for the finals,” Medina said. “The waves were really fun again and I really surfed relaxed knowing I had to give it my all against guys like Vasco (Ribeiro) who can always find the score.”
Continuing his ‘Medina Show’ and flying over the clean rapid-breaking sections of the high tide sand bank, the 18-year-old wunderkid left no chances to his six fellow heat surfers through two rounds today, pulling another series of air reverse maneuvers, fins-out top turns and forehand tailslides.
“I am just trying to do my thing and get used to the competition area and sand banks,” Medina added. “It is very similar to where I come from (Maresias) and I am feeling at home heat after heat. Definitely enjoying my time and having good heats against some really good surfers.”
With the morning conditions delivering some clean left and righthanders, Lacanau’s central beach witnessed a cocktail of vertical committed surfing and progressive style repertoire, usual suspects not missing out on their campaign kick-off with ASP European Junior title contender William Aliotti (St Martin, FRA) netting the day’s second highest heat scores for a 17.60 point result in Round 3.
“I am happy to be in the quarterfinals and am aiming at the final for sure,” Aliotti said. “It’s pretty much one of the best sand banks we’ve had on tour this year and I am looking forward at tomorrow’s battle to try and do my thing as good as I can.”
Aliotti, who came to the front stage of European surfing in 2010 as the underdog, started this year’s regional run strong with a Semifinal and is looking at, if not clinching a maiden ASP sanctioned event win in Lacanau, securing another big result to keep his ASP World Junior Tour qualification hopes alive.
“The feeling in Lacanau is always great, lots of people, fun waves and girls… (Laughs),” Aliotti added. “My main goal here is to win and clinch the wildcard to enter the ASP 6-Star event starting Tuesday here.”
With the battle for the European rankings Junior men’s Top 3 heating-up as the tour nears its showdown, all title contenders including current No. 1 Vasco Ribeira (PRT) and Dimitri Ouvre (St Martin, FRA) still showed great determination to make the Quarterfinals and continue their hunt of points.
“We are getting closer to the tour finish and it definitely adds a bit of pressure when sitting 1st on the European rankings,” Ribeiro said. “It’s been a good year so far for me in Europe and I want to do well here. The waves are good and I’ve been having a great time since I got here three days ago so hopefully I can add a big result to my scoreboard. I am always aiming at a final if possible so we’ll see how it goes.”
The 2011 Airwalk Lacanau Pro Junior will see its Women’s division kick-off tomorrow at 8 AM for two rounds of action and the start of the final event on this year’s ASP European Women’s Junior Series where five girls can clinch the title here in Lacanau. Log back on soon for all coverage of the event.
All event results, news and photos available at www.aspeurope.com
ASP European Pro Junior Series Video highlights at http://www.zapiks.com/pro/asp-europe/
AIRWALK LACANAU PRO JUNIOR UPCOMING QUARTERFINALS
QF 1: Ryan Callinan (AUS), Angelo Bonomelli (ITA), Ian Fontaine (FRA), Manex Bikuna (EUK)
QF 2: Dimitri Ouvre (BRB), Medi Veminardi (REU), Hugo Palmarini (REU), Thomas La Fonta (REU)
QF 3: Miguel Blanco (PRT), PV Laborde (FRA), Gabriel Medina (BRA), Ramon Taliani (ITA)
QF 4: Natxo Gonzalez (EUK), Maurice Meyerwestphal (REU), William Aliotti (FRA) Vasco Ribeiro (PRT)