LACANAU, France (Sunday, August 14, 2011) – It was an action-packed day at the ASP 2-Star Airwalk Lacanau Pro Junior with the no less than sixteen heats held in improving conditions and the high-tide sand bank allwing for another exciting show. Going all the way down its Quarterfinals, the prestigious event saw both male and female top seeds unleash a variety of spectacular surf maneuvers in the two-to-three foot waves on offer, the French summer holiday crowds standing at the water’s edge to witness the exchanges.
Topping her fellow heat surfers and stamping authority at her home line-up, local star and former ASP European Women’s champion Justine Dupont (Lacanau, FRA) posted two of the day’s Top 5 heat scores to advance confidently, respectively 14.27 and 15.83 points in Round 1 and Quarterfinals.
“It’s so nice to surf at home and just spend time with friend and family and get all the local support,” Dupont said. “I had a good day with a series of fun waves and I am definitely looking at doing well for the finals tomorrow.”
Dupont, competing for her last year in the Under-21 category, remains in reach of the ASP European Women’s Junior title and will be eager to secure the event win at home, in front of her public.
“It’s not going to be easy and the girsl are surfing really well so I am trying to stay relaxed and just enjoy to surf well,” Dupont said. “There’s both the Top 2 finish goal and the event title here on the line so there’s definitely added pressure but if we et similar wave quality, it should be a great finish.”
With rankings’ front runners all rising to the occasion, the Airwalk Lacanau Pro Junior was treated to excellent surfing, other favorite in the women’s division Maud Le Car (Saint Martin, FRA) using her solid backhand surfing to throw buckets of water on each of her fins-out top turns and make her intentions clear before tomorrow’s title showdown. Le Car posted 15.67 points (out of possible 20) to advance.
“I was a bit nervous at the start of my heat and got a few low-scoring waves before I got back to my game-plan and started doing my thing,” Le Car said. “I want to do well here sobad, and there’s always a lot more pressure when we hit Lacanau for the tour finish so I am focused on staying relaxed. The high-tide sand bank is super fun and I hope I can make it to the end tomorrow.”
Following the women’s division and enjoying great warm weather for their restart, the ASP 2-Star Men’s Quarterfinalists paddled-out to make the most out of the shore-break peeling lefthanders with event favorites storming through the ranks in spectacular fashion.
While Medina continued his unstoppable domination to now hold the event’s Top 5 wave scores as well as Top 3 heat scores, longtime solid European spearhead Medi Veminardi (Reunion Island, FRA) stepped-up to secure a Semifinal berth and keep his event win hopes alive.
“I prepared for my Quarterfinal at home and came here to get that heat out of the way,” Veminardi said. “I was super focused and wanted to get my plan going and it went well. The level is massive here and Gabriel (Medina) has been dominating, but I am confident enough in my aerial surfing to take my chance tomorrow.”
Having made three finals in five events this year, Veminardi will need to secure another solid result in Lacanau tomorrow to remain in the hunt for the European crown.
“I should be able to qualify for the ASP World Junior Tour through my World rankings’ position so I don’t feel that much pressure about it so far,” Veminardi said. “However, I know it’s makeable to clinch the regional title and it is very important for me. I need two solid results in this event and the next one and it could happen.”
The Airwalk Lacanau Pro Junior will crown its champions tomorrow as well as the ASP European Women’s Junior champion. Stay tuned for the Semifinals and Final from tomorrow, 2 PM.
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 MEN’S LACANAU PRO JUNIOR SEMIFINALS
Heat 1: Angelo Bonomelli (ITA), Ryan Callinan (AUS), Medi Veminardi (REU), Thomas La Fonta (REU)
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA), PV Laborde (FRA), William Aliotti (FRA), Vasco Ribeiro (PRT)
AIRWALK WOMEN’S LACANAU PRO JUNIOR SEMIFINALS
Heat 1: Canelle Bulard (REU), Camille Davila (FRA), Maud Le Car (FRA), Lucia Martino (ESP)
Heat 2: Justine Dupont (FRA), Marie Dejean (FRA), Joanne Defay (REU), Mara Abecassis (PRT)