CAPBRETON, France (Friday, April 13, 2012) - The 2012 edition of the ASP Europe 3-Star Protest Vendee Pro will launch the European season next week. Europe’s best will gather once again in Brétignolles sur Mer hoping for La Sauzaie to unleash its classic A-Frame bombs over the reef.
Julien ‘Vico’ Hamel, contest director and webcast commentator gives us more details about the organization of this classic French event. An impressive line-up of about a hundred competitors will battle it out for the precious ranking points and a piece of the $55,000 prize purse.
“The forecast is still a little hazy, the event is in four days, but it seems like we’re on a West stream with pretty strong winds early next week, which is not ideal but still better than an anticyclonic flat with offshore breezes that break any piece of swell on offer. We’ll definitely know more in the next few days but it looks bumpy to say the least for monday and tuesday.» Said Julien.”
“Conditions should be alright for the opening round of the Bréti Girls Pro Junior but will definitely toughen up during the rest of the event. I’d like to invite the surfers coming to Vendee to prepare a strong quiver of boards including maybe a couple step-ups for the bigger days, and some warm and waterproof clothing too.”
“I’m really happy to be the Contest Director and webcast commentator on this event for the fourth time now. Now in its 12th edition, the Protest Vendee Pro is definitely a consistent stop on the European and International Tour, and despite downgrading to 3-Star this year, it still brings consistency to the tour after losing a couple events, becoming even more important ranking points wise in the European Title race.”
Opening the European season this year, the Protest Vendee Pro will play a major role in the later crowning of the European champion, and most of the top competitors in Europe have already entered the event.
“Europe’s best will be in Vendee once again, including previous winners of the event like Romain Laulhé, Joan Duru, Tim Boal, Eneko Acero, the Protest riders: Marlon Lipke, Yannick De Jager, Jatyr Berasaluce, local riders like Tristan Guilbaud and most of the up-and-coming juniors who already entered the event.”
Previous editions have seen incredible conditions at La Sauzaie, a very unique spot in the region that often mimics world famous waves in other parts of the globe. Julien ‘Vico’ Hamel has developed a knowledge of the area and tells us more about the wave itself.
«The waves around here have always delivered in the past and we’ve seen great matchups over the years. La Sauzaie can produce World Class waves on its day, sometimes similar to what Trestles is in California, but with the particular setup the coast offers here, it’s an incredible amphitheater-like arena for the public to watch all the action !»
With a difficult forecast ahead, organizers have already planned for a back-up solution if conditions are too difficult at the main spot of La Sauzaie. Often mobile solutions are used on events when conditions are not optimal on the main site of competition. La Sauzaie could well see competitors migrate to a more classic beachbreak site because of the strong tidal movements characteritic of the northern atlantic region.
“The back-up site of ‘Plage des Dunes’ could be useful this year as tides will only allow La Sauzaie to be surfed during afternoons. The wave there is a regular beachbreak setup, often surfed by longboarders. It usually offers a long workable face but flatter and less powerful than La Sauzaie. It offers both right and lefthanders on several different peaks and breaks on all tides which is why we chose it.”
“The main competition site in La Sauzaie will be similar to last years, and on the secondary site we’ll only have the minimum mobile structure (2 tents for the staff). The point is to try and run as many heats there in the first rounds and then be able to go back to La Sauzaie. Technically we can run the whole event at La Sauzaie, but it’s great to have a backup solution if we need it.”
The 2012 Protest Vendée Pro will be running from April 19-22, 2012 in Brétignolles sur Mer, France. The Bréti Girls Pro Junior will start earlier on April 17. To find out more, please visit www.aspeurope.com