CAPBRETON, France (Monday, July 23, 2012) - The ASP 1-Star Men’s and Women’s Billabong Sopelana Pro Junior is set to kick off this coming Thursday, 26th July at the Basque beach breaks of La Playa de Sopelana. Event n°3 on the ASP Europe Pro Junior series, an action packed four days of competition are set to thrill the huge summer crowds in Sopelana as 130 of Europe’s best junior surfers battle it out for prizemoney and important ranking points.
“The Billabong Sopelana Pro Junior is traditionally a very important event for all the surfers who wish to improve their ranking on the ASP Europe Pro Junior series,” said Rob Gunning, ASP Europe’s Tour Manager. “It is an event that marks the half way stage of the series and many surfers are looking to consolidate their position on the rankings.”
Those surfers include the 2011 winners Ian Fontaine (FRA) and Cannelle Bulard (REU) who will be on hand to defend their titles. “It’s a fantastic event, usually with fun waves and a great crowd,” said Fontaine. “I’m really happy to be back in Sopelana to try and do as well as I did last year. It’s a massive event for me.”
Fontaine will face stiff challenges from the current ratings leader Portugal’s Vasco Ribeiro who is fresh from an incredible quarterfinal placing in the ASP 6-Star Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay. Other contenders are the two finalists from the preceding event, the Sooruz Royan Atlantique Pro Junior, Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) and Frederico Morais (PRT).
Morais, who was runner up in Royan, is currently third in the rankings and turns up in Sopelana with his eyes on the bigger prize.
“I’m doing all the ASP Europe Pro Junior series as my main goal is to qualify for the ASP World Junior Championships. Hopefully I can go one better with a win in Sopelana.”
The long running event is one of the surfer’s favourite and all the conditions look set for another epic competition. “The sand banks in Sopelana at the moment are quite good so if we have swell a great show is guaranteed,” said Gunning. “It is an extremely popular event with the surfers and the public of Sopelana. The support from Billabong, the Council of Sopelana and other sponsors and the work done by the Peña Txuri surf club is also excellent each year.”
The 2012 Billabong Sopelana Pro Junior will run from July 26-29 at la playa de Sopelana, Sopelana / Basque Country. To find out more, please visit www.sopelana.aspeurope.com