CAPBRETON, France (Thursday, July 26, 2012) - The ASP 1-Star Men’s and Women’s Billabong Sopelana Pro Junior ran a marathon day today completing 58 heats of 20mn each using double banks to make the best out of the clean 2-3Ft waves that were on offer throughout the day. With a decreasing swell during the remainder of the waiting period, event organizers are looking at a potential finish tomorrow in Sopelana.
Gaspard Larsonneur (FRA) 18, has brilliantly surfed today, netting the second highest heat total of 16.67 out of 20, proving he’ll be one to watch in the quarter-finals when competition resumes. Larsonneur surfed a wave scored 9.17 on which he displayed multiple powerful top turns all the way to the inside sandy shorebreak.
“I had a few fun waves today” stated Larsonneur. “It’s tough because the peak is really small and with four guys out, everyone wanting the best waves, you have to really watch out for interferences.. I tried to focus on lefts, I think they had more potential, there’s like a good wall to work with and a really fun reform in the inside. I had a good 5th place result in the Canary Islands earlier this year so I’m looking to get another one !”
Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 18, currently in the hunt for the coveted European Junior crown sitting in third position, consistantly progressed today, winning his first heat and placing second this afternoon to move into the quarter-finals.
“I observed the spot before my heat and it seemed really fun with good waves, but as soon as I paddled out it just switched probably with the tide going out, and I couldn’t really find my rythmn out there” Boukhiam stated. “Then I got a little something to start with and found a good second wave scored in the 7 point range so it may not have been my best heat ever but I’m happy to get through.”
This morning’s in form surfer in the Men’s division was Kieran Bulard (REU), who scored a near perfect 9.87 out of 10, which he backed-up with another excellent score of 8.17 to qualify for the Round of 32. He unfortunately couldn’t find waves with a high scoring potential in the next heat and his Sopelana campaign was abruptly stopped.
Bulard still claims the highest single wave score of the day with a combination of powerful forehand hacks on a peeling left-hander. Obviously affected by the tragic death of a close friend, Bulard dedicated all his waves to Alex Rassiga who passed away a few days ago in Reunion Island.
“I just lost a friend 3 days ago in Reunion Island cause of a shark attack. So all the waves I catch are for him this weekend. I was happy to get a good one and I dedicate it to Alex Rassiga my friend that I lost.”
In the women’s field it was Camille Davila (FRA) 19, that distinguished herself from her opponents posting an impressive heat total of 15.17 out of 20 in a difficult wind affected line-up this afternoon in Sopelana.
“Waves were really hard to read,” Davila said. “I was on the secondary peak and there wasn’t much coming through. I had a good wave right from the start so it gave me confidence. I caught a righthander that reformed as a left and I was able to do a few turns on that one. It came in as an 8.50 and I found it pretty generous but I’m happy I got through. I’m in my fifth year on tour now and my best result is a semi-final so I’m aiming for one better !”
Organizers and surfers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7:30am at ‘Playa de Sopelana’ for a possible early start to the quarter-finals.
The 2012 Billabong Sopelana Pro Junior is scheduled from July 26-29 in Sopelana. All results, photos, videos, and news are available through www.sopelana.aspeurope.com
To find out more, please visit www.aspeurope.com
The Billabong Sopelana Pro Junior is made possible with the support of the following event partners: Billabong, Peña Txuri Surf Eskola, El Correo, Sopelana Council, Euskal Herriko Surf Federazioa, Bizkaiko Surf Federazioa amongst others.
UPCOMING BILLABONG SOPELANA PRO JUNIOR MEN’S QUARTER-FINALS MATCHUPS:
Heat 1: Natxo Gonzalez (EUK), Nelson Cloarec (FRA), Vicente Romero (ESP), Luke Dillon (GBR)
Heat 2: Ugo Robin (FRA), Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR), Diego Mignot (FRA), Imanol Yeregi (EUK)
Heat 3: Frederico Morais (PRT), Mihimana Braye (PYF), Mateia Hiquily (PYF), Luis Eyre (GBR)
Heat 4: José Ferreira (PRT), Borja Agote (EUK), Ander Mendiguren (EUK), Gaspard Larsonneur (FRA)
UPCOMING BILLABONG SOPELANA PRO JUNIOR WOMEN’S QUARTER-FINALS MATCHUPS:
Heat 1: Tanika Hoffman (ZAF), Carina Duarte (PRT), Camille Davila (FRA), Mathilde Gomez (FRA)
Heat 2: Maria Abecasis (PRT), Maud Le Car (FRA), Leticia Canales Bilbao (EUK), Ainara Aymat (EUK)
Heat 3: Cannelle Bulard (REU), Loiola Canales Bilbao (EUK), Garazi Sanchez (EUK), Lucy Campbell (GBR)
Heat 4: Ana Morau (FRA), Fanny Brice (FRA), Lucia Martino (ESP), Josephine Costes (FRA)
BILLABONG SOPELANA PRO JUNIOR MEN’S RD32 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Natxo Gonzalez (EUK) 14.50, Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 14.43, Miguel Blanco (PRT) 9.17, Nomme Mignot (FRA) 7.97
Heat 2: Vicente Romero (ESP) 9.93, Imanol Yeregi (EUK) 9.27, Tom Cloarec (FRA) 8.73, Alex Iriondo (EUK) 7.46
Heat 3: Ugo Robin (FRA) 13.00, Nelson Cloarec (FRA) 10.13, Ian Fontaine (FRA) 7.07, Harry Timson (GBR) 6.84
Heat 4: Diego Mignot (FRA) 11.83, Luke Dillon (GBR) 10.73, Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 10.63, Ethan Egiguren (EUK) 7.17
Heat 5: Frederico Morais (PRT) 12.73, Borja Agote (EUK) 9.50, Maurice Meyerwestphal (REU) 7.70, Diogo Appleton (PRT) 6.77
Heat 6: Mateia Hiquily (PYF) 13.67, Gaspard Larsonneur (FRA) 11.57, Kieran Bulard (REU) 9.23, Pierre Rollet (FRA) 6.66
Heat 7: José Ferreira (PRT) 12.50, Mihimana Braye (PYF) 12.04, Dimitri Ouvre (GLP) 11.30, Toby Donachie (GBR) 6.70
Heat 8: Ander Mendiguren (EUK) 9.27, Luis Eyre (GBR) 9.04, Charly Termeau (FRA) 7.23, Josh Piper (GBR) 6.94
BILLABONG SOPELANA PRO JUNIOR WOMEN’S RD32 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Tanika Hoffman (ZAF) 9.50, Maud Le Car (FRA) 9.16, Ariane Ochoa (EUK) 7.67, Maddi Aizpurua (ESP) 4.26
Heat 2: Camille Davila (FRA) 15.17, Ainara Aymat (EUK) 14.10, Kira Groen (DEU) 3.73, Laura Crane (GBR) 3.64
Heat 3: Maria Abecasis (PRT) 8.90, Carina Duarte (PRT) 8.60, Juliette Brice (FRA) 6.73, Keshia Seelow Eyre (GBR) 4.50
Heat 4: Leticia Canales Bilabo (EUK) 9.77, Mathilde Gomez (FRA) 8.56, Erika Franco (ESP) 7.87, Noa Iturripea (EUK) 3.00
Heat 5: Cannelle Bulard (REU) 12.80, Fanny Brice (FRA) 12.00, Tessa Thyssen (GLP) 11.20, Lucie Milochau (FRA) 6.17
Heat 6: Garazi Sanchez (EUK) 14.17, Josephine Costes (FRA) 10.83, Gabi Rowe (GBR) 5.03, Alice Melissa Limoigne (REU) 4.90
Heat 7: Ana Morau (FRA) 13.50, Loiola Canales Bilbao (EUK) 6.67, Yolanda Aneiros (ESP) 6.00, Amaia Billecoq (FRA) 4.40
Heat 8: Lucia Martino (ESP) 11.33, Lucy Campbell (GBR) 9.23, Marion Bouzigues (FRA) 8.63, Tassy Swallow (GBR) 7.10