The inaugural Sooruz Royan Atlantique Pro Junior kicked off on day one of competition with semi-finalists decided in the women’s division as well as half of Round Two of the men’s event being completed in punchy 2-3ft peaks at the main event site at the ‘Còte Sauvage.’
The Sooruz Royan Atlantique Pro Junior is a crucial event as the ASP Europe Pro Junior season enters the business end of the season which will run over the upcoming two months culminating with the crowning of the ASP Europe Pro Junior Champions at the end of August.
Maud Le Car (FRA) currently ranked nº4 on the ASP Europe Pro Junior series ignited in her quarter final encounter to register the highest single-wave score of the event an 8.00 out of 10 on a peeling right-hander. She quickly found her back-up with another excellent ride to post a two-wave heat total of 15.33 out of 20.
‘I was lucky I got the good ones out there. I got some good scores to make me secure and I felt good on my surfboard today. Before the heat I saw a good right so my option was to go there and to get that right and it worked so I am happy.’
Le Car has her sights on returning to the ASP World Junior Championships in 2012 and knows that she needs a big result at the Sooruz Royan Atlantique Pro Junior if she is going to be in the hunt for the top two spots on the ASP Europe Pro Junior rankings come seasons end.
‘My objective is to win and it is really important because it is my last year in the juniors so I really want to win the title and go to the world junior championships. So I have a little bit of pressure on me but it is positive pressure.’
Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) displayed dominant performances in all three of her heats. The young South African despite arriving only minutes before her first heat, has won the first two events on the ASP Europe Pro Junior Women’s Tour and is out to try and make it three in-a-row.
‘We left Hossegor at 5.50 this morning,’ explained Buitendag. ‘We got lost twice and we arrived ten minutes before my heat started so I was running around like crazy looking for my vest. I jumped in the water and surfed three times in about three hours. Conditions are quite tricky but you have to look for the good ones and just do your best out there.’
Leticia Canales (Sopelana, EUK) 17, surfed a solid quarter final bout to advance through to the semi finals along with Lucia Martino (ESP). Canales has been working hard on her preparation for the events on hand and the results are starting to come for the talented Basque surfer.
‘The truth is that I am very comfortable with my board at the moment and these waves I like because you have to work them and that is good. In the beginning I could not find my rhythm in the heat but I caught an okay wave and then in the end I managed to get a good wave so I am happy. I am thinking about the final but I am keeping my feet on the ground at this stage. I think I am prepared and that I can make it.’
Camille Davila (REU) 19, placed second behind Buitendag to achieve her first semi-final appearance of the season. Surfing smooth, flowing lines mixed with snaps and carves Davila learnt from her opponent and now looks ahead to putting in another quality performance in the semis.
‘I am really glad I made it,’ said an elated Davila. ‘The waves are not the best and it is hard to get the score but I made it and I am happy. She (Buitendag) is a really good surfer and she scored a 7.00 and a 6.00 so she really surfed well. I could have surfed better but if it is enough I am always happy with the result. I have made the quarter finals earlier in the season at the Swatch event but there were so many international surfers it was really tough so I am glad I am through to the semis at this contest.’
The men’s division of the Sooruz Royan Atlantique Pro Junior saw the action heat up late in the day with the first eight heats of Round Two completed in the testing conditions. Mihimana Braye (PYF) 16, was one of the many standout surfers of the early rounds of competition. The powerful goofy footer destroyed a couple of peaks with savage backhand snaps to easily advance to take on the event’s top seeds in Round Three when competition resumes tomorrow.
‘It is my second time here in Europe and I am trying to surf my best to try and find a sponsor which I don’t have at the moment. I did one Pro Junior in Tahiti on the Australasia series and I finished 9th which was good for my first pro junior event. Now I am here to try and do something in Europe. The heat was difficult because of the small waves, wind and cold water but it is okay and I got the job done.’
Jose Ferreira (PRT) 19, also scored high obtaining the single highest wave of the day, an 8.00 out of 10 for a huge front-side fins out smash to take full control of the encounter. Ferreira found himself surfing in the early rounds due to a late entry into the contest and found that the additional heats to be of no added consequence.
The Sooruz Royan Atlantique Pro Junior will reconvene tomorrow, Friday 13th July at 9.00 am for a possible start shortly after with Heat nº9 of Round Two of the men’s event.
For all results, videos, daily highlights, photos and news log-on to www.aspeurope.com
The Sooruz Royan Atlantique Pro Junior is made possible with the support of the following event partners: Sooruz, Agglomération Royan Atlantique, France Station Nautique – Pays Royannais, Région Poitou-Charentes, la Charente Maritime, Office National des Fôrets, La Tremblade, Saint Palais sur mer, Virgin Radio, Mona Lisa, Fédération Française de Surf, Entreprise Pitel amongst others.
Upcoming Sooruz Royan Atlantique Pro Junior Women Semi Final Match-Ups
Heat 1: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Camille Davila (FRA), Leticia Canales (EUK), Lucia Martino (ESP)
Heat 2: Maud Le Car (FRA), Tanika Hoffman (ZAF), Cannelle Bulard (REU), Ainara Aymat (EUK)
Sooruz Royan Atlantique Pro Junior Women Quarter-final Results
Heat 1: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 13.17, Camille Davila (FRA) 8.23, Erika Franco (ESP) 6.60, Marion Bouzigues (FRA) 5.83
Heat 2: Leticia Canales (EUK) 10.66, Lucia Martino (ESP) 8.33, Keshia Seelow Eyre (PRT) 3.30, Loiola Canales (EUK) 2.20
Heat 3: Maud Le Car (FRA) 15.33, Tanika Hoffman (ZAF) 11.40, Fanny Brice (FRA) 10.10, Ana Morau (FRA) 7.76
Heat 4: Cannelle Bulard (REU) 10.87, Ainara Aymat (EUK) 8.70, Garazi Sanchez (EUK) 7.57, Maria Abecasis (PRT) 5.46