GRANDE PLAGE, Lacanau – France (Monday, August 13, 2012) - Carlos Munoz (CRI) 19, and Lucia Martino (ESP) 18, have just won the 2012 Airwalk Lacanau Pro Junior in clean 3-4Ft surf at the main break of La Grande Plage in Lacanau. Beautiful conditions greeted competitors this morning for the final day of the event, and the action quickly started with the Men’s quarter-finals before moving into the semis and finals of both divisions.
Carlos Munoz (CRI) 19, blew up in the final today, opening his wave count with an excellent 8.67 and backing it up quickly with a 7.17 to take the heat lead, which he never then let go. The flying Costa Rican left without pressure, started building momentum and found the best wave of the day to launch a massive backside air reverse rewarded by the highest score of the entire event, a near perfect 9.6 out of 10.
“I’m really happy,” stated an ecstatic Munoz coming in from the water. “It’s my first time competing here in France and all the waves came to me right from the start and I’m super stoked to be in the final with those guys they surfed really hard !! I want to thank everyone here from the staff etc because I was made to feel very welcome and I surfed like at home. This was just a little practice for me before the main event and I just hope I can do the same this week !”
Munoz comes into the main event in Lacanau ranked 137th on the ASP World Rankings and will look for the same excellent kind of result to better his situation and try to crack the Top 100 synonym of Prime events priority for next year. With a couple good results under his belt already, Munoz seems to have stepped up his game and will be a favourite when competition starts tomorrow in Lacanau.
“I started my season in Hawaii and got a ninth in a 5-Star event and then a third in Acapulco. I haven’t had the best season so far but I’m hoping I can build on this cause my goal is the ASP Top 100 to get into Prime events next year. There are a lot of events to go so we’ll see how that goes for me.”
A newcomer to Europe’s famous beachbreak of Lacanau, Munoz in his first year travelling across Europe for the summer leg of events, started his campaign rather slowly in Newquay with a 25th place finish. With the confidence earned this weekend in the Airwalk Lacanau Pro Junior, he will be looking to confirm in the upcoming weeks his position of rising star on the qualifying events.
“I’m going to compete in all events this summer, maybe even go to Virginia and come back so I’m extremely motivated ! I’m coming from England and that was a sick place to see, here is amazing as well and the people are so cool too, I just feel right at home in France right now.”
Lucia Martino (ESP) 18, dominated the Women’s final today opposed to Europe’s Junior series runner-up Maud Le Car (FRA) and Leticia Canales Bilbao (EUK) in her second consecutive final. The young Spanish from Gijon started her 30mn bout really strong and found a good score right from the first minutes.
“In the final, time just stopped and I felt like it lasted hours,” Martino stated, not fully realizing she had just won the event. “I got two good waves in the first minutes and I felt pretty relaxed. My whole final consisted in trying not to stress out and be patient and wait for the best waves.”
She did just that and more, managing to be on all of the best waves during the entire final, which she controlled with an impressive ease like a very experienced competitor. While her opponents struggled to find their scores and collected several low scoring rides, the Asturian surfer just sat tight at the peak and started on all the bombs.
“I surfed alright my first heat of the event but then I wasn’t really good and in that final everything just fell into place again for me. I had an incredible season, and I think this result keeps me third European on the rankings. For me it’s incredible to win here, my best result so far was a third last year so I’m just so happy !”
Frederico Morais (PRT) 20, puts an exclamation mark to a great 2012 season on the Junior Tour placing second in the Airwalk Lacanau Pro Junior behind Munoz but in front of Vicente Romero (ESP) and Timothee Bisso (GLP). This result secures his fourth place on the European rankings and Morais will therefore be able to participate in the World Junior Championships next year.
“That final was just crazy,” Morais said. “Carlos was just smashing us all, doing airs everywhere ! It was sick to watch and it was a really good final to be in. I had a good score and a medium back-up so it was impossible for me to compete with his scores. I’m trying to get my air game like his, but apparently I still have a lot of work to do ! He’s a really nice guy and he rips so I’m stoked to be second to him and this is an excellent result for me, I’m just looking forward to the main event now.”
With two runner-up finishes, a third, a fourth and a fifth this season, Morais has missed an event win in 2012 but solidifies his fourth place on the European Pro Junior series in Lacanau, and is now assured a ticket for the coveted World Junior Championship events in Bali, Australia and Brazil.
“Vicente and Timothee were surfing really well too and we were all competing for that second place and happily I got it ! I’m stoked to have confirmation that I’ll surf the World Juniors, that was my main goal when I knew I couldn’t get the title so I’m super stoked to be travelling with Vasco and my coach Richard, we’ll see how it goes !”
Maud Le Car (FRA) 20, in her last year amongst the European under-21 competitors placed second today to Lucia Martino, and confirms her great form this year, finishing runner-up on the rankings behind Cannelle Bulard (REU) who unfortuately injured herself in the semis and couldn’t surf the final for which she had qualified.
Recent finalist in Galicia last week, Leticia Canales Bilbao (EUK) 17, once again managed to fight her way through to the final heat today where she placed third, coming just short of 0.3 to get the second step on today’s podium.
“For me the final wasn’t the best because I’ve been surfing really good the previous heats and couldn’t really find any good waves this time, but it’s another excellent result for me to finish on the podium here in Lacanau and I’m super excited ! I’ve been competing here before but was never in the final and that makes it extra special ! I really like Lacanau, unfortunately during the event I can only see the beach and I’d like to explore a little around the city now.”
The 2012 Airwalk Lacanau Pro Junior was scheduled from August 10-13 in Lacanau. For all results, photos, video highlights, press releases log on to http://www.sooruzlacanaupro.com. The ASP 5-Star Sooruz Lacanau Pro will start tomorrow and run from August 14-19, 2012. The first Call has been set to 9am tomorrow morning and may see the start of the first rou nd of the main event.
The Airwalk Lacanau Pro Junior is made possible with the support of the following event partners: Airwalk, Ville de Lacanau, Lacanau Surf Club, Region Aquitaine, Conseil Général de Gironde, Fédération Française de Surf, Super U, Sport +, Medococean, Smurfit Kappa, RTL2, 20Minutes, MCM, GoPro, Unbottle Yourself amongst others.
AIRWALK LACANAU PRO JUNIOR MEN’S FINAL RESULTS:
1- Carlos Munoz (CRI) 18.67 2- Frederico Morais (PRT) 14.83 3- Vicente Romero (ESP) 14.00 4- Timothee Bisso (GLP) 11.23
AIRWALK LACANAU PRO JUNIOR WOMEN’S FINAL RESULTS:
1- Lucia Martino (ESP) 11.67 2- Maud Le Car (FRA) 8.57 3- Leticia Canales Bilbao (EUK) 8.20 4- Cannelle Bulard (REU) – injured