CAPBRETON, France (Wednesday, October 31, 2012) – Marlon Lipke (DEU) 28, has been crowned the 2012 ASP European Champion following the completion of the ASP 6-Star Islas Canarias Santa Pro in Lanzarote last week. The powerful goofy-footer clinches his second regional crown after winning the Junior Title in 2004 and flies the German flag on the highest level of the European hierarchy.
Battling apocalyptic conditions in Vendee, Lipke wasted no time to launch his campaign with a win at the opening event of 2012, the ASP 3-Star Protest Vendee Pro last April. After surfing a year amongst the Elite World Championship Tour surfers in 2009, Lipke had failed to clinch any significant results since, but admitted to still feel the competitive fire burning and wasn’t ready to move on just yet.
“I’m not ready to give up competing yet, I still enjoy traveling so much with my friends and surfing events. Us Europeans, we have been pushing each other for the last few years a lot, and I think in this event it showed with Joan who was also a standout all week and I think with a little luck we’ll see one more European on the World Championship Tour. I’ll give it another go too for sure, I have to build it from scratch because I’ve fallen down the rankings, but I’ve been training a lot and it feels good.”
The next few months were tough for Lipke, who participated in three major international events in Brazil and South-Africa, but couldn’t confirm his new-found form arriving in the UK for the first stop of the Summer European leg with only low results on the board.
With another 49th place finish in Newquay, Lipke needed to regroup came the second event in Lacanau. Unusual big conditions for the summer beachbreaks in France gave him the perfect opportunity to bounce back and despite an elbow injury that made it impossible for him to paddle at some points, Lipke managed to place 9th in the pumping Lacanau barrels.
“For me the inside wasn’t doing its thing, you could get good scores but you’d have to be very lucky, but at the outside if you could do two big turns you’d have the score so that was the only option for me and straight away I got good waves.”
From big sandy shorebreaks, the best Star tour surfers moved on to the small and windy peaks of Zarautz in September. Lipke coming off a strong showing in Lacanau built momentum throughout the event to claim an excellent equal 5th in the Basque Country.
Despite the pristine tropical conditions at the next event in Azores, the Lagos local couldn’t keep up his performance level and suffered an early Round 3 elimination.
Coming to Galicia for the Cabreiroa Pantin Classic Pro, Lipke a previous winner in 2007, was once again a favorite with solid conditions on offer during the full waiting period of the event. A stand-out throughout the week, Lipke surfed a smart final to place first ahead of fierce competitors Joan Duru (FRA), Bino Lopes (BRA) and Ty Watson (AUS).
“I was really happy after winning the 3-Star in Pantin, it was my second win there and it was only the first place that would actually help me in the ratings and put me in front so I felt that the cards were in my hands then and I was in a good position to win the title this year. As I looked closely at the points I knew it would not take much for the others to over take me and well, going to the last event I was a bit nervous and was maybe thinking too much about the tittle than the actual event.”
Lipke was eliminated in the third round in Lanzarote leaving the door wide open for his direct competition to move ahead of him. Fortunately all his opponents in the 2012 European Title race were defeated just a couple of heats earlier than they needed and Lipke could see his hopes of a Regional Title come true.
“Charly only had to make two heats and some of the others only three. I was hoping I could do it in the last event and thought this year would be a good year for me as the forecast looked solid with only the swell direction putting a line through a possible great event again. We ended up battling for tiny waves which most of them went fat after one turn. In the end I can’t complain, things went my way and I’m so happy to get the title for Portugal and Germany.”
The final European rankings were sealed after Marc Lacomare (FRA) was defeated by event winner Tiago Pires (PRT) in their quarter-finals matchup, crowning Marlon Lipke as our 2012 European Champion in the process. This Title recompenses a consistent season for the 28-year-old who sits in 82nd position on the World Rankings before the last few events in Hawaii.
“I’m not sure yet what my plans will be for the next years, I would like to attack full on again as I felt strong in my mind but times are hard and I’m not sure if I will have to go to new directions.”
Marlon Lipke adds his name to a prestigious list of past winners of the European Title that include past and current World Championship Tour competitors Mickael Picon (FRA), Michel Bourez (PYF), Aritz Aranburu (EUK), and Tim Boal (FRA) amongst others.