GRANDE PLAGE, Lacanau – France (Friday, August 17, 2012) - After an early morning deception, competition resumed at 12pm in clean 4-5Ft offshore waves breaking on the outside banks at La Grande Plage of Lacanau. Once again conditions cleaned up with the upcoming tide to culminate this evening with powerful barrels in the shorebreak right in front of the crowd.
Stu Kennedy (AUS) 22, was the first surfer in Lacanau today to find the perfect ride and was rewarded a perfect 10 point by all five judges of the panel. Starting frontside on a big hollow righthander, the young Australian traveled deep inside the barrel before coming out to a long and critical floater and finally hitting the lip one more time.
“I took off on a pretty average wave at the start, had a good first turn and just got it through to the shore and got a decent score.” Kennedy said. “I was paddling back out, and this bomb came in toward me, I was just in the perfect spot, almost could have been a little bit too late for it but luckily on this equipment you can take off real late and it just opened up perfectly ! I got my first ever 10 points on the Star Tour which feels amazing and hopefully I get a few more in my life but that one definitely felt really good to get !!”
After a difficult start to his 2012 campaign, Kennedy started using a different equipment that definitely worked well for him in the Lacanau barrels today, and allowed him an excellent start to the back half of the year so far, with a good run in both the US Open and Newquay last week.
“My friend Daniel Thomson had a vision and has been trying to get the most high-performance board you can get and this is pretty much what he’s come up with in the last 6-7 years and they’re definitely working good for me ! I had a good turnaround in my results this year, the US Open was very good to surf against Kelly and some other CT guys and beat them and then I went to England and got a 9th; and now here in the first heat I get a 10 ! This one is a 5’2 x 17 1/2 x 2 3/16, so basically it’s a wakeboard type board with channels in the noze and all sorts..”
Glenn Hall (IRE) 30, Soöruz Team rider and currently ranked 15th of the ASP World Rankings, put up a good show for his first appearance in Lacanau. ‘Micro’ surfed a solid heat that he led with two scores in the 7 points range when he locked in a super hollow backhand barrel in the dying minutes of the exchange.
“It’s a good way to start with a couple of good scores like this,” Hall stated. “That barrel was a little bit of a flukey one, but my board feels good and I’m having fun ! Euro tides, they always surprise you, like this morning conditions were perfect but the waves just average so it was a little frustrating but it’s pretty much firing now so everyone’s happy !”
Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 24, also entered the event today in the Round of 64, and netted one of the highest single wave score of the day, an incredible 9.10 out of 10 possible. California’s Gudauskas combined a couple of big manoeuvers on a running lefthander and was rewarded for his stylish and powerful attack on the sandy shorebreaks of Lacanau.
“It was fun ! It was hard though, kind of like you’d never know what’s coming so I was psyched I got that last one cause it was a close heat ! The area here is so big, it’s nice cause you can surf a litte bit here and there and find your own little peak and that’s cool cause you’re surfing by yourself and not worrying about the others to much..”
After a relatively flat start to the European leg this summer, Gudauskas along with many other top seeds who started their Soöruz Lacanau Pro campaign only today, had the chance to enjoy a couple of very entertaining surfing days and was glad to finally put on the rashvest.
“I’ve been psyching cause there’s been waves everyday and I’ve been surfing all day everyday, it feels so good ! I’ve been having fun this year here and there, it’s like touch-and-go, kind of like ups and downs but yeah I’ve been enjoying myself ! I’m going to go home after this for the contest in Virginia and then just do some trips with my brothers..”
It was Marlon Lipke (DEU) 28, that opened today’s proceedings and was the first surfer to choose the outside option whereas his opponents preferred to stay closer to shore. Lipke’s option paid off quickly as his first wave came as a 6.83 to give him the heat lead which he never let go.
“We were the first heat and still had the low tide conditions, which were pretty hard..” Lipke said. “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 can do two big turns you’d have the score so that was the only option for me and straight away I got a good wave. I was lucky the other guys stayed inside otherwise the heat could have been very different.”
Lipke, who also was the first surfer to paddle out yesterday on a solid Lacanau day, managed to score two great waves in the first 15 minutes of his heat yesterday before he had to come in due to an elbow injury that made it impossible for him to continue paddling. With a substancial lead on his opponents, the German surfer was never reached and won his heat from the beach.
“It’s still hurting a lot, I think if it was as big as yesterday I would have had the same problem again today. I’m going to go see the physio again soon and see what we can do about it. After Vendee I thought I found my rythmn but then I had a couple of bad events.. I feel like I’m slowly starting to get the hang of it, and not getting too nervous because that’s what plays a big role in wether I surf good or not.”
Matt Banting (AUS) 18, also chose a different option from his competitors in Heat 3 of the Round of 64 this morning, paddling out on the far North end of the contest area, which he surfed alone for the entire 25 minute bout. Banting found nice and clean opening righthanders and led the confrontation from start to finish with one of the highest heat total of the day.
“I was looking at that bank that I was surfing yesterday and I saw a couple good ones,” Banting said. “With the tide coming pretty quickly there were going to be less waves and you got to make the best of the waves you do get, so I was pretty nervous and shaky it’s my first heat as well.. But I was all by myself which was good, I didn’t see one other guy the whole heat and I’m just stoked to get through, and get that first one out of the way !”
Romain Cloitre (FRA) 23, had a tough all-European heat today against good friends Marc Lacomare, Ramzi Boukhiam and Frederico Morais. The talented natural-footer from Reunion Island dominated his heat and confirmed he is in excellent form and one of our best chances for a European win in Lacanau.
“Our heat was a little sketchy because we surfed right between the low and the high tide when waves can break either way out the back or in the shorey,” Cloitre said. “I intended to go surf on the outside and finally stayed close to shore so, I was a little lucky to find my two good waves, I paddled out without a plan really..”
Reigning ASP European Champion, Cloitre who was crowned in Azores last year, currently sits second behind Charly Martin (GLP) after their final against each other last week in England. Within distance of reaching for the first place in Lacanau, Cloitre is focused on repeating his latest performance in France.
“That second place in Newquay really boosted my confidence and it feels great to come to France in that state of mind, but you know each event is different and you just have to take it heat by heat and see what happens. My main goal is still to surf well, try my best in every heat and see where that takes me.”
Teppei Tajima (JPN) 28, is the last remaining Japanese ambassador in the ASP 5-Star Soöruz Lacanau Pro and was a happy second placer in today’s ninth heat. In a good summer leg that saw him collect two fifth place results in Japan and Korea in the last couple of months, Tajima who has surfed in Lacanau on multiple occasions is assured of his best result in the Gironde beachbreaks moving into the Round of 32 when competition resumes.
“It was pretty tough for me out there, my strategy was to be patient and try to wait for two really good waves and luckily I found those two scores cause after that I didn’t get anything done.. I’ve been competing here a few times but this is the first time in 5 or 6 years that I’m coming back so I’m stoked !”
Tomorrow morning’s call is set to 7am, to try and take advantage of the early high tide and run the Round of 32. Conditions will be closely monitored during the day to determine the best schedule before a probable last day of competition on Sunday.
The ASP 5-Star Sooruz Lacanau Pro is scheduled from August 14-19, 2012. in Lacanau. For all results, photos, video highlights, press releases log on to http://www.sooruzlacanaupro.com.
The Sooruz Lacanau Pro 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.
UPCOMING SOORUZ LACANAU PRO ROUND OF 32 MATCHUPS:
Heat 1: Marlon Lipke (DEU), Leonardo Neves (BRA), Jesse Mendes (BRA), Tim Macdonald (AUS)
Heat 2: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Jack Freestone (AUS), Matt Banting (AUS), Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 3: Romain Cloitre (FRA), Tanner Gudauskas (USA), Jay Thompson (AUS), Carlos Munoz (CRI)
Heat 4: Marc Lacomare (FRA), Balaram Stack (USA), Steven Pierson (PYF), Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Lincoln Taylor (AUS), Alan Jhones (BRA), David Do Carmo (BRA)
Heat 6: Teppei Tajima (JPN), Mitch Crews (AUS), Mitchel Coleborn (AUS),Michael Dunphy (USA)
Heat 7: Peterson Crisanto (BRA), Thiago Camarao (BRA), Davey Cathels (AUS), Flavio Nakagima (BRA)
Heat 8: Tomas Hermes (BRA), Dion Atkinson (AUS), Stu Kennedy (AUS), Vincent Duvignac (FRA)
SOORUZ LACANAU PRO ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Marlon Lipke (DEU) 14.66, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 11.80, Adrien Toyon (FRA) 9.70, Derek Peters (USA) 7.84
Heat 2: Leonardo Neves (BRA) 11.04, Jack Freestone (AUS) 8.70, Ty Watson (AUS) 7.32, Miguel Blanco (PRT) 5.96
Heat 3: Matt Banting (AUS) 15.10, Jesse Mendes (BRA) 13.90, Vicente Romero (ESP) 4.53, Ethan Egiguren (EUK) 3.77
Heat 4: Joan Duru (FRA) 13.86, Tim Macdonald (AUS) 8.50, Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 7.80, Ryan Callinan (AUS) 7.03
Heat 5: Romain Cloitre (FRA) 14.34, Marc Lacomare (FRA) 10.94, Frederico Morais (PRT) 9.70, Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 8.57
Heat 6: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 15.77, Balaram Stack (USA) 10.90, Thomas Woods (AUS) 6.74, Nathan Hedge (AUS) 6.37
Heat 7: Steven Pierson (PYF) 13.54, Jay Thompson (AUS) 10.83, Billy Stairmand (NZL) 10.70, Connor O’Leary (AUS) 5.97
Heat 8: Glenn Hall (IRL) 15.83, Carlos Munoz (CRI) 10.97, Matt Pagan (USA) 9.67, Ugo Robin (FRA) 8.70
Heat 9: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.23, Teppei Tajima (JPN) 11.40, Gavin Gillette (HAW), Medi Veminardi (REU)
Heat 10: Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 13.83, Mitch Crews (AUS) 13.83, Jose Ferreira (PRT) 9.33, Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 6.57
Heat 11: Mitchel Coleborn (AUS) 14.54, Alan Jhones (BRA) 14.26, Hodei Collazo (EUK) 11.00, Bino Lopes (BRA) 9.20
Heat 12: Michael Dunphy (USA) 12.03, David Do Carmo (BRA) 11.90, Charles Martin (GLP) 10.74, Perth Standlick (AUS) 8.60
Heat 13: Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 14.90, Tomas Hermes (BRA) 9.47, Nicolas Remi (FRA) 7.90, Marco Fernandez (BRA) 6.64
Heat 14: Thiago Camarao (BRA) 15.57, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 14.43, Luel Felipe (BRA) 9.74, Michael Powell (USA) 7.77
Heat 15: Stu Kennedy (AUS) 16.67, Davey Cathels (AUS) 13.40, Garrett Parkes (AUS) 10.14, Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 9.94
Heat 16: Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 13.46, Flavio Nakagima (BRA) 8.64, Tristan Guilbaud (FRA) 8.40, Norman Landa (EUK) 4.10