South Africa’s David Van Zyl, 20, was a standout on Day 1 of the Airwalk Pro Junior.
GRANDE PLAGE, Lacanau – France (Friday, August 9, 2013) – The ASP 1-Star Airwalk Lacanau Pro Junior started today in wind affected 2Ft surf at the Grande Plage of Lacanau with fun, peaky waves breaking right in front of the event structure. Competitors of the men’s first round opened the show in a moving lineup on the outgoing tide. A short break around noon allowed for more water to fill in before the women entered the water early this afternoon, completing the opening round as well.
David Van Zyl (ZAF) 20, entered the Airwalk Lacanau Pro Junior in anticipation of the main event and surfed a solid first heat in an unknown lineup this morning at Grande Plage. The South-African managed to find the best scoring opportunities and scored a good 6.33 on a running lefthander.
“There were a few waves, it’s not a defined peak with waves kind of all over the place and you’ve got to keep moving around and hopefully you get something,” Van Zyl stated. “I saw the entries for the Junior still opened and I’m stoked to surf here to get used to the waves.”
Visiting the classic French beachbreak for the second time, Van Zyl sees an opportunity in the Airwalk Lacanau Pro Junior to get momentum going into the second week and the main event, and will try to keep his ball rolling all the way to the finals.
“I’ve been mainly focusing on the Star tour to try and get a good ranking and hopefully get into Primes. It’s really hard. I’ve had a couple of results in 4 and 5-Stars and I’ve been lucky enough to surf in the Mr Price Pro but that’s definitely a lot harder in the big events.”
Former finalist in Sopelana, Tomas Fernandes (PRT) 17 had a good start to his Lacanau campaign, dominating the very first heat of the day and moving on the second round. The young regular footer mixed powerful carves and fin-free maneuvers on his frontside to entice the judges and was rewarded by good scores to win the heat.
“It was a fun heat but the conditions were pretty difficult,” Fernandes said. “It’s an average heat but a good enough way to start the event and I hope I can keep going. I lost early in the last event so I want to try and do another final hopefully.”
Leticia Canales Bilbao (EUK) 18, started strong in Lacanau this afternoon, posting several high scores both on her front and backside to advance into the quarterfinals. Selecting the best waves on offer in the shifting peaks, Canales Bilbao showed her trademark power turns that got her in the third place on the European rankings so far. Despite being overtaken in the last minutes of the 20mn exchange, Canales Bilbao affirmed herself as one of the strongest contenders for a title in Lacanau.
“Heats are always a bit tough on the first day,” Canales Bilbao said. “You feel nervous and the waves weren’t easy but I found a couple good rights and it feels great to get through. I have a good board, I’ve tried a couple in freesurfs before the event and this is definitely the best one. Lacanau is the fourth contest and I got three third places already so I really want to go all the way this time!”
In the following heat Johanne Defay (FRA) 19, marched through without further consideration for her opponents posting two excellent scores and showing she had no intention of letting her guard down in Lacanau. A solid leader with already two event wins under her belt, Defay will be hard to stop on her way to a third regional junior title.
“It was a bit tricky to find the best opportunities out there, but I got a few fun ones.” Defay said. “I don’t think Cannelle not surfing the first round will be too much of a game changer, I’m sure our paths will cross in the final again and I really look forward to another confrontation!”
Carina Duarte (PRT) 19, posted the second highest heat total of the women’s first round in Heat 6 and looked sharp in this fourth event of the Junior series. After an excellent start to her 2013 season in Royan, Duarte had a hard time maintaining her form and is looking to find her way back the last four in Lacanau.
“I feel really good,” Duarte commented. “You have to be patient but when the sets come it’s pretty fun! I think this morning was even harder, and for once us girls got the better waves! Hopefully conditions improve a little in the coming days. I always try to get to the final but the last two events I haven’t surfed my best so I hope I can do good here. The level is super high this year though so it’s not easy.”
Organizers have called for an 8:30AM Call tomorrow morning for the second and third rounds of the men’s event, women’s will most likely be back in the water on Sunday for the quarterfinals.
The 2013 Airwalk Lacanau Pro Junior is scheduled from August 9-12, 2013 at Grande Plage, Lacanau – France. For all results, photos, video highlights, press releases and LIVE webcast, log on to aspeurope.com.