CAPBRETON, France (Monday, August 19, 2013) - First of two ASP Women’s Qualifying Events to unfold in Europe this year, the ASP 6-Star SWwatch Girls Pro France and 2-Star Pro Junior will start Wednesday, August 21. With an encouraging forecast and more than 130 competitors from all over the world, the event is set to write yet another exciting page of women’s surfing history.
With only six events worldwide, hopeful qualifiers for the Elite Women’s World Championship Tour know how important each event is with the allocated prize-money and rankings points on offer. The SWATCH GIRLS PRO FRANCE being the second to last stop on the ASP schedule will play a vital role in deciding who can stay amongst the Top 17 next year and who can qualify for the coveted tour.
Organizers have opted for different event dates this year, moving from Europe’s early spring to the end of August for a better chance of scoring the perfect conditions France’s South-West coast is famous for. An intense five-days of action and music lies ahead for the massive August crowds in and around the Hossegor area.
“We’ll hold the first call Wednesday morning at 7am and decide whether we start with the 6-Star event or the Pro Junior,” Julie Carr, organizer of the event stated. “Conditions look ideal for the first day of the event’s waiting period with sun, waves and light wind so we’ll start as soon as possible with a great day of surfing. For those unlucky few who can’t be with us at the beach, we invite them to follow the event online and watch it LIVE via swatchgirlspro.com.”
A favourite amongst the best surfers in the world, the Swatch Girls Pro France has built its reputation around the quality of its event structure, animation and its dedication to showcasing the surfers in the best possible conditions on offer. Invited at the press conference this morning held at the infamous Rock Food in Hossegor, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 20, commented on her upcoming long stay in Europe.
“I’m going to be here all the way until the event in Portugal, I’ve pretty much set up camp trying to feel like I’m at home and I’m currently even trying to learn a little bit of French,” Conlogue said. “It’s always a lot of fun hanging out in France, I’m starting to really get into the routine. I can’t wait to get started at the Swatch event, I always look forward to it and it’s a great way to start the European leg. There are a lot of athletes here that are stepping up the level and it’s good to be in that mix. It makes you step up as well, and no matter what the conditions are you always have to bring your A-game.”
Pauline Ado (FRA) 22, current World No.10 and only European athlete in the Top 17, will undeniably be the local crowds favourite as she hasn’t performed to her best abilities in previous years in Hossegor. Ado will try to keep the ball rolling after two consecutive excellent results at the US Open of Surfing and Supergirl Pro.
“I’ve had a couple of good results lately so I’m feeling good and confident,” Ado said. “But each event is a new event, you always start from scratch and there’s fierce competition here so you have to be focused. Here in France I can count on local support and my entourage so it’s a good thing, but it does put a little more pressure at the same time. I’ve surfed the competition peak last week and I think we’re in for a treat!”
Hawaii’s Coco Ho (HAW) 22, who finished runner-up of both the Swatch main event and pro junior in 2010, has had a very consistent season so far this year, but is still looking to go all the way and claim an event win. The ever-smiling young Hawaiian, member of the Swatch Pro team, will have a couple more days to fight the jetlag and get her rhythm going towards a performance in the Swatch Girls Pro France.
“I just arrived yesterday all the way from Hawaii and I’m stoked to be here, I got to surf the event’s wave this morning and Swatch always does a great job at putting us where the best conditions are,” Ho said. “I’m excited to surf here in France again, especially now that we have to come back in September, it’s a great way to get a feel of the conditions.”
The SWATCH GIRLS PRO FRANCE and Pro Junior are made possible with the support of the following event partners: SWATCH, Federation Française de Surf, Landes Côte Sud, Conseil Général des Landes, Région Aquitaine, Unbottle Yourself, EQ, Honda, Makila Auto, Vista 33, Keep A Breast Foundation, MagicSeaWeed, Lamono, NRJ, Surf Session, Adrénaline – L’Équipe.fr, Beach Brother amongst others.