RAMZI WINS ZARAUTZ!
Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 18, has won the San Miguel Pro Zarautz pres. by Euskaltel over Perth Standlick (AUS) 22, today in difficult 1-2Ft waves at the main beach of Zarautz, Basque Country - Spain.
With a forecast showing no swell activity for the last day of the waiting period tomorrow, event officials have decided to complete the event today. After the remaining four heats of the Round of 16 this morning, competition re-started at 1pm to run the quarter-finals, semis and final.
Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 18, came out on top of a difficult final today against an in form Perth Standlick (AUS). Consistent throughout the entire event, the Moroccan claims his first major win of a young career and makes a statement only a couple weeks after being crowned ASP European Junior Champion.
We would have put surf shot in but the waves were pretty fucked.
"I'm super happy," started Boukhiam. "With my European Junior title I was already over the moon, and I entered this event simply cause it's close to home. Being one of my first big Star event, to win here today is unreal, I've been consistent this whole event but I haven't had massive scores like others have so I'm so stoked ! I want to thank my entourage Yannick and Patrick Beven, Micky Picon, my mom, brother and all my mates including Dimitri with whom I train all the time and I have a special thought for my dad today too."
Only just finishing his Junior season with a bang, Boukhiam came to the Basque Country without pressure, to test his skills against older and more experienced travelling pro surfers aspiring to qualification for the World Championship Tour. After watching him during the last five days of competition, it's safe to say the talented goofy-footer has found his rythmn and will be a force to reckon with when he decides to give a go at a full season on the international Star Tour.
"I haven't entered any other big events this year, because my objective is the World Junior Championships in October in Bali, and there's only one event this year so I'm going to focus on that and give it everything I have ! I'm planning on training a lot at home and just leave like 10 days before the event to acclimate there and test my boards."
Asked about his performance this week and how this win might change people's perspective about him, Boukhiam modestly answers: "I know that the Star tour is super hard, it's like a jungle really, but deep inside I've always had the feeling that if I put my heart into it I could do it. You know surfing is my life, it's all I have and care for and I'm just going to do everything I can in every events in the future !"
An excellent performer throughout the entire San Miguel Pro Zarautz, Perth Standlick (AUS) 22, despite scoring a near-perfect 9.90 out of 10 in his quarter-final bout and a 9.17 in the semis, couldn't keep his momentum during the final and was unable to find the little shoulders he destroyed to make his way to the final.
"I feel great !" Standlick stated. "Obviously I would have loved to win that final but it's still a pretty good feeling coming second. I think the waves were steadily decreasing and getting worse and worse. It's anyone's game out there, if you find the wave you're going to get the score and unfortunately he found them and I didn't !"
Sitting in 79th position on the ASP World Rankings before this second place in Zarautz, Bondi's Perth Standlick will jump ranks to come closer to the Elite World Championship Tour qualification zone. Clinching his best result of 2012, the young Australian will have a couple more opportunities to show his talent in Europe in the upcoming events of the summer leg.
"It's my best result so far for sure ! I did alright in a Prime in Brazil earlier this year I got a ninth so this will help a lot. I don't really know how I'm ranked right now, but you know my general goal is always qualification, and if I can't do that, just get a really good seeding for next year ! I'll be in the Azores and Pantin before heading home now."
Tomas Hermes (BRA) 25, was defeated in today's second semi-final by event runner-up Perth Standlick, after an exciting 25-minutes bout where the heat lead changed hands many times. The young Brazilian was leading the exchange before Standlink managed to find a long running lefthander and scored an incredible 9.17 out of 10. For the second consecutive year, Hermes places equal third in Zarautz and misses the coveted spot in the final.
"History's repeating itself cause last year I lost in the semi-final and this year again," Hermes stated. "I would love to get to the final now ! That's competition though, congratulation's Perth he's a great surfer and great guy and deserved it today. Now let's go to Portugal and think about the next event !"
A standout competitor this week, and owner of multiple scores in the statistics tables of the event, Hermes who's aerial game was on-point in Zarautz couldn't finally find the right waves to perform his best surfing in the semis.
"Conditions were so hard, with super small waves and it's slow too, there are not many waves coming out there.. I was trying some airs and manoeuvers but honestly it's so small it's really hard.. It's still my best result this year and I think it'll help to move me up a bit on the rankings so I'm happy. My ultimate goal is qualification for the World Tour so I want to have more results like this in the upcoming events !"
Cory Arrambide (USA) 23, placed equal third, defeated by event Champion Ramzi Boukhiam in the first semi-final of the event this afternoon. In a difficult low scoring bout against the young Moroccan, Arrambide couldn't find the waves with enough potential to display his dynamic approach that helped him win the previous heats.
"It was a little frustrating, I thought it was going to get a bit better with the higher tide and it just kind of went flat." Arrambide said. "We both had a couple waves, I kind of had an ok wave and he got two good ones so, what can you do !"
After a 17th place last week in Florida, the young West Coaster originating from Ventura, California stepped it up in the Basque Country to claim his highest result of the 2012 season so far. Coming in 154th on the ASP World Rankings before the San Miguel Pro Zarautz, Arrambide is assured to climb well higher towards his objective.
"I feel good still, it's a good result for me, my main goal on these last few events, pretty much all the 6-Stars I've done this year was to hopefully crack the Top 100 to surf Primes next year. I was doing the math last night and I think I was pretty close to make it before I even made the semis so I'm stoked ! I still got the Azores, and I just signed up for the Canary Islands too."
The ASP 6-Star San Miguel Pro Zarautz presented by Euskaltel is scheduled from August 28 - September 2, 2012 in Zarautz, Basque Country - SPAIN. For all results, photos, video highlights, press releases log on to zarautz.aspeurope.com.
For additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com or www.aspeurope.com
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The San Miguel Pro Zarautz pres. by Euskaltel is made possible with the support of the following event partners: Euskaltel, Turismo Zarautz, Gipuzkoa, Euskadi, Coca-Cola, New Era, Gutizi, Haker, Le Diario Vasco, Surflimit, Lamono, Kutxa, GSF, EHSF, Alaia, Doblehilo, Bar Pagoeta, Iturrieta Berri, 3Sesenta, Margruesa.com amongst others.
SAN MIGUEL PRO ZARAUTZ FINAL RESULTS:
1 - Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 12.90
2 - Perth Standlick (AUS) 11.83
SAN MIGUEL PRO ZARAUTZ SEMI-FINALS RESULTS:
Heat 1: Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 11.33 def. Cory Arrambide (USA) 10.67
Heat 2: Perth Standlick (AUS) 16.10 def. Tomas Hermes (BRA) 13.57
SAN MIGUEL PRO ZARAUTZ QUARTER-FINALS RESULTS:
Heat 1: Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 16.17 def. Jano Belo (BRA) 11.77
Heat 2: Cory Arrambide (USA) 17.63 def. Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 7.17
Heat 3: Tomas Hermes (BRA) 14.50 def. Marlon Lipke (DEU) 10.66
Heat 4: Perth Standlick (AUS) 18.67 def. Jay Thompson (AUS) 10.73