ZARAUTZ, Spain (Sunday, Sept. 16, 2007) – Aritz Aranburu (EUK) won the first edition of the Zarautz Pro Surf 3 Star WQS event this afternoon in his home village of Zarautz, giving the thousands of spectators an intense surprise.
Always consistent throughout the four days of competition, the Basque surfer confirmed his favourite status with his current World Qualifying Series 11th rank. Starting slowly in the thirty-minute decider Aranburu faced an impressive level of surfing from his closest opponents Marlon Lipke (DEU) and Shaun Gossmann (AUS).
Posting an excellent 8.27 pts ride halfway through the battle, Aranaburu waited not more than three minutes before catching up with the german leader and powerhouse surfer Lipke when he secured another excellent 9.07 single wave score to post the second highest two wave combined tally of the event with 18.00 points out of possible 20.
“So stoked to get this title at home… I really felt no pressure and having the whole crowd behind me pushed me further to get these highscores. Marlon surfed really well and it wasn’t easy to catch up but it all came to the best end possible for me.”
Talking about the massive support, “It’s just so special and good to feel that support from every person around. To have my family and friends all around throughout the event, to feel relaxed and have such a good event on my home spot. I didn’t think of any pressure or ratings or points as this event doesn’t change anything for me on the WQS ratings, but it’s an amazing bonus after this year.”
“Still a lot of very important events coming up so I’ll enjoy the small break before the Canarian events and make sure I keep going well in the main events,” finished Aranburu clinching US$ 7 000 for his victory, and keeping a firm grip on the European Pro Surf Tour ratings.
Afer his victory in the Movistar Pantin Classic 4 Star WQS a week ago, Marlon Lipke (DEU) ended very close to a second title in a row, leading the final for more than twenty minutes with a 17.16 points total. Finishing second of the Zarautz Pro Surf 3 Star WQS, Lipke keeps going on a very consistent roll and remains a favourite for the 2007 European Pro Surf Tour Championship.
“I was close to this second win in a row but Aritz just ended the final perfectly and I couldn’t do much more than post these two high scores. I’m so happy for him because it means a lot to win at home and we’ll just enjoy this great finish.”
The two last international surfers of the event Shaun Gossmann (AUS) and Nathan Carroll (HAW) were overtaken in the final but still showed an amazing resistance throughout the event. With the highest heat tally of the event – 18.03 points – and the second highest wave score – 9.43 points out of possible 10 – Gossmann started the final as a serious favourite after a superb semifinal but couldn’t counter Aranburu’s assaults and determination to clinch his home crown.
Left in the need of a combination of two waves to catch up, Nathan Carroll (HAW) secured the best hawaiian result of the event, reaching the fourth step of the podium to clinch US$ 2 000 and a great finish before going back home for a wel deserved break.
Offering the highest level of the week in a close highscoring exchange, semifinalists from heat 2 kept pushing their limits to the top cheerd by a stoked crowd enjoying some international level action in Zarautz. Despite posting a solid 13.90 pts heat score, Tim Boal (FRA) couldn’t catch up with the unstoppable german Marlon Lipke (DEU) enjoying his good roll since his victory in the Movistar Pantin Classic 4 Star WQS last week.
“It was a great heat, everyone surfed to its best and I missed one excellent wave to make the final. It still brings good confidence for the rest of the year to make a semifinal and I cannot wait to get to the Canary Islands and go for better results in barreling waves,” confessed Boal.
The thrid man of the heat was australian Drew Courtney (AUS), fiinishing an impressive run in the Zarautz Pro Surf with an equal 5th place, to secure US$ 1 500 before a deserved time off at home after six weeks in Europe.
Surfing in semifinal #1, top of surfer of the week Drew Courtney (AUS) faced an impressive european field Aritz Aranburu (EUK), Joan Duru (FRA) and Romain Laulhé (FRA). With thirty minutes to grab a spot in he final, the four men were on fire surfing more than ten waves each in an amazing exchange.Suffering an interference call, Laulhé was eliminated despite a solid 7 pts lead score, finishing with an equal 5th place, for a US$ 1 500 prize.
Young guns Marc Lacomare (FRA) and Jean-Sébastien Estienne (GLP) couldn’t counter experienced and top WQS surfers in quarterfinal #3, facing Drew Courtney (AUS) and Tim Boal (FRA). Looking out of rythm in the low tide 3 ft clean conditions, both were overtaken by more than 6 points, finishing respectively equaly 9th and equal 13th of the event.
“It was a good heat but the waves just didn’t come and it happened for me and Marc. Drew Courtney was definetlyl above but I couldn’t get the good walls and potential to score. I’ll get ready for the Canary Islands,” confessed Estienne.
Power surfer Jose-Maria Cabrera (CNY) was another shocker elimination after a great path up to the quarters, the canarian charger stepping down to french rising junior surfer Joan Duru (FRA) and local star Aritz Aranburu (EUK).
“I’m still happy with this result, but I feel like I could have made better as the waves improved a lot today. However, the really good ones don’t come that often and this makes it really harder to find the potential and counter the leaders in a heat.”
Looking at the European ratings, Cabrera will have a lot to do at home for the two main events, the Caja De Canarias Ocean & Earth 4 Star WQS and the La Santa Surf Pro 6 Star Prime WQS.