Big Names To Enter Tomorrow: Michel Bourez Opens Round 3 In Style!
Waves had picked up during the night for day 2 of competition and some consistent 3 to 4 ft sets greeted competitors from round 2, paddling out at 8 AM. With same on shore winds but still good surfable conditions, twenty heats were wrapped today, getting the event straight into its third round.
The level rose today as well, the surfers getting more opportunities to express their skills, stringing three turns at least on most of their rides to fight for a spot against the best seeded men of the 6 Star Prime WQS.
Bobby Hansen (Nzl) found the wave of the day in heat 13 of round 2. Facing 2007 Asp Europe junior champion Romain Cloitre (REU), tahitian surfer Steven Pierson (PYF) and Josh Lewan, Hansen lost no time to take control of the heat posting a 9.17 on his second ride to finish with a two wave combined heat score of 14.84 points.
“It’s not easy to get the right position out there but this wave opened well and I had the opportunity to get a few good turns. It’s good to reach next round and surf against the best seeded surfers. I’ll take it how it comes and hope for some good waves," confessed Hansen after his heat.
Equaling Cory Lopez(s (USA) day 1 best score, the younger brother of the Gudauskas triple threat Tanner (USA) showed great consitency in his surfing, stringing two good waves in a row to finish with the best heat result of the event, a solid 16.50 points total to reach round 3 and resurf against Foster’s ASP World Tour member Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA).
Quarterfinalist last year, defending European Pro Surf Tour champion Michel Bourez (PYF) brought some exciting action, ripping hard on each of his turns to lead current regional #2 Tim Boal (FRA) into round 3, Abdel El Harim (MAR) and Blake Thornton (AUS) being ousted by the two favourites. Expecting a lot from this event where he clinched his maiden european title in 2006, Bourez looked confident and aims at a very big result here to get back into next year’s ASP World Tour’s qualification.
“I won the european title here last year so I’m pretty happy to be back. I like this wave when it’s powerful so I hope the swell stays consistent and gives me the kind of waves I like. I can’t wait to get on with this event... Lots of points to get and I need a very good result now so I’ll be focused," finished Bourez.
Much expected for their match up in heat 14, local Jose Maria Cabrera (CNY) and canarian Julian Cuello (Gran Canaria,CNY) couldn’t counter Anthony Walsh’s (AUS) power surfing. Using his knowledge of the wave and his strong motivation to get a good result at home, Cabrera was the only one to qualify, ready to get a chance against the best.
Asked about his result, Cabrera said: “It’s important for me to get through this heat. Being at home is always a challenge but gives you confidence as well. I surf here as much as I can to prepare for the event and now that it’s on I’m glad I made it. I hope the swell remains consistent eventhough the winds don’t help it at all."
Only a few surfers managed to get some excellent scores, and Dion Atkinson (AUS) was one of them. Posting the second best heat score with 16.00 points out of possible 20 in the second heat of the day, Atkinson opened his battle with an 8.33 before backing it up with a solid 7.67 to get his ticket for round 3.
19 year old surfer from Guadeloupe Arthur Bourbon (GLP) was another standout today, when he found an excellent wave during his heat 22 battle, waiting for his second last wave to post an 8.5 and take the lead. Looking relaxed and confident on his waves, Bourbon will meet former elite surfer David Weare (ZAF) in round 3.
“The waves are difficult to surf. You have to find the good spot out there and wait for set wave that can give you some potential. I’m stoked this long one came eventually and I surfed it well enough to get an 8.5, all I needed to get through. I just feel relieved as first heats are always important," said Bourbon.
Looking for another victory after getting yesterday’s best scores, Cory Lopez (USA) kept on with his good form surfing confidently against Jay Quinn (NZL), Luis Rodriguez (ESP) and David Richards (ZAF). Using a large variety of repertoire, Lopez went for big turns to frontside airs, having fun all the way through the heat ready to get on with business from tomorrow.