LA SANTA LEFTHANDERS, Lanzarote (Saturday, November 7, 2009) – Drew Courtney (New South Wales, AUS), 31, has won the ASP WQS 6-Star Prime Islas Canarias Santa Pro on the island of Lanzarote today, after defeating runner-up Bernardo Miranda (Sao Paulo, BRA), 26, in spectacular nine-to-twelve foot (3 to 4 meter) surf at the back-up venue of La Santa Lefthanders.
“I am speechless right now, it’s just amazing to win this major event and moreover in these waves,” Courtney said. “It’s my first win ever in twelve years on tour and it’s been an epic day with great surf. It was a close heat and to finish on top is pretty amazing.”
Finishing atop the 96-man field of the Islas Canarias Santa Pro, Courtney forced respect from all today displaying extreme-conditions abilities and showing impressive commitment on some of the week’s biggest waves.
Linking a series of powerful top-to-bottom on-the-rail maneuvers mixed with fast shallow-water tuberides to end-up with a 19.23 heat result, Courtney wraps-up his Canarian campaign with solid confidence before the Hawaiian showdown.
“I started off the final well with that seven plus score but broke my board and had to get back in to grab my back-up one,” Courtney said. “Then I got that ten but Bernardo (Miranda) got back with his sick ride and it was like it was starting all over again. I came close to making that last one and it would have been a big one. I am so stoked right now to win the thing in such epic waves.”
Courtney’s win was a victory at sea today, the current ASP Top 45 rookie taming the spectacular and shallow lefthand slab in front of breathless crowd. With his win today, Courtney jumps from No. 23 to 9 on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) ratings and gets back in the race for a possible ASP World Tour re-qualification.
“I was aiming at a final here after getting a few good results,” Courtney said. “It is a great confidence boost to win in solid surf before the Hawaiian finals and I am looking forward to finishing the year-off strong.”
Finishing with a second consecutive runner-up placing, Bernardo Miranda did not let Courtney get away easily. The famous regular-foot surfer, who had dominated the Semifinals with an impressive 19.36 point heat score, made a big impression throughout the week catching some of the best barrels of the event and leading the event’s score board with five of the event’s best rides.
“I am really happy I made it that far today in the event and it was such a great call to come down here at the left,” Miranda said. “The waves were sick, we got barrels and great solid waves and I couldn’t ask for much more coming to Lanzarote.
Miranda, who came to the Islas Canarias Santa Pro ranked No. 29, jumps back in the race for a possible ASP Top 45 re-qualification, his 21st rank and a relatively small result still to better in the next two events in Hawaii.
“That second place is crucial and puts me back up there before Hawaii,” Miranda said. “I had two pretty low results to better before this event and that result today gives me great confidence. I will fly to Hawaii soon and hopefully finish off well.”
The Islas Canarias Santa Pro Semifinals saw Eric Rebiere (Biarritz, FRA) and Patrick Gudauskas (California, USA) deliver a breath-taking surf show with sets in the ten foot (3 meter) range unloading over the infamous reef.
Gudauskas was impressive netting the day’s highest heat result of 17.57 points in the Quarterfinals after getting back-to-back excellent waves. Gudauskas, already guaranteed to qualify for the 2010 ASP World Tour, was stopped in the Semis by an inform Miranda, the Californian not finding any barrel exit but still bettering his overall ratings’ points total and climb-up to No. 2 on the international ratings.
“It was super heavy during the Quarters and I underestimated the conditions before paddling out,” Gudauskas said. “I broke my board on that huge set which I reckon was above the ten-foot range. There were a lot of sick waves out there and I just tried to get the bigger ones and make it through them.”
Gudauskas, who delivered a solid battle with a wave-after-wave approach, leaves Lanzarote with an overall total of … points and a big impression over the local crowds after taking-off on the day’s biggest waves.
“I wanted to do well and get over the 14.000 points’ mark which is done,” Gudauskas said. “It would have been good to win the event because I love coming here and I really liked the waves today. To move the event down here was great. Next stop is Hawaii and I am looking forward at a strong finish.”
Rebiere, a former ASP Top 45 (2003), secured his best result in years with his semifinal run today, the French representative using his local knowledge to edge-out Brazilian Leonardo Neves (BRA) in the Quarterfinals. At ease in solid surf, Rebiere did not hesitate to take-off on several of the day’s biggest waves offering the crowds an exciting spectacle.
“I went out there for the show and to get barreled on that left,” Rebiere said. “I had nothing to lose as I am not even close to qualifying for next year’s ASP Top 45 so I just wanted to have fun and get one big barrel. I am super stoked to do well here because it’s one of my residences and I have lots of friends to celebrate with.”
The ASP European WQS tour is over for 2009 and the ASP WQS will now fly to Hawaii for a much expected grand finale where two consecutive Asp WQS 6-Star Prime will decide the ASP WQS Top 15 who qualifies for next year’s ASP World Tour.
ISLAS CANARIAS SANTA PRO FINAL
1st, Drew Courtney (AUS) 19.23 pts
2nd, Bernardo Miranda (BRA) 16.64 pts
ISLAS CANARIAS SANTA PRO SEMIFINALS
SF 1: Drew Courtney (AUS) 14.30 def. Eric Rebiere (FRA) 11.93
SF 2: Bernardo Miranda (BRA) 19.36 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 13.34
ISLAS CANARIAS SANTA PRO QUARTERFINALS
QF 1: Drew Courtney (AUS) 11.50 def. Eneko Acero (EUK) 7.06
QF 2: Eric Rebiere (FRA) 12.70 def. Leonardo Neves (BRA) 10.84
QF 3: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 17.57 def. Marco Polo (BRA) 8.10
QF 4: Bernardo Miranda (BRA) 14.60 def. Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 13.33
ASP WORLD QUALIFYING SERIES (WQS) UPDATED TOP 15
No. 1, Daniel Ross (AUS) 14975 pts
No. 2, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 14876 pts
No. 3, Jadson Andre (BRA) 14813 pts
No. 4, Owen Wright (AUS) 14338 pts
No. 5, Adam Melling (AUS) 13026 pts
No. 6, Brett Simpson (USA) 12600 pts
No. 7, Blake Thornton (AUS) 12325 pts
No. 8, Travis Logie (ZAF) 12301 pts
No. 9, Drew Courtney (AUS) 12200 pts
No. 10, Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 12150 pts
No. 11, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12150 pts
No. 12, Joan Duru (FRA) 12125 pts
No. 13, Dusty Payne (HAW) 11925 pts
No. 14, Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 11825 pts
No. 15, Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 11725 pts