Photo: Maxime Huscenot (FRA), 16, is the last of ASP Europe’s Junior ratings Top 3 surfers to be in the Santa Surf Pro Junior
The Santa Surf Pro Junior, only ASP Europe Pro Junior 4-Star rated event of the season, saw major upsets take place today in the three to four foot (1 to 1.2 meter) wind-blown waves at El Socorro. Marc Lacomare (FRA), Adrien Toyon (REU) and Medi Veminardi (REU), respectively No. 1, 2 and 3 before the event, were all eliminated today and leave Maxime Huscenot (REU) in reach of taking a solid lead on the ASP European Pro Junior ratings.
Maxime Huscenot (REU), 16, who placed third in the opening event of the 2008 season in Portugal, secured a crucial win today when he defeated Joachim Guichard (DEN) and Guillermo Alonso (ESP) in Heat 3. Huscenot, who remains focused on the Santa Surf Pro Junior crown, benefits all favorites’ eliminations and now aims at a spot in the final at least to keep his regional title hopes alive.
“I am stoked to get through a few heats after my result in Portugal,” Huscenot said. “ A few big names did not perform in the first event and all the top guys lost today so it is good for me. I am tyring to have fun and show the judges what I can do so there is no thinking of any title yet.”
Huscenot, who finished No. 7 at the ISA World Junior Championships last week, will have to get through one more round before surfing in the Man-on-Man quarterfinals.
“I had a lot of pressure in the ISA contest and I was disappointed not to win,” Huscenot said. “I am now fully relaxed and will take this contest heat by heat. I am only 16 and there are lots of things I want to improve before thinking of any possible title.”
Josch Schmeltezer (DEU) created today’s main upset when he defeated favorite Lacomare in Heat 4. Schmeltzer, who is on his last year among the European junior elite, posted an average 13.33 point heat score (out of a possible 20) to win the four-man battle and has already achieved his best result ever on an ASP European pro Junior event.
“My Round 3 elimination in Portugal was a shocker for me and I knew I gad to make something big here,” Schmeltzer said. “I paddled out today and did not think about Marc (Lacomare) being the current leader as I was focused on what I need to reach my end of the year top 5 goal.”
Schmeltzer, who will turn 21 next year and will not compete as a junior anymore, aims at an ASP European Top 5 finish that would give him a spot into the ASP World Junior Championships.
“It is my last year in the junior division and my target is to be in the top 5 to qualify for the ASP WJC,” Schmeltzer said. “I know it will not be easy but I have been training hard to reach my goal so I am stoked to keep going.”
Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK), who dominated the two first days of competition with solid heat scores and spectacular surfing, advanced through to Round 4 today. So did Yassine Ramdaini (MAR), top Junior Moroccan surfer, who found the 6.00 point ride he needed in the dying seconds of Heat 6. Both will now face eachother for a spot in the man-on-man quarterfinals. Yonathan Klein (ITA), Damien Chaudoy (REU), Frederico Morais (PRT) and Reubyn Ash (GBR) were among today’s winners as well.
The Santa Surf Pro Junior will restart tomorrow Saturday, June 7, at 9 AM (GMT+1). Round 4 is scheduled before the event gets into its Man-on-Man quarterfinals. Pressure has settled over Tenerife and crucial points are to be taken this weekend.