Marc Lacomare (Hossegor, FRA), 18, has won the ASP Grade-3 Rip Curl Pro Junior at Seignosse in France today after defeating Hawaii’s wunderkind John John Florence (Oahu, HAW), 15, in testing five foot (1.5 meter) waves. Lacomare, who claimed his second event win this afternoon to jump back in the lead on the ASP European Junior ratings, dominated the crucial event by far with several of the competition’s best scores posted en route to victory.
Second to last event counting for the crowning of the regional Under-21 champion, the Rip Curl Pro Junior witnessed world class action with the European contingent suffering Florence’s impressive run who was to be defeated in his last attempt to clain the title by Lacomare.
“That result is just great, especially because it’s at home and I have my friends and family supporting me at the beach,” Lacomare said. “I stuck to my game plan during the final which was to be patient and get the better waves to score well enough and win the thing. John John (Florence is a great surfer and I knew he could get any required score to catch-up with me so I stayed focused until the end.”
At 18-years-old, Lacomare has gone to number one on the ratings and will head to the final event in the Canary Islands confidently having the opportunity to grab his maiden regional crown if he counters his followers’ assaults.
“There is only one event left before the end of the season and I am leading so it is a good position to have,” Lacomare said. “I have a bit of a margen with the rest of the front runners and I will be looking to consolidate my position and win the title this year.”
Lacomare, who was able to best an untouchable Florence who posted the event’s best scores including a near perfect 19.87 point heat result on the final day, will now get ready for the regional showdown starting September 2 on the island of Tenerife. Florence, who opened his European campaign this year with an impressive equal 5th at Newquay, showed the European contingent he could step up in any conditions and go big, his runner-up finish being a good result for the Hawaiian surfer.
“I had a great time here in France and it’s good to finish with a 2nd place result,” Florence said. “We had tricky conditions today with a lot of close-outs and you had to be patient to the best waves… Marc (Lacomare) surfed really well and when he got that first 8 .00 pt ride I got tensed and started surfing as many waves as possible searching for my first score.”
Florence, who came to Europe this summer to compete on both ASP WQS and Pro Junior stages, will head to the next ASP WQS 6-Star event in the Azores archipelago tomorrow, an exciting destination for the young Hawaiian surfer who will be part of the first ever ASP sanctioned event held on Sao Miguel Island.
“I’m leaving France happy and I’m going to stay in Europe for a couple WQS events in the Azores and Canary Islands. I’ve had a good time in France and am looking forward to surfing well in the next events.”
As only one event remains before the 2009 ASP European Junior champion is crowned, the results of the Rip Curl Pro Junior have already brought intensity and pressure before the showdown. Ratings’ front runner Jatyr Berasaluce (Sopelana, EUK) repeated his consistency at Seignosse today, the Basque favorite remaining in positionfor the regional crown, which would be a premiere in the Junior division.
Berasaluce, who is now in second position with over a thousand point delay from Lacomare, will be hoping for an upset elimination of the new leader to keep any hopes of claiming the regional title in the final event at Tenerife.
Get all results, news and photos of the Rip Curl Pro Junior at www.aspeurope.com