The SriLankan Airlines Pro has been all about Owen Wright and Pat Gudauskas pushing the boundaries of surfing. But what of the Euro contingent?
Here’s the lowdown from the ASP’s European division…
CAPBRETON, France (Monday, June 15, 2009) – Romain Cloitre (REU), 20, placed equal 5th in the ASP WQS 6-Star Prime SriLankan Airlines Pro last Sunday, the Reunion Island born surfer securing his best result ever in a Prime rated event with his Quarterfinal finish. Cloitre, who got through four rounds before losing against current ratings’ favorite Jadson Andre (BRA), managed to best several top seeds including experienced Australian athlete Shaun Gossmann (AUS) in Round 5, and moves on with a second solid result this year after his equal 3rd finish in Portugal in April.
Cloitre got close to eliminating current Brazilian inform surfer Jadson Andre in the Quarterfinals, the South American competitor escaping the upset by 0,40 points only for an overall heat result of 13.73 points to Cloitre’s 13.33 point tally (both out of a possible 20), a close battle that could have gone either way until the last minutes of the Man-on-man exchange. Cloitre, who surfed through the week in the excellent conditions, rose day after day getting in rhythm in the crystal-clear Maldivian waters and besting on his way Brian Toth (PRI) in Round 4, another serious contestant.
Cloitre, a former ASP European Junior champion who is on his second year as a full-time World Qualifying Series (WQS) touring surfer, had a tough start for his rookie year nailing one big result only in Hossegor in 2008, but seems to be finding his cruising speed since his stellar performance in the Estoril Quiksilver Pro 2009 last April in Carcavelos, Portugal where he reached the Semifinals. His Quarterfinal result in the Maldives confirms the young man’s potential amongst some of the world’s best and may be a turning point in his young career.
At 20 years of age only, Cloitre has been part of Europe’s rising generation of surfers along with already famous young guns Marc Lacomare (Hossegor, FRA) and Charles Martin (GLP) and after a brilliant under-21 career that saw him dominate the regional tour in 2007 peaking with a win at the ASP Grade-3 Rip Curl Pro Junior Hossegor over world famous wunderkind Julian Wilson (AUS), Cloitre keeps cutting his teeth on the Grind where he now stands as a dangerous opponent to any competitor.
Cloitre was the best European performer in the SriLankan Airlines Pro, the young surfer leading a solid crew with fellow European Jonathan Gonzalez (Tenerife, CNY) who reached Round 5 for another good performance after his promising result in the ASP WQS 6-Star Prime O’Neill CWC Scotland by Swatch in Thurso last month. While seven Europeans are currently competing on this year’s ASP World Tour, the next generation of surfers still flies the flag on the Grind.
For more on Romain Cloitre, check out his profile at ASP EUROPE
ASP WQS CURRENT BEST EUROPEANS
No. 6, Joan Duru, 8451 pts
No. 16, Gony Zubizaretta (ESP), 7376 pts
No. 17, Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY), 7225 pts
No. 27, Glenn Hall (IRE), 6513 pts
No. 29, Romain Cloitre (REU), 6463 pts