Sooruz Lacanau Pro Gets Underway in Testing Conditions in France
The Sooruz Lacanau Pro got underway at the famous French town of Lacanau, home of the oldest professional surfing event in France. Wind-blown tricky waves and sunny skies were today's setting and all Round 1 heats were completed.
From the 192 surfers entered in the event, 144 only remain in contention for the prestigious Sooruz Lacanau Pro crown and some big names will start their French campaign when Round 2 resumes tomorrow.
The tricky conditions and strong currents made it tough for all competitors to post high scores today but almost all favorites managed to make their way through to Round 2. Sam Page (AUS), 22, put on a good performance winning Heat 16 with an average 12.30 point heat tally (out of a possible 20) and was one of a few surfers of the day to find a barrel.
"It was very tough out there and the current made it even harder", Page said. "I cut my head pretty bad on my first wave but it was quite fun still. It was a real washing machine down there but I managed to score enough to get through to next heat."
Page, who spent a year away from tour due to some serious injuries, will attend all events in Europe this summer and will be looking forward to secure points and climb up the ratings.
The European contingent suffered heavy losses on the opening day but young guns Marcos San Segundo (EUK) and ASP World Junior No. 3 Charles Martin (GLP) were among those qualifying.
Martin, 18, who has been away from the tour for a couple of months due to school obligations, was in the final of the ASP Grade-1 Oakley Lacanau Pro Junior last Saturday and aims at getting a good result in the ASP WQS 6-Star event.
"I could not hear the scores in the water because of the wind and the rain this morning", Martin said. "The conditions are even more difficult than in the Pro Junior final and I am stoked I got out of this tricky heat."
Martin, who remains a top ASP European Junior surfer, will try and enter as many WQS events as possible in the next months.
"I hope I can do good in the WQS event here because I was a bit ill last week and I am feeling better now", Martin said. "I am still doing Pro Junior events but as I missed already a couple there is not much I can hope on that part."
Russell Winter (GBR) was another European representative to advance today. Winter, a former ASP World Tour member, seemed in good form out in the testing conditions and ended up second to secure his spot in Round 2.
"I broke my wirst three months ago and I am slowly getting back to normal", Winter said. "It is getting better week after week so it is really a relief to feel good again. I got a couple of good waves today but it is always quite difficult in Lacanau and in this kind of conditions there is a lot of luck involved."
The Australian crew dominated Day 1 and it was Micheal Spencer who got the highest heat tally of the day, an impressive 17.17 point score (out of a possible 20) in Heat 22. Spencer, who impressed with his great style and tactics in England last week, found a great barrel towards the end of his heat to easily advance.
"My aim was to catch as many waves as I could to build on my scores", Spencer said. "I had a lot of fun during that heat and I love the place. I have been competing here for a few years in the Pro Junior event and I really want to reach the man-on-man battles so I will try hard to keep up the good work."
Round 2 will resume at 8 AM (GMT+2) tomorrow Wednesday, August 13 at the main venue of the Sooruz Lacanau Pro.