After a lousy for-cast for the weekend after an even lousier week of swell we managed to complete the European VQS Championships last weekend in Capbreton in the South west of France. With the chaos ensured from the Volcano eruption in Iceland earlier the week before it was really impressive to see the motivation of some of the qualifiers as the airports were just reopened and others had to work out plan B to be sure to compete for the title and for a ticket to compete in the US for the world championships in May 13 –15th 2010 Newport Beach, California.
The competitors came to compete from the following countries, Portugal, Spain, Canary Islands, England, Reunion Island, France and Norway (One competitor who qualified from the Codfish surf series in Norway actually drove down the continent to compete? Solid.)
The Saturday morning we arrived Early to set up camp and the conditions were just as bad in the water as it was above our heads in the sky, grey windy with a little bit of scattered rain. We were optimistic about the possibility of the new swell building for Sunday and decided to complete round one of the Groms and then complete the rest of the rounds surf permitted on Sunday, running double banks was the only way that it would be possible to complete and slowly but surely the waves improved throughout the day and some solid surfing went down through out all divisions with some upsets along the day that felt like it was a week long.
The camp “chill” as the village area was revered to especially on the Saturday had a laidback vibe going on with a direct island vibe to complement the island shirts, tiki’s and blow up palm tress with the occasional parrot on the shoulder with fresh juices all day, ice slushies and with plenty of prizes with many games with coconut bowling one of the many. The tiki bar also opened in the for a splendid afternoon with friends in the sun.
Saturday night was a BBQ for all the contestants followed by a Party at the world famous Cafe de Paris with The dirty Pink Ladies playing a nice little set to keep the mood positive.
The scene was set and it was warm and sunny Sunday from around midday onwards.
The groms division was highly contested but in the end its was Aldric God linking strong off the top’s both front side and backside that flowed on the better waves proved he was the little man to beat and taking the claiming rights for the win and the ticket for the US. Tom Simon wasn’t far behind the leader but held his own and also held onto second place with Lucas Janier in third followed suit in fourth position was Hendye’s own Andy Crière.
While the double podium deal was going on it seemed that the left rip bowl further south was the better spot rather than the peak out front.PV Laborde was all over the rip bowl left resembling his home spots of Seignosse, flying landing backwards on the sand and then being washed up the beach on his stomach in first place with Tom Cloarec smoothly in second place with Kieran Bullard from the little Island know as Reunion Island in third place with airs on both peaks if my memory is correct in third and the Basque Country’s own Kosme Fernandez rounding out the final in fourth place.
The girls also seemed to have some of the better waves in the earlier rounds and for the final they were also on the left bowl with the occasional right thrown in the mix. Alizé Arnaud was to strong by finding the better waves and linked turns all the way to the top in first chased by former WCT surfer Caroline Sarran on the shorter green board in second with a strong backside of Joane Panzini holding herself in third place with Maud Lecar in fourth.
I saw Médi Veminardi in the supermarket the other day and he really wanted to compete in our event but there was that other event in Vendee so I suppose he didn’t do so good there because he was first in the Pro Am division in Capbreton followed by Luka Guichard who lives in Portugal but is half Norwegian (I think) who also qualified in Norway used his backside to hold onto second position in front of Famara’s (Lanzarote, Canary Islands) favorite goofy foot Jose Maria Cabrera who was outstanding through out the day had to settle for third and Matias Hernandez from Tenerife (Canary Islands) in fourth spot.
Médi Veminardi besides taking the 1000€ for winning the Pro Am he also took what cash was left 500€ for the Electric volt thrower for the move of the day FS 360.All finalists needed support from those close to them to bring all their prizes back to safety as the product rained form the golden sky above.
Thanks to everyone that helped us organize the event, Timo for the photos, Ludo for the video, Capbreton surf Club, Sushi Phil, Boule at Bidonvilla, Glaces Romane, Anglet Surf Club, Mairie de Capbreton and our friends in the industry for the sick prizes: Vans, Electric , Aerial7 , SexWax, FCS, Gorilla Grip and GLACES ROMANE.
1. Alizé Arnaud – Plane ticket to Newport Beach (CA)
2. Caroline Sarran
3. Joane Panzini
4. Maud Lecar
1. Aldric God – Plane ticket to Newport Beach (CA)
2. Tom Simon
3. Lucas Janier
4. Andy Crière
1. PV Laborde – Plane ticket to Newport Beach (CA)
2. Tom Cloarec
3. Kieran Bullard
4. Kosme Fernandez
1. Médi Veminardi – 1000€ and a plane ticket to Newport Beach (CA)
2. Luka Guichard
3. Jose Maria Cabrera
4. Matias Hernandez
Electric’s Volt Thrower awards 500€ to the best move of the event: Médi Veminardi