This is pretty fucken cool, no? Unidentified, lunar dawn patrol on Day 1 of competition.
Courtney Conlogue backed up last year’s win at her sponsor’s event with another resounding victory in Seignosse. Held in powerful 5ft current-chewed wedges at Le Penon, the fittest surfer on the ASP World Tour made short work of Johanne Defay in the final, and won 8 large for her efforts, on a finals Sunday that just happened to be her 21st birthday.
“I’m so thrilled to win this event again, it feels amazing,” said Courtney (or something very similar). “It’s been so, so tough out there today with lots of current and some crazy shifting lineups. It took a lot of hard work to get through heats so I’m super happy to have won. As always the crowd has been really good, giving us great support throughout. Even though I was up against a local French surfer Johanne in the final, I could feed off their energy and it helps when conditions are that tough.”
Courtney ran rather than paddled against one of the strongest currents in surfing. Photo: SWATCH/Poullenot
Defay put on a great show surfing in both Pro Junior and WQS events, making the final in both and winning the former to become ASP Euro Junior Champion. Understandably exhausted, and somewhat emotional, the Reunion Islander had a wee moment when interviewed live by Kassia Meador, revealing a refreshing human touch in a sport that sometimes seems played out by robots. “I can’t find the words,” sobbed the freshly-minted ASP Europe Junior Champ. “I’m over the moon.”
Johanne Defay dug her heels in today to make two finals. Bravo. Photo: SWATCH/Daher
Elsewhere in the event, Swatchers Coco Ho and Pauline Ado had shockers, starlets Laura Enever and Sage Erickson went out with whimpers, while Hawaiians Alessa Quizon and Malia Manuel were my personal favourites, both of whom seemed to surf with the most style. Alas, Alessa lost in the quarters to Keely Andrew and Malia lost a close semi to Courtney that on another day, the judges might well have given the other way.
Coco Ho. Photo: SWATCH/Daher
Alessa Quizon. Dig her. Photo: SWATCH/ Poullenot
Malia Manuel. Photo: SWATCH/Poullenot
In other news, girl power was further advanced on land, when a former female snowboard World Champion publicly false-cracked a creepy misogynist from a well-known surf website (Magic Seaweed) upside the head for pinching her ass in a restaurant. Let’s hear it for the girls!