On Halloween night, the clouds disappeared and the temperature dropped. Thursday morning on Grande Plage, the sun shines without heating theatmosphere and waves are here.
The waves are slightly disorganized but barreling making the difficult conditions a test of wave judgment as much as anything. With a big purse dangling in front of the competitors, the Reef BiarritzSurf Trophée’s first 4 man heat of the first semi final hit water at 11 A.M. Tom Curren, whose local wave knowledge of the Grande Plage is probablyunsurpassed, backdoors a barrel and finishes with an aerial. Immediately, Cory Lopez answers him with a spectacular 360 which brings him 6.9 points and gives him the lead.
CJ Hobgood doesn’t actually enter the competition until mid-heat. He does it in a magistral way, none-the-less, with a very impressive double barrel that gives him a 9.0rating and a large advance.
The battle for the second place is now between Cory Lopez and Tom Curren. Despite intense determination, Curren’s 6.75 best wave can’t passed Cory Lopez who advances to the final.
The second semi of Reef Biarritz Surf Trophée recalls the first heat of the first round, when young Tiago Pires from Portugal gets ride almost identical to his wave on Saturday, a backside barrel finishing with an aerial. Pires’ powerful performance here in Biarritz demonstrates that European talent can clearly reach the level American or Australian competitors.
Shea Lopez and Damien Hobgood struggle for the second place while Mikey Picon¿not yet totally cured from his injured ankle- has some problems finding his rhythm.
In the end, Damien Hobgood prevailed. After talking with the surfers and the judges, and taking into account the excellent weather and the 4 to 6 foot waves today compared to the dismal forecast for the next 2 days, the competition director launches the final of Reef Biarritz Surf Trophée.
The final started at 2PM in front of a huge and enthusiastic audience. From the beginning, Cory Lopez links waves and dominates the finale. He takes a left and finds an incredible barrel, technically perfect, barely managing to get out. On the terrace of the Casino, all competitors applaud the floridian. The judges give him a 8.67. Less than 3 minutes later, CJ Hobgood, up to now waiting the good wave takes a classic barrel, finishing with a very high aerial before pulling off afloater.
After a long delibaration, the judges this wave 9.17 points – higher than Cory Lopez’s.With that last wave, CJ Hobgood wins the second annual Reef Biarritz Surf Trophée by half a point.
Reef Biarritz Surf Trophée Final Results:
1 CJ Hobgood (USA)
2 Cory Lopez (USA)
3 Tiago Pires (Port)
4 Damien Hobgood (USA)