Sunday, August 21: Guadeloupe surfer Arthur Bourbon has outclassed one of the largest Pro Junior fields this year to win the 2005 Rip Curl Pro Junior today in good 3-4ft waves at Les Bourdaines in Seignosse, France.
Bourbon won the four-man final at roughly 3.30pm this afternoon (local time), finishing ahead of Jeremy Flores (REU), Joan Duru (FRA) and Michel Bourez (TAH) respectively.
After lodging a decent opening score of 4.33 on his first wave, the 17-year-old went quiet for most of the heat. He scored a 6.17 on his third last wave and then with five minutes remaining locked in a 7.33 to overtake Flores for first place. His 13.50 two-wave score securing the win, Flores in second (12.07), Duru in third (9.97) and Bourez in fourth (7.87).
“I am so happy,” said the 18-year-old just before the presentation. “I got a couple of average waves at the beginning of the heat, but then I got a good one that put me back in the race and most importantly gave me good confidence. I needed another good score and when there was only five minutes left all of the other surfers were still trying paddle out. That right hander came through and I couldn’t believe I got it like that. I am so happy.”
For Flores – arguably the favourite going into the finals – the second place was slightly disappointing considering his surfing throughout the event. The Reunion Island surfer owned two of the 10 top heat scores for the event, including the highest – a 17.77 (out of 20) that he posted in the quarter-finals this morning.
“I surfed well during all the contest, but unfortunately the final didn’t go my way,” said Flores. “The last three weeks have been tough with non stop contests and I was tired towards the end of my heat. It’s not an excuse though. I congratulate Arthur on his victory, he is a good guy.”
Running in support of the Pro Junior, Rip Curl also held the Regional Final of the European Rip Curl GromSearch Series at Les Bourdaines today. After two semi-finals heats in both the boy’s and girl’s division, two four-surfer finals were held during the Pro Junior finals break.
The Girl’s GromSearch Final was an all-French affair, with Alizee Arnaud claiming the title by defeating Pauline Ado, Marie Dejean and Lee Ann Curren. In the Boy’s GromSearch Final it was UK youngster Jayce Robinson who handled the conditions best, outperforming Marcos San Segundo (ESP), Tom Butler (UK) and PV Laborde (FRA) for the win.
For winning the European GromSearch Final, both Arnaud and Robinson have won free trips to Australia next April, to represent Europe at the International GromSearch Final set to take place during the Rip Curl Pro WCT surfing festival at Bells Beach.
GromSearch is a global initiative with regions including Australia, Indonesia, Brazil and the USA all running regional series this year. Every 16 & Under division winner from around the world will be flown to Bells Beach, Australia next year to represent their region at the International GromSearch Final during the Rip Curl Pro WCT.
Monday, August 22 will be the official Day 1 of Super Series competition. The event has a seven day waiting period (August 22-28), allowing 144 of the world’s best surfers to wage war at Les Bourdaines and contest for the first ever Super Series title.
The US$150,000 contest is a unique joint creation by Rip Curl and pro surfing’s governing board, the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP). It is a licensed World Qualifying Series (WQS) event, boasting a format that mixes WQS and WCT competition into the one tournament. It now holds regard as the ultimate contest in the race for qualification points.
Contest organisers will meet with surfers on the beach at 8.30am tomorrow for a probably 9am start of competition.
Rip Curl’s official event website will be hosting a LIVE webcast of the Super Series from tomorrow morning. Log on and watch live at: www.ripcurl.com