TROIS BASSINS, Reunion Island (Friday, April 15, 2011) – The inaugural Yop Reunion Surf Pro Junior, an ASP 3-Star Men's event running along with the ASP 2-Star Rexona Girls Pro Junior, saw the crowning of local heroes Maxime Huscenot (St Gilles, REU), 19, and Joanne Defay (St Leu, REU), 17, both claiming this year's ASP European Junior Series opening event in great fashion.
Taking valuable rankings' points and confidence to start the year as European leaders, Huscenot and Defay were standouts throughout the final day, posting the event's highest heat scores en route to their respective wins.
With clean four-to-five foot (1.5 meter) waves allowing some of the best levels of surfing ever witnessed on an ASP European sanctioned Pro Junior event, the final day was a mix of exceptional progressive surfing, smart heat tactics and full-on commitment for a stunning show.
"It's the best feeling to win for my first event ever as a professional surfer in Reunion Island, at home," Huscenot said. "Event officials couldn't have made a better call by holding things for today as we enjoyed some of the best surf conditions I've ever seen in a junior event. To win in such waves, in front of my friends, is just ideal."
Huscenot, a former ASP World Junior Champion (2009) and ASP European Junior Champion (2008), unleashed some of his best tactics and backhand surf to find his way through to victory, the event's local favorite leaving few chance to his opponents to counter him.
"It's been a great day and I felt good and in rhythm," Huscenot said. "I got some solid scores earlier in the day and it helped me get confidence and relax for the final. I was young when I first won the European title and it's definitely one thing I have on mind right now as this win may be of good help to try and chase a second crown. However, I am focused 100% on the ASP Star and Prime Series so I hope I'll find the time to attend other junior contests."
After a couple of lay days, the final day turned on for the remaining title hunters, runner-up Dimitri Ouvre (St Barth, BLM) coming just 0.2 poiints short of a career first win. Throwing fins)out turns and reverse airs round after round, the Caribbean native stepped-up against Huscenot but was not able to counter the unstoppable assaults of the former ASP World Junior Champion in the final.
"I was aiming at the win but that final is still my best result ever so I'll take it for sure and hats off to Maxime for his exceptional run," Ouvre said. "To start the year off with a runner-up in such a crucial event is of much importance and I am looking forward at capitalizing on it and definitely keep an eye on the ASP European Junior title if I can keep my game rolling.'
Ouvre, who has been rising through the ranks since a couple of years, confirmed he was definitely one of this year's main ASP European Junior crown contenders. Mixing his custom-made progressive surfing and solid front-hand vertical attacks, Ouvre impressed the crowds heat after heat, netting the event's second best heat result overall.
In the women's division, former ASP European Women's Junior champion Joanne Defay (St Leu, REU) had opened the Reunion kids' domination roll earlier, claiming the Rexona Girls pro Junior in front of runner-up and fellow local Canelle Bulard (St Leu, REU). Defay, using her impressive powerful carves and wave pick to post a series of high coring waves and eventually take the win.
Already amongst the ASP Women's Star Series and having performed well in the big league, Defay was at ease in the clean surf conditions staying in the lead heat after heat to naturally take her maiden ASP European Junior victory.
"I am overwhelmed with joy right now and couldn't have thought of a better finish in front of my home crowds," Defay said. "The waves were great and I caught quite a few lefts to build momentum through the day and it paid off all the way though to the final. Congratulations to all organisers and Canelle for her run."
While other favorites Ramzi Boukiam (Agadir, MAR) and William Aliotti (St Martin, SXM) placed equal 3rd in the men's division, Maud Lecar (Guadeloupe, FRA) and Garazi Sanchez (Sopelana, EUK) were able to make the Semifinals in the women's event, all event equal 3rd finishers getting a solid start for this year's ASP European Junior Series title.
The event is webcast LIVE via aspeurope.com.
All photos, news, event updates and daily video highlights available at aspeurope.com/events2011/lareunion/index.php.
REXONA GIRLS PRO JUNIOR RESULTS
Final: Joanne Defay (REU) 12.50 def. Canelle Bulard (REU) 11.10
Semi 1: Joanne Defay (REU) 16.25 def. Garazi Sanchez (EUK) 7.75
Semi 2: Canelle Bulard (REU) 16.15 def. Maud Lecar (REU) 10.50
Quarter 1: Joanne Defay (REU) 11.50 def. Joanna Giansanti (FRA) 5.60
Quarter 2: Garazi Sanchez (EUK) 12.25 def. Loiola Canales (EUK) 4.45
Quarter 3: Canelle Bulard (REU) 12.00 def. Maria Abecasis (PRT) 7.70
Quarter 4: Maud Lecar (REU) 14.40 def. Justine Dupont (FRA) 14.00
YOP REUNION SURF PRO JUNIOR RESULTS
Final: Maxime Huscenot (REU) 15.80 def. Dimitri Ouvre (BLM) 15.40
Semi 1: Dimitri Ouvre (BLM) 13.25 def. Ramzi Boukiam (MAR) 12.40
Semi 2: Maxime Huscenot (REU) def. William Aliotti (BLM)
Quarter 1: Ramzi Boukiam (MAR) 13.40 def. PV Laborde (FRA) 9.85
Quarter 2: Dimitri Ouvre (BLM) 15.15 def. Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 14.90
Quarter 3: William Aliotti (BLM) 14.00 def.Tristan Guilbaud (FRA) 13.90
Quarter 4: Maxime Huscenot (REU) 18.00 def. Frederico Morais (PRT) 13.35