EL CONFITAL, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria – Spain (Saturday, September 24, 2011) – Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) has won the ASP 2-Star Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro by Gran Canaria. Once again ‘El Confital’ delivered perfect 3-4Ft righthanders for the final day of competition and Jonathan ‘Speedy’ Gonzalez continued his assault through to the Final heat of the day, overtaking Adrien Toyon (REU) in a fantastic display of power surfing and deep barrel riding.
Gonzalez (CNY) 31, was on fire again today in Las Palmas, and just couldn’t been stopped by anyone on his way to win the event. A large crowd of Canarian locals formed on the dry reef at ‘El Confital’ to encourage their local hero as he went ballistic in every single heat he surfed today.
“It’s been a long time since I last won an event, it was two years ago here as well so it’s great to win once again at home. For a 2-Star event the level has been amazing from the beginning and we saw some experienced surfers loose in the first Round. I’m really stoked that the wave was that good until the end, it got glassier again and the sun even came out this afternoon so the conditions have been just perfect.”
Once again in his Semi-Final bout against French Polynesian Steven Pierson, Gonzalez found a perfect ride to be rewarded a 10 points out of 10 possible. On the very next wave he came close to writing history at ‘El Confital’ surfing another incredible wave that came in as a 9.70, netting the highest Heat total of the event, a near perfect 19.70 out of 20.
“The key here is definitely wave selection it’s no secret. If you get on a good roll during the heat you’re 90% into the next round. The wave is a little tricky though so when you get the good ones, a little experience like I have on this wave helps! I know with the tide going away it’s not easy to surf the wave but I was lucky enough to find two excellent ones and I gave it my best shot, I’m stoked it paid off!”
Gonzalez, the most experienced surfer emerging from the Canarian Archipelago, was acclaimed by hundreds of people coming in from his last heat, and felt a strong support from the locals during the entire event.
“We missed a few European surfers, I know it’s the end of the season and everyone is tired but all together it was good. Still it’s great for the surfers here, the local people and for the organizer Frederico Garcia who has worked a lot for the Canary Islands, and in this time of financial crisis it’s becoming very hard to make an event like that.”
Facing an in-form Adrien Toyon (REU), Jonathan Gonzalez stayed 100% focused on the task at hand and continued to impress with perfect heat management, wave selection and technical abilities display.
“Adrien (Toyon) has been amazing for the whole contest, definitely one of the best surfers out there. I’m stoked to have surfed him in the final, it’s always great to surf against the best and challenge yourself. I’m stoked for him that he made the final.”
Adrien Toyon (REU) 22, currently ranked 10th on the ASP Europe Star Series, couldn’t stop but feeling disappointed after his final loss. Sitting on a 7.17 early in the Heat he just couldn’t find the wave he needed to overtake the Canarian.
“I’m really disappointed of losing that final, I felt good and it’s a spot I love so I would have liked to be at my best in the final. I fell a few times, I was pretty tired having surfed three times today it was a long day of competition and we had some pretty intense paddle battle out there.”
Toyon (REU) 22, achieving his young career’s best result in Gran Canaria, dispatched of a promising junior Tom Cloarec (FRA) in the first Semi-Final but just couldn’t continue his fantastic display of vertical surfing in the final when he needed it the most.
“I’m still super stoked on that result it’s my first final in the Star Series. Jonathan (Gonzalez) surfed really strong, he’s got more knowledge than I on this wave and I think it’s well deserved. I had an opportunity to get the score I needed but I fell. He was just better in this 40mn heat and I’ll probably have other opportunities to surf against him.”
Adrien Toyon will be looking to confirm his status of up-an-coming European ambassador in the next event of the ASP Europe Star Series, against a field of international big names on yet another exotic island for the end of the old continent’s season.
“It’s been a great week for me I feel amazing, that really helps with the confidence before the next event in the Azores that starts in two days. I surfed a lot of heats and wore the rashvest for a while so it’s been a great trip all together !”
Tom Cloarec (FRA) 17, was the last Junior standing in the final four of the event, ending his great Canarian campaign with an equal 3rd place finish losing to Adrien Toyon in their Semi-Final confrontation.
“It was a pretty slow heat and I started with a small score. Adrien (Toyon) instead kicked off with an 8.17 so even with my next two waves around 6 points he only needed a small backup. In the end I was needing a high score of 8.60 and I got a good wave but it came a little short and Adrien won.”
For his first year on the Star Series in Europe, Cloarec showed some interesting potential, advancing through his heats and beating the hungry locals on their home break of ‘El Confital’. Surfing backside on the perfect righthander, Cloarec managed to control his speed and throw some impressive sprays in the hot Canarian air.
“I think when it’s not barreling it’s definitely an advantage to be backside on this wave cause you’re able to go vertical and do big turns off the lip; when it gets hollow it’s a different story, the wave is really technical and backside barrels are not easy.. I’m stoked I came here and surfed this wave in an event because in free surf it’s almost impossible to catch anything.. I’ve had some experiences with man-on-man heats in Junior events and it’s awesome to have this wave with only another guy out !”
In the second Semi-Final Steven Pierson (PYF) 27, had to watch the later winner of the event Jonathan Gonzalez go on a lethal mission from the first few minutes of their battle, posting the two highest scores of the entire event.
“Jonathan started really strong with a 10.00 so it was hard from the beginning but I didn’t loose my motivation. Then he got his 9.70 and the heat was almost won already for him. I kept it together though and I knew if I got the right waves I could have scored two excellent waves also.. The conditions were excellent but a little slow so in the end I didn’t get the opportunity to get back at him.”
Pierson, who was absent from the ASP European Tour for the last few years, marks a positive return to competition, finishing his European season with an equal 3rd place finish. The young Polynesian displayed mature competitive surfing to get through the early rounds of competition and leaves the Canary Islands with a positive mind set.
“This is definitely one of the best events in Europe, it should have more stars to it but I’m super stoked of going that far and I’m happy for Jonathan (Gonzalez) as well he’s at home ! Last time I beat him on my home spot of Papara in Tahiti, it’s how competition goes. He knows the wave really well and surfs amazing, he’s one of my favourite surfers to watch.”
Ending his 2011 surfing season with a bang, Steven Pierson built confidence during the event. He goes home focused and motivated to get stronger and better to keep climbing the European rankings next year and enter bigger events.
“This third place finish definitely helps mentally coming from two pretty bad results before. Now I need to focus and work a lot on my technical skills and surf a lot to improve. I know I can do even better, there’s a long way to get there but I hope to improve and have other results like this in the future.”
The ASP 2-Star Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro by Gran Canaria wrapped up on its fourth day of competition with forecasts showing no swell activity for the end of the official waiting period.
The next and last stop of the ASP Europe Star Series will be the Billabong Azores Pro from September 27, October 2nd, 2011. For more information, LIVE action and all upcoming results, photos, video highlights, press releases and LIVE webcast log-on to;
Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro by Gran Canaria Final Result:
1- Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 15.73
2- Adrien Toyon (REU) 11.84
Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro by Gran Canaria Semi-Finals Results:
SF 1: Adrien Toyon (REU) 15.10 def. Tom Cloarec (FRA) 13.80
SF 2: Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 19.70 def. Steven Pierson (PYF) 15.74
Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro by Gran Canaria Quarter-Finals Results:
QF 1: Adrien Toyon (REU) 12.50 def. Norman Landa (EUK) 8.26
QF 2: Tom Cloarec (FRA) 15.84 def. Felix Ortega (CNY) 9.10
QF 3: Steven Pierson (PYF) 11.10 def. Jose Roman Grau (CNY) 6.34
QF 4: Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 12.00 def. Igor Munian (ESP) 11.43
Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro by Gran Canaria
Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 2-Star Men’s Event
Stop No. 8 of 9 on the 2011 ASP European Men’s Series
Las Palmas, Gran Canaria; Canary Islands – Spain
September 21-25, 2011