Sooruz Lacanau Pro
ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star event
ASP WQS European Series Stop No. 6 of 13
August 12-17, 2008
Tim Boal (FRA) advancing into the weekend. Photo courtesy Aquashot/ASPEurope.com
LACANAU, France (Friday, August 15, 2008) – Clean three foot (one meter) waves, some sun and light winds were the setting of Day 4 of the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Sooruz Lacanau Pro, and it was another day of great action at the French surf town. Round 4 was completed in front of a massive crowd and 24 men only remain in contention for “the French Pro” title.
Josh Kerr (AUS), former ASP World Tour member, surfed with his custom made flying maneuvers and impressive speed and secured the day's best heat result, an 18.13 point tally (out of a possible 20) to advance through to Round 5.
“I had a lot fun in that heat and I really love the waves here,” Kerr said. “I was a bit lucky to find such good waves and launching ramps to put on a couple of airs today so I am stoked.”
Kerr, who stepped away from the tour last year after not requalifying for the ASP World Tour, surfed a few events only this year but remains in top form and is a potential winner in the fast and small conditions.
“I am really focused on that event and I would like to make the final,” Kerr said. “I will just get a go in the Expression Session then rest and get ready for tomorrow.”
From the seven ASP Top 45 members who surfed today, five made it through to Round 5 and current No. 27 in the world Tiago Pires (PRT) managed again to secure a heat victory ahead of fellow European and WQS No. 22 Tim Boal (FRA).
“I am stoked to get through and see other Europeans still in the event,” Pires said. “The conditions have changed a lot every day and even throughout the days so we need to adapt and assess conditions with a different approach every heat.”
Pires, who has surfed four WQS events only this year, is en route to another solid result and could be climbing up the ratings if he keeps going with such an impressive consistency. He will meet Luke Dorrington (AUS) and Nathaniel Curran (USA).
Boal, who placed 2nd to Curran in the ASP WQS 6-Star at Huntignton Beach last month, remains well in position to join the 2009 ASP World Tour and is looking forward to securing antoher major result in Lacanau.
“I am happy to be in Round 3 already,” Boal said. “I usually feel good here and if the conditions can remain good enough it will be a nice finish. I had a big result in California but you want to win whenever you paddle out with a rashguard on so I am looking to keep going.”
Completing Europe's successful crew was 18-year-old top Junior competitor Charles Martin (GLP) who created a major upset eliminating Hawaii's powerhouse Dustin Barca (HAW) to reach Round 5 of a major event for the second time of his career.
“It is really good to make that heat against such tough opponents,” Martin said. “Last time I made that round was in the ASP WQS 6-Star Prime event in Scotland two years ago and I am really stoked to get through again today.”
Martin, ASP World Junior No. 3, stands as one of the most promissing upcoming French surfers and will be a potential giant-killer when he paddles out in Round 5 against ASP World Tour campaigner Leonardo Neves (BRA) and Joel Centeio (HAW).
Yadin Nicol (AUS), 22, was once again a standout for the second consecutive day and leads the Australian contingent towards the showdown confidently. With Chris Davidson, Nathan Hedge, Dion Atkinson, Drew Courtney and Luke Dorrington already in tomorrow's draw, surfers from Down Under will be the strong nation for the weekend finals.
Nicol dominated his Round 4 battle with solid speed, tactics and wave choice to end up with another excellent 17.56 point heat result (out of a possible 20), the third best score of the event thus far after his near perfect 19.33 point result in Round 3.
“It was so fun out there and the waves were really hitable and came to me,” Nicol said. “I have been a little bit lucky yesterday with that big result and apparently it going my way again so it is just great for confidence and I hope I can do good tomorrow again.”
Nicol, who was rated No. 14 coming to France, will better his throw-away result easily thanks to his run in the Sooruz Lacanau Pro, and is seen as a favorite towards the 2008 crown.
Brazilian rippers kept the pressure on the international contingent as well today and current ASP World Tour chargers Neco Padaratz and Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) led the green and yellow batallion with fellow surfers Simao Romao, Leonardo Neves, Paulo Moura all getting through to Round 5 and displaying some world class surfing to advance.
“Patience was the key to win,” Padaratz said. “I go through two rounds today, it was a very long day and I had to adapt to the conditions that changed so fast from the morning to the afternoon. I am stoked with that last heat because I had lots of waves and fun.”
The last 24 surfers in contention for the 2008 Sooruz Lacanau Pro title will be ready to go at 8 a.m. (GMT+2) and two rounds are scheduled for Day 5 of competition.
The Sooruz Lacanau Pro is webcast LIVE at aspeurope.com.
UPCOMING ROUND 5
Heat 1 : Luke Dorrington (AUS), Tiago Pires (PRT), Nathaniel Curran (USA)
Heat 2 : Drew Courtney (AUS), Tim Boal (FRA), Chris Davidson (AUS)
Heat 3 : Mike Losness (USA), Glenn Hall (IRE), Masatoshi Ohno (AUS)
Heat 4 : Charles Martin (GLP), Leonardo Neves (BRA), Joel Centeio (HAW)
Heat 5 : Yadin Nicol (AUS), Simao Romao (BRA), Nathan Hedge (AUS)
Heat 6 : Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA), Dion Atkinson (AUS), Paulo Moura (BRA)
Heat 7 : Nic Muscroft (AUS), Josh Kerr (AUS), Greg Emslie (ZAF)
Heat 8 : Pedro Henrique (BRA), Heitor Alves (BRA), Neco Padaratz (BRA)
ROUND 4 RESULTS
Heat 1 : Luke Dorrington (AUS) 14.57 pts, Drew Courtney (AUS) 13.37 pts, Gabe Kling (USA) 12.60 pts, Antonio Bortoletto (ZAF) 11.50 pts
Heat 2 : Tiago Pires (PRT) 15.83 pts, Tim Boal (FRA) 13.73 pts, Travis Logie (ZAF) 8.93 pts, Brent Dorrington (AUS) 8.77 pts
Heat 3 : Chris Davidson (AUS) 14.73 pts, Nathaniel Curran (USA) 14.54 pts, Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 13.40 pts, Sunny Garcia (HAW) 12.90 pts
Heat 4 : Mike Losness (USA) 14.30 pts, Charles Martin (GLP) 13.93 pts, Dustin Barca (HAW) 12.50 pts, Dane Gudauskas (USA) 8.03 pts
Heat 5 : Glenn Hall (IRE) 16.30 pts, Leonardo Neves (BRA) 15.04 pts, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 11.94 pts, Ben Dunn (AUS) 11.30 pts
Heat 6 : Joel Centeio (HAW) 15.24 pts, Masatoshi Ohno (JPN) 15.03 pts, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 13.70 pts, Nathan Yeomans (USA) 8.73 ptsss
Heat 7 : Yadin Nicol (AUS) 17.56 pts, Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 13.66 pts, Kirk Flintoff (AUS) 13.44 pts, Sam Page (AUS) 11.10 pts
Heat 8 : Simao Romao (BRA) 13.40 ptspts, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 11.23 pts, Beau Atchinson (AUS) 10.24 pts, Austin Ware (AUS) 8.97 pts,
Heat 9 : Paulo Moura (BRA) 13.77 pts, Nathan Hedge (AUS) 13.27 pts, David Weare (ZAF) 12.80 pts, Robson Santos (BRA) 8.50 pts
Heat 10 : Nic Muscroft (AUS) 15.17 pts, Perdro Henrique (BRA) 10.33 pts, Romain Laulhe (FRA) .67 pts, Adam Vic Robertson (AUS) 8.26 pts
Heat 11 : Josh Kerr (AUS) 18.33 pts, Heitor Alves (BRA) 10.93 pts, Leigh Sedley (AUS) 8.87 pts, Reubin Pearce (ZAF) 8.77 pts
Heat 12 : Neco Padaratz (BRA) 14.60 pts, Greg Emslie (ZAF) 14.33 pts, Pablo Paulino (BRA) 13.50 pts, Shaun Gossmann (AUS) 8.00 pts