LA SANTA/LANZAROTE, Canary Islands (Thursday, October 28, 2010) –The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) PRIME Islas Canarias Santa Pro was forced to call a lay day due to gale force winds which made conditions incontestable despite going mobile to La Santa Right.
An overnight change in swell direction and a building swell in the 3-4ft range made for a promising outlook early this morning as camp was packed up and moved to the main back up site on the northern western side of the island. A series of calls were made throughout the day to no avail as the wind strength remained through the afternoon.
Despite the increase in swell as the day progressed it was the strong, at times gale force winds, which made it impossible to surf the wave properly. The general comment from those who ventured out to test 'The Right' at La Santa was that the force of the wind coming up the wave face was too strong to be surfable.
Contest director Lorenzo Seis was onsite to assess conditions early this morning and decided to make the move to La Santa. As conditions began to be more complicated as the afternoon progressed Seis held a meeting with the surfers remaining in Round One of competition and reached a mutual agreement.
"After looking at the conditions we have given the opportunity to the surfers to decide if they wanted to go out in these conditions and a decision was made to come back tomorrow. We have been checking the forecasts and there are some waves but very inconsistent and the wind is too strong for surfing. The truth is that at the moment it is very hard to surf out there and I think the decision taken is the correct one for everyone involved."
The outlook for the remainder of the waiting period which ends next Monday looks promising. Seis explains what is installed for the remainder of the Islas Canarias Santa Pro.
"The prediction is for the rest of the week to have more and more swell over the next few days and on Monday we are expecting quite a large swell to hit the island. It is going to be an intense final day without doubt."
Head judge and former World Tour competitor, Iain Buchanan (NZL), worked in close unison with the surfers as well to make sure the best possible conditions are available for all the athletes chasing the valuable points on offer at this ASP PRIME rated event.
"After several calls through the day starting at 9am and going through to almost 3pm the predicted forecast we were working on for the increase and change in direction of swell for La Santa Right proved correct however the wind is too strong making it impossible for the guys to surf. To be fair to the surfers and it is a Prime event with crucial points so we want to give them the best opportunities."
"Talking to a lot of the surfers on the beach who were coming in from surfing, they all acknowledged that it was really hard conditions," continued Buchanan. "So the feedback from the guys wasn't that great and we still have another 4 days up our sleeves with plenty of swell predicted."
Buchanan has monitored the forecasts for the following days and knows from his experience that nothing is 100% reliable and if the window opens to run a session of competition then it must be taken.
"The direction of the swell and the wind will be the factors that decide exactly where we are going to be running the event each day. The last day being a bit of an X-factor with really strong winds and a huge swell so we will do something tomorrow and get through the next rounds leading into the weekend."
When competition resumes, Joao Guedes (PRT) will be first up in heat nº13 of Round One. Despite having the added inconvenience of several calls during the day, Guedes felt that the correct decision had been reached.
"There are some waves but it is the best decision not to start today because the off-shore is too strong and tomorrow it will be lighter. The swell has changed direction and now there are some waves so we can look at getting some good waves tomorrow for sure."
Guedes is no stranger to the Canary Islands and comes back year after year for the quality of the waves available. He is currently 19th on the European rankings and is out to consolidate a spot in the top 10 before the season's end.
"I like the right here and the left so that is why I am here. It is one of the reasons I came to the Canary Islands because there are good waves and I hope to catch some good ones in my heat."
The forecast is for a drop in wind strength tomorrow which event officials are confident will allow them to resume Round One of the Islas Canarias Santa Pro 2010 edition.
Surfers competing in the Islas Canarias Santa Pro are out to claim the valuable points on offer for their world rankings in an attempt to qualify for the elite ASP World Tour events in 2011. Also European surfers are on their second last stop for the ASP European Open title which is currently being lead by Marc Lacomare (FRA). Having a PRIME status the Islas Canarias Santa Pro is a crucial event for all the surfers and their 2010 rankings.
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Upcoming Islas Canarias Santa Pro Round One Match-Ups
Heat 13: Jano Belo (BRA), Joao Guedes (PRT), Andre Teixeira (BRA), Carlos Marques (ESP)
Heat 14: Ricardo Santos (BRA), Brad Ettinger (USA), Omer Bar (ISR), Igor Munian (EUK)
Heat 15: Tiago Camarao (BRA), Davey Cathels (AUS), Joackim Petersen Guichard (NOR), Robertson Goncalves (PRT)
Heat 16: Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY), Ian Gouveia (BRA), Txaber Trojaola (EUK), Manuel Lezcano (CNY)