Since Sunday 25th May, 28 nations and nearly 300 of the world’s best under 18 surfers have gathered at the beaches of Seignosse in order to win the Quiksilver ISA Junior Championship. After 2 intense days of competition the first rounds of the contest have been completed in the U16 and U18 boys and girls divisions. The time is now critical, as the elimination stages have begun.
This evening certain surfers are already out of the competition, but each has had to lose at least two heats before getting eliminated from the event.
The first heats of the repercharge cadets (U16) were marked by superb group performance by the Costa Rican team. Four have qualified for the next round with 3 victories. Also there was a great success from the young Moroccan surfer Ramzi Boukheim from Agadir. He is a connoisseur of this region’s beach breaks as he has lived in Anglet (France). He surfed with maturity and scored the highest score of the repercharge (16.67 points) “It was a big disappointment not to qualify for the second round. Finally I told myself that at least I will get some less dangerous opposition in the repercharge round. Now I feel more self-confident. So I ‘ll do my thing and keep going as long as possible”
There was a great surprise for young surfer Italian surfer from Rome Leonardo Fioravanti. At only 10 years old is the youngest surfer in the event. He has seen high level competition in the Moustic Tour, which was held on the Landes coast last year. “It’s not me that should be scared, it’s the bigger surfers who surf against me!” he said laughing.
The girls of the French team are progressing well. Junior World Champion 2006, Pauline Ado was not fearful even though she faced a tough heat. Her teammate Marie Dejean also mounted a convincing win. Alizée Arnaud was furious when she exited the water; Tyler Wright took the two best waves in the heat and didn’t leave much for the Hossegor local. The upset will spur her onwards and will become a motivation for the flamboyant French girl. The fourth French team member Justine Dupont, who has previously finished 2nd in the World Longboard division of 2007 finished in 2nd place, behind the Hawaiian Leila Hurst.
The best score of the day was credited to Sage Erickson who was 3rd in the Quiksilver ISA World Juniors last year in Portugal. The American showed the serious ambitions of the team USA by posting 17 points (two 8.5 waves). “To be in the final is my objective. To surf here with the tide coming in is not always easy, conditions are always changing here in France, so it’s not easy. Today I was anxious to get in the water and set a good pace for the team. I got two good waves in my heat and got two solid scores, so I’m glad the judges liked them. I made a few great cut backs and good turns.”
To end the day, the first round of U18 repercharges was marked by an easy win for Frenchman Charlie Martin after he suffered a defeat in an earlier round. Charlie, from Guadeloupe surfs for the French team but has used up all his chances. He remains one of the favorites of the event.
Tomorrow at 8:00 am the competition will re-start with the longest day of competition, 67 heats will be held in the two podiums.