Romain Cloitre (REU), 19, won his second consecutive Buondi Pro Junior title today at Amado beach in South Portugal after defeating outsider Eduardo Fernandez (PRT), Gordon Fontaine (FRA) and Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK). Cloitre, who lost his seed right due to a late entry, put on a strong performance during the three days of competition, posting an excellent 16.00 point heat tally (out of a possible 20) in the 30-minute final to tame the tricky two foot (0.5 meter) waves.
Cloitre, who had a slow start in the final while other top seeded surfer Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK) took the lead, came back with a solid 7.33 pointer (out of a possible 10) before securing victory with an excellent 8.67 point ride.
"So stoked to get this second one a year after", Cloitre said. "I came here with no pressure at all as I am not competing full time on the Pro Junior tour and it ends up perfectly. I will head for the US Open of Surfing with confidence and this is exactly what I needed before such a major event."
Cloitre, who dominated the ASP European Junior Tour in 2007 clinching three victories out of possible five, became a full-time ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) campaigner this year and is still chasing his first big result.
"It is hard to travel all around the world and get Round-1 eliminations but you have to pass through this Grind before anything", Cloitre said. "It is good to surf in a Pro Junior and to be relaxed. Winning is the ice on the cake, so stoked."
Eduardo Fernandez (PRT), who reached his first ASP Pro Junior final ever today at Amado, created several upsets during the event including a win over current ASP European Junior No. 20 Josch Schmeltzer (DEU). Fernandez, an unknown young surfer, finished runner-up to Cloitre and ahead of 2007 ASP World Junior Championships qualifier Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK).
"I never expected to make the final and finish ahead of such good surfers", Fernandez said. "It is the best result of my career so far so I am over the moon. I hope I can get a win the next time but defintely a great moment."
Gordon Fontaine (FRA), who was surfing his first European Pro Junior event in a year after spending the winter in Australia, placed last in the final but secured his best result ever. Fontaine, who was confident yesterday after posting the best ride of the event with a near perfect 9.33 point wave, could not get any good potential wave in the final and was left in need of a combination of two waves to catch up with both second and first.
Medi Veminardi (REU), who the best seeded surfer of this last day of competition, suffered a surprising elimination in Quarterfinal No. 4 where he ended up last for a disappointing equal 13th place and certainly not one result to count in his best four.
The ASP Europe Grade-1 Buondi Pro Junior saw the rise of new talents including 15-years-old Fransisco Alves (PRT) who gets the second best Portuguese result. Alves, who started surfing on the ASP Pro Junior tour a couple of years ago, secured his best result to date with an equal 5th finish and a very promissing performance.
"It is always good to surf at home so I was very positive before the event", Alves said. "I wish I had got through to the final but I did not find the better waves in the semifinals and I missed my spot."
Romain Cloitre (REU) and Cannelle Bulard (REU) are the 2008 ASP Europe Grade-1 Buondi Pro Junior champions. The next event will take place in the Basque Country at San Sebastian from July 24 to 27.
Heat: Romain Cloitre (REU) 16.00 pts, Eduardo Fernandez (PRT) 10.93 pts, Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK) 9.13 pts, Gordon Fontaine (FRA )8.90 pts
Source: ASP World Tour