Charles Martin (GLP), 20, has won the ASP Grade-2 Oakley Pro Junior Lacanau today after defeating Hossegor native Pierre-Valentin laborde (FRA) in the 30-minute final in consistent three-foot (one meter) waves. Martin, with his second consecutive win in Lacanau, grabs the ASP European Junior men’s crown and will lead the regional ratings’ Top 4 into the ASP World Junior Tour events.
Martin was in superb form throughout the final day letting his best surfing speak to score the event’s best wave in the Semifinals before letting no chance to to fellow finalist Laborde in the final thanks to an accurate wave choice and solid tactics. With two wins in three events (Sopelana and Lacanau) and an equal 5th finish, Martin was by far the best on tour this season.
“It’s just all I was hoping for and it’s done,” Martin said. “I was so focused on taking the title to finish off my ASP Pro Junior career and I really tried hard not to make any mistake and secure the better waves all day. Winning last year here made me feel comfortable today because I was confident and felt I knew where the waves would be breaking. I am really happy.”
Martin, a former ASP World Junior No. 3 (2008) and considered France and Europe’s best hope towards a possible ASP World Tour elite inception in the upcoming years, confirmed he was ready to move on to the ASP Star and Prime Series where he will now have to face some of the world’s best to keep his career going.
“That title is a new start actually because it’s now time for me to move onto the Asp Star events,” Martin said. “To wrap-up part 1 of my career this way is great but there is a lot to come and it will be tough. I’ve been preparing a lot, training and putting my game together to secure this event and I feel ready now.”
With Lacanau’s central beach sand bank delivering quality waves all day, the Oakley Pro Junior lived-up to its reputation once again giving Europe’s best Under-21 male surfers a playfull line-up to deliver their best, runner-up Laborde shininh all the way to the final with his rapid-fire back-hand attacks.
“I am disappointed with the final because the waves lacked and I couldn’t get that one score,” Laborde said. “I gave it my all, went as vertical as possible, pushed my backside turns as far as I could but it just wasn’t enough. It is my best result though and it still feels good to wrap-up the season with a final.”
Laborde, a longtime top ranked European surfer and former ASP World Junior No. 5 (2007), suffered a tough year lacking a bit of luck and not finding his rhythm over the summer. His runner-up finish today pushes the Hossegor resident back into good form that will bring him confidence for his 2011 run, his final year as a junior competitor.
“I had a shocker this year and just felt out of rhythm the whole time,” Laborde said. “I had no pressure today knowing I was too far away from the Top 4 so I just enjoyed the event and had a good time surfing through to the final. I am already looking at next year and hope I’ll be able to get back to my best.”
Finshing No. 2 on the ASP European Junior ratings for his best career finish ever, Filipe Jervis will be backing Martin along with Moroccan Ramzi Boukhian (Agadir, MAR), 17, and Tom Cloarec (Hossegor, FRA), 16, at the upcoming ASP World Junior Tour events of Bali and Narabeen.
With the final regional ratings’ Top 4 and still-to-be-decided two regional wildcards, Team Europe will be a favourite towards a possible ASP World Junior title this year, Martin being much expected for his last chance.
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OAKLEY PRO JUNIOR LACANAU FINAL
1st, Charles Martin (GLP), 11.17
2nd, Pierre Valentin Laborde (FRA), 9.84
OAKLEY PRO JUNIOR LACANAU SEMIFINALS
Heat 1: Pierre Valentin Laborde (FRA) 12.77 Def. Edouard Delpero (FRA) 10.04
Heat 2: Charles Martin (GLP) 14.83 Def. Tristan Guilbaud (FRA) 3.83
OAKLEY PRO JUNIOR LACANAU QUARTERFINALS
Heat 1: Pierre Valentin Laborde (FRA) 10.16 Def. Igor Muniain (EUK) 8.40
Heat 2: Edouard Delpero (FRA) 16.17 Def. Damien Chaudoy (FRA) 8.26
Heat 3: Charles Martin (GLP) 15.06 Def. Hugo Palmarini (REU) 8.60
Heat 4: Tristan Guilbaud (FRA) 12.77 Def. José Ferreira (PRT) 12.60
ASP EUROPEAN JUNIOR MEN’S FINAL RATINGS TOP 10
1st, Charles Martin (GLP), Qualifies for the 2010 ASP World Junior Tour
2nd, Filipe Jervis (PRT), Qualifies for the 2010 ASP World Junior Tour
3rd, Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR), Qualifies for the 2010 ASP World Junior Tour
4th, Tom Cloarec (FRA), Qualifies for the 2010 ASP World Junior Tour
5th, Igor Muniain (EUK)
6th, Medi Veminardi (REU)
8th, Pierre Valentin Laborde (FRA)
8th, Edouard Delpero (FRA)
10th, Damien Chaudoy (REU)
SOURCE: ASP Europe