2009 Sooruz Lacanau Pro in France 

The Sooruz Lacanau Pro, celebrating its 30th edition this week, got back to serious business today in consistent four to six foot (1.2 to 2 meter) waves for an action-packed day of surfing, top seeds and outsiders delivering world-class surfing to please the crowds. The expected new swell had hit the coast during the night and proceedings resumed at 7.30 AM for the completion of Round 2 before the last fourty-eight contenders could get on with their French campaign.

Making the trip from his Hossegor residence to support his friends Patrick Beven (Biarritz, FRA) and Michael Picon (Capbreton, FRA), Jeremy Flores (FRA) made a surprise visit to the ASP WQS 6-Star event where he placed runner-up in 2007 en route to qualifying for the ASP World Tour. Having chosen the most spectacular day of the week to show-up, Flores witnessed the intense battle taking place at Lacanau, with Alain Riou (Tahiti, PYF) taking an unquestionable lead over the remaining competitors in Heat 8 of Round 3, scoring the only perfect 10.00 point ride of the event so far.

Riou, who advanced through to Round 4, put up a show to tame the fast closing conditions on offer, the Reunion Island native showing great commitment and style to post an impressive the perfect score after linking three consecutive vertical maneuvers on a six-foot solid wave. Riou, who has had a promising year with a couple of solid results including a fifth in the ASP WQS 6-Star prime event in South Africa, showed he was back in good form today.

“Getting a 10-point ride is just amazing and it gives great confidence,” Riou said. “The last it happened was more than four years ago in Fiji and it is a great thing to get. That wave came and I just let go as hard as I could. It was a pretty decent wave and it worked out pretty well.”

Riou, who experienced a couple of testing years not getting any significant result, seems like he has found confidence back and was impressive throughout the long day of action winning his first heat in the morning before finishing second behind fellow French competitor and current ASP WQS Top 10 member Joan Duru (Ondres, FRA).

“It was a tough heat but it definitely feels great to see all my efforts pay off,” Riou said. “I have had some hard times in the last couple of years and I think I have found the balance I needed to put everything together and get things going my way. I have been training on mental, physical and surfing aspects for quite a bit of time, but I feel like it’s only this year I have found the balance inbetween all three things. I am stoked with that heat eventhough it was a very close one.”

Riou’s performance reflected the great level on offer today in the Sooruz Lacanau Pro. With the swell picking up slowly throughout the day to reach the six-foot range by the afternoon, the massive summer crowds enjoyed the stadium-like atmosphere cheering the competitors taking-off in the solid conditions.

Defending champion and current ASP World Tour rookie Nathaniel Curran (California, USA) was able to keep his title hopes alive, the Californian surfer easily advancing through his encounter ahead of Shaun Gossmann (AUS) with a 16.40 point heat score. Curran, who has been cutting his teeth as a rookie amongst the ASP Top 45 this year, was in excellent form in the building conditions posting an excellent 8.73 point score to advance through the last 24-man round.

“You always think of a win when you come to an event but it was a hard heat and the conditions were tough,” Curran said. “I feel pretty comfortable here as I have been coming for eight years now so it’s almost like a second home. I am happy to make that heat and keep that event going so I’ll see how it goes tomorrow.”

Curran’s good run today reminded his peers he was a dangerous WQS warrior and experienced competitor, and he will be much awaited for his Round 4 bout with Joan Duru (FRA) and Brian Toth (PRI).

“The waves were a bit all over the place but I have a great board and I am feeling good so I am looking forward to surfing tomorrow,” Curran said.

Other surfers to shine on Day 5 of competition were French representatives Joan Duru and Michael Picon (Capbreton, FRA), along with event top scorer Adam Melling (Gold Coast, AUS) who was able to advance through his two heats today posting an 18.40 point heat score in Round 2 before sealing the deal with a good 14.33 result making him the most consistent surfer of the day.

Twenty-four men only remain in contention for the prestigious 30th anniversary crown of the Sooruz Lacanau Pro and with the swell expected to pick-up again to deliver over six-foot sets tomorrow, the early 7.15 AM call shall bring intensity and spectacular levels to the central beach of Lacanau. World famous surfer 21-year-old Jeremy Flores, today’s guest star on site of the ASP WQS 6-Star event, may be back to support fellow French surfers Picon, Duru, Riou, Cloitre and Martin tomorrow.

“I am pretty stoked I was here today and it’s good to be here just watching and supporting the guys,” Flores said. “I just got back from Costa Rica (where Flores claimed the ISA World title) and it’s good to come here to Lacanau and watch the show.”

SOORUZ LACANAU PRO UPCOMING ROUND 4 HEATS
Heat 1: Yadin Nicol (AUS), Charles Martin (GLP), Leonardo Neves (BRA)
Heat 2: Nat Young (USA), Patrick Gudauskas (USA), Dylan Graves (PRI)
Heat 3: Travis Logie (ZAF), Romain Cloitre (REU), Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Heat 4: Jihad Khodr (BRA), Austin Ware (USA), Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 5: Nathaniel Curran (USA), Joan Duru (FRA), Brian Toth (PRI)
Heat 6: Shaun Gossman (ZAF), Alain Riou (PYF), Michael Picon (FRA)
Heat 7: Dion Atkinson (AUS), Adam Melling (AUS), Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 8: Drew Courtney (AUS), Wiggoly Dantas (BRA), Sebastian Zietz (HAW)

SOORUZ LACANAU PRO ROUND 3 RESULTS
Heat 1: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 13.84 pts, Nat Young (USA) 11.66 pts, Tim Boal (FRA) 9.17 pts, Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 8.70 pts
Heat 2: Charles Martin (GPL) 10.84 pts, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 10.50 pts, Owen Wright (AUS) 9.00 pts, Luke Munro (AUS) 7.77 pts
Heat 3: Dylan Graves (PRI) 16.23 pts, Leonardo Neves (BRA) 12.50 pts, Eric Geiselman (USA) 12.50 pts, David Weare (ZAF) 12.44 pts
Heat 4: Travis logie (ZAF) 15.47 pts, Jihad Khodr (BRA) 14.83 pts, Medi Veminardi (REU) 12.77 pts, Blake Wilson (AUS) 9.60 pts
Heat 5: Romain Cloître (FRA) 12.60 pts, Austin Ware (USA) 12.33 pts, Dusty Payne (HAW) 12.00 pts, Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 9.83 pts
Heat 6: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 14.00 pts, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.83 pts, Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 11.16 pts, Patrick Beven (FRA) 4.40 pts
Heat 7: Nathaniel Curran (USA) 16.40 pts, Shaun Gossmann (AUS) 15.40 pts, Glenn Hall (IRL) 15.13 pts, Kiron Jabour (HAW) 11.17 pts
Heat 8: Joan Duru (FRA) 17.40 pts, Alain Riou (PYF) 15.60 pts, Jadson Andre (BRA) 15.57 pts, Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 5.23 pts
Heat 9: Michael Picon (FRA) 12.16 pts, Brian Toth (PRI) 11.77 pts, Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) 11.56 pts, Blake Jones (USA) 5.36 pts
Heat 10: Dion Atkinson (AUS) 14.53 pts, Drew Courtney (AUS) 11.67 pts, Brandon Jackson (ZAF) 10.04 pts, Blake Thornton (AUS) 8.43 pts
Heat 11: Adam Melling (AUS) 14.33 pts, Wiggoly Dantas (BRA) 10.40 pts, Adrien Valero (FRA) 9.93 pts, Jarrad Sullivan (AUS) 6.47 pts
Heat 12: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 16.17 pts, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 11.64 pts, Eduardo Fernandes (PRT) 11.07 pts, Antonio Bortoleto (ZAF) 10.16 pts
 

SOURCE: ASP Europe