Antoine Delpero: alone in the dark

Antoine Delpero (FRA) today claimed The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) Goanna Pro Tapia 2010 with a comfortable win over Alexis Deniel (FRA) to take out his first Goanna Pro Tapia title. On a day where huge seas and wild winds forced event organisers to postpone proceedings until late in the afternoon today’s victory also entitles Delpero to the ASP European Longboard title.

Stormy 8-10ft (2.5-3m) waves pounded the coast throughout the day and with rain, hail, strong cross-shore winds the final heats were held up until high tide at the main beach break in Tapia.

Antoine Delpero (FRA) 24, scraped through his semi-final clash against Ben Skinner (GBR) to then dominate the final from the opening minutes with a combination of strong backhand manouvers to score the highest single score of the day 8.83 out of a possible 10 in extreme conditions that was as much a test of endurance as surfing ability.

Once in the lead Delpero then set about finding his backup score which arrived soon after a 6.33. He then used his experience and priority to control the remaining minutes of the final.

“I feel really happy and it was very physical out there. In the semis I didn’t think I had made it but I was lucky so and in the final I did pretty good so I am happy about that.”

Claiming his maiden ASP European Longboard Title the Biarritz based natural-footer was excited with the double victory. As tradition marks the Goanna Pro Tapia champion Delpero layed a wreath of flowers at the foot of the monument dedicated to the memory of pioneer surfer here in Asturias-Spain, Peter Gulley.

“It is really cool here in Tapia and I like it. Not so stormy (laughs) but it is good.”

For the second year running Alexis Deniel (FRA) 25, despite losing the final was pleased with the overall position which automatically qualifies him for this year’s ASP World Longboard Tour (WLT).

After a strong showing in his semi-final clash, Deniel was very unlucky in the 30-minute final where he did not manage to find the better waves. Never throwing in the towel and despite needing a combination of 15.17 points Deniel continued in his efforts to go one up on his previous year’s result.

“It is very good for me this result as I qualified for the WLT but in the final I didn’t catch the good waves so I lost. It is a good contest and I was in the final with my friend so that was really nice and after he won which is OK.”

“I am very happy but I would like to win this contest one day,” continued Deniel. “But the important thing for me right now is that I can go on the WLT.”

Ben Skinner (GBR) 25, 2009 Goanna Pro Tapia champion could not have come any closer in his 30-minute heat finishing tied on 13.77 points out of a possible 20 against eventual event winner Antoine Delpero (FRA) but on a best one wave total count back, Skinners 7.17 out of a possible 10 was slightly bettered by Delpero’s 8.0 point ride.

Despite the close defeat Skinner proved to be a crowd favourite here in Tapia with many of the younger fans well and truly behind him all the way and although upset he summed up his result with a positive outlook.

“I just hate losing and that’s the bottom line but I love coming to Tapia and well done to Antoine he surfed really well. It was a close heat and he got the upper hand but I’ll be back.”

“The kids here are just classics. They just want to give you high fives and it’s nice to have that support from the local people. From winning last year a lot of people know who I am this time and it is a pleasure because they are really nice people here.”

James Parry (GBR) finished equal third today and secured his best ever result in an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) event. With this result Parry is all but qualified for the ASP World Longboard Tour (WLT) this year and with this added confidence is keen to continue with strong results.

“This is definitely my best result in an ASP event so I am really stoked and hopefully I can qualify for the world tour”

The 23-year-old surfed with style and composure despite the tough conditions and fought all the way to the wire. Surfing the longer right-handers inside the river mouth area of the main break towards the end of his heat searching desperately for the 8.06 needed to take the lead.

“It was tough out there and hard to pick a good one. It was challenging for both of us and Alexis (Deniel) did really well but I’ll be back for sure.”

RESULTS GOANNA PRO TAPIA

FINAL
Antoine Delpero (FRA) 15.16 Def. Alexis Deniel (FRA) 8.00

SEMI-FINALS
Heat 1: Antoine Delpero (FRA) 13.77 Def. Ben Skinner (GBR) 13.77
Heat 2: Alexis Deniel (FRA) 12.26 Def. James Parry (GBR) 7.96


RESULTS WOMENS GOANNA PRO TAPIA


Final
Estitxu Estremo (ESP) 8.67 Def. Ophélie Ah-Kouen 7.40

Semi-final
Heat 1: Ophélie Ah-Kouen 10.70 Def. Emma Neuschwanger (REU) 10.06
Heat 2: Estitxu Estremo (ESP) 10.33 Def. Claire Dereux (FRA) 6.34


SOURCE: ASP Europe