Charles Martin: from Guadeloupe with waves

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Nikita Pro Junior Sopelana today crowned both men’s and women’s champions during another long day of competitive surfing which saw Charles Martin (GLP) take the men’s title over Filipe Jervis (PRT), William Aliotti (FRA) and Ramizi Boukiam (MAR). While Alizee Arnaud (FRA) left her opponents battling for the minor placings in an overwhelming display of dominance.

Peaky 3ft (1m) waves were on offer during the day with event officials halting the event during the lower tide to allow the best conditions possible for the finals late this afternoon. Clear skies and perfect beach weather assured a huge crowd lining the shore. With the swell decreasing and a poor prediction for the following days organisers were forced to finish two days ahead of schedule.

Charles Martin (GLP) 20, may have entered the water for the 40-minute final a little pushed for time but this did little to hinder him getting off to a flying start opening his account with a 7.83 which he immediately backed up with an 8.83 out of a possible 10 to take the lead which he never surrendered.

Surfing from round one and focused on this his last year on the ASP Pro Junior Tour Martin has decided to concentrate on the remaining two ASP sanctioned Pro Junior events being held over the next two weeks to run for the ASP European Junior title and to secure his place on this year’s inaugural ASP World Junior Series to be held in Bali and Australia.

“I was in the car listening to music with a friend thinking I had enough time,” explained a smiling Martin about his sprint to the contest area. “Then when I was coming down the beach I heard the end of the girls final so I just ran to get my vest and they started celebrating the victory of Alizee so I had a little more time and I just got in the water and I caught that first wave and I was straight into a good rhythm.

“I got the first left that came in and that got me going,” continued Martin. “Then a few more came through and then it kind of went slower for the last part of the final. The two best waves of the final came straight to me so I was lucky,”

Event officials waited during the middle of the day for the tide to push in before running the finals which were held in some of the best waves of the entire event. Punchy beach breaks allowing for a variety of turns and manoeuvres on both the lefts and rights. Martin chose to destroy the right handers laying down some huge rail turns in front of the large crowd lining the shore.

“It was the best waves actually that I have surfed here at Sopelana and I am stoked to win in my first pro junior of the year and I hope to keep it going in the rest of the series. This is my last year as a pro junior so I have left the WQS for the moment and I want to concentrate on these next two events in Gran Canaria and Lacanau and just focus on the overall results so I get to do the World Junior Series this year”

Filipe Jervis (PRT) was one of the form surfers in the Nikita Pro Junior Sopelana in runner-up position ahead of William Aliotti (FRA) 16, who finished third in his first ever ASP pro junior event. Commenting a little about today’s result and playing down the tag of ‘wonder kid’ Aliotti was calmly pleased with his efforts.

“Today I am very happy with my third place in my first pro junior and with the surfing we saw today I enjoyed very much the contest and I want to do it again in the next one.”

Ramizi Boukiam (MAR) looked sharp throughout the contest with his lightening fast surfing and an ability to read the waves well above his age. Being in his first final and having a slow start the young goofy footer has come from the event gaining valuable finals experience.

“I am pretty stoked at the moment because this is my first pro junior final and the best I have done is a semi so this is the best result so far in my career. It was hard to get into the final up against guys like Charly and right at the start of the heat he gets two bombs and after that it was tough. He deserves his win because he is surfing really well here.”

“Before this final I was ninth on the ratings so with this finish I want to move up the list and maybe finish in the top 5 at the end of the series in August.”

Alizee Arnaud (FRA) 20, claimed the Nikita Girls Pro Junior Sopelana with a complete display of dominance from round one to the final where she left her opponents in a combination situation with a two wave total of 17.27 out of a possible 20. As evidence Arnaud claimed 8 of the 10 highest single scoring rides in the Nikita Girls Pro Junior Sopelana. Smashing a series of forehand cracks to obtain a near perfect 9.77 out of a possible 10 the quietly spoken natural-footer entered the water with her strategy of attack which ran to perfection.

“I knew with the tide that things could change so I took two waves at the beginning to try and take the lead and get started because after it was a little smaller. I want to be as high as I can on the ratings heading into Lacanau to be in the top two is great and it has given me confidence to try and win the European Junior title like two years ago.”

Maud Lecar (FRA) 18, finished runner up in her first ever ASP Pro Junior final ahead of current European Junior title holder Joanne Defay (FRA) and Marie Dejean (FRA) who placed fourth.

“It’s my first time in a pro junior final and I am very happy to get second place and to try and stay in the top 5 in Europe. Alizee is surfing so good and in the final she got that 9 point ride and she is surfing very strong so I was left fighting for second place against Joanne and we had a good fight for the second place.”

Medi Vemenardi (REU) and Alizee Arnaud (FRA) shared the added bonus of 1000 Euros for being overall best performers at the ASP sanctioned San Sebastian and Sopelana Pro Juniors proudly sponsored by Surfing Euskadi.

“It is a great surprise to receive this prize,” said Alizee Arnaud. “It was great to come to these two events in Euskadi and I will come back next time for sure and see all the people here and do my best to win again.”

Focused on the development of Euskadi as a premiere surf destination for the world's best surfers, Surfing Euskadi works closely with the surfing industry to promote the sport and support the improvement of its most promising talented athletes.


RESULTS FINAL NIKITA PRO JUNIOR SOPELANA
Heat 1: Charles Martin (GLP) 17.33, Filipe Jervis (PRT) 13.50, William Aliotti (FRA) 10.97, Ramizi Boukiam (MAR) 10.93


RESULTS FINAL NIKITA GIRLS PRO JUNIOR SOPELANA
Heat 1: Alizee Arnaud (FRA) 17.27, Maud Lecar (FRA) 11.60, Joanne Defay (FRA) 10.60, Marie Dejean (FRA) 7.56


RESULTS SEMI-FINALS NIKITA PRO JUNIOR SOPELANA
Heat 1: William Aliotti (FRA) 14.00, Filipe Jervis (PRT) 10.83, Mario Azurza (EUK) 10.80, Tom Cloarec (FRA) 8.87
Heat 2: Charles Martin (GLP) 8.90, Ramizi Boukiam (MAR) 8.83, Jose Ferreira (PRT) 6.43, Edouard Delpero (FRA) 4.14


RESULTS SEMI-FINALS NIKITA GIRLS PRO JUNIOR SOPELANA
Heat 1: Alizee Arnaud (FRA) 15.67, Joanne Defay (FRA) 8.67, Camille Davila (FRA) 8.34, Fanny Brice (FRA) 5.50
Heat 2: Maud Lecar (FRA) 10.94, Marie Dejean (FRA) 10.84, Leticia Canales (EUK) 10.60, Garazi Sanchez (EUK) 8.07


SOURCE: ASP Europe