- 26 August 2008 | Surfing
The Billabong Pro Junior, an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Grade-2 Men and Women’s Pro Junior event, came to an end today at the beautiful beach of Ribeira d’Ilhas (PRT) and got the 2008 ASP European Junior Championship closer to its end as one two events remain in the women’s division and one only in the men’s before the champion is crowned.
Alizee Arnaud (FRA), 18, dominated the event until the final where she bested Justine Dupont (FRA), reigning ASP European Women’s Champion Lee-Anne Curren (FRA) and Canelle Bulard (REU) in the tricky two foot (0.5 meter) waves on offer at Ericeira. Arnaud, who won two events this summer already, came up with some great comitment and on-the-rail surfing to take her second consecutive win after the one in France a week ago.
"So stoked to win again," Arnaud said. "The waves were really too small but still contestable and it made the final very hard as all four of us wanted to get the better rides. I secured first place right at the beginning but it was very close all heat and it was not an easy one."
Arnaud, who had won her first ASP Pro Junior title at Ericeira three years ago, will once again have her name on the trophy and confirms her rise among Europe’s leading regional competitors.
"I am focused on the Top 2 finish to make it to the ASP World Junior Championships (WJC) in Narabeen," Arnaud said. "The ASP Europea title would be great off course but it is not really my main goal so I will stay focused on my surfing and training and see what happens."
The Billabong Pro Junior brought some of the most dramatic upsets of the year in the men’s division and Charles Martin (GLP) was the one to come out ahead of the four-day event where an amazing level was displayed by both international and regional surfers.´
Martin, who was the only one to counter the event’s top scorer Wiggoly Dantas (BRA) in the final, wins his maiden Pro Junior title and eventually reaches the highest rank in an under-21 event. Martin, who defeated Dantas, Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK) and Reubyn Ash (GBR) in the final, bettered his runner-up finish in the last event in Lacanau with good surfing and solid tactics.
"It was a long final and I felt under pressure," Martin said. "The 35 minutes were really long after I took my two best waves in the first five minutes and I was just sitting there watching the others surf and trying to stick to them for the priorities. I am stoked to get that title."
Martin, ASP World Junior No. 3 in Narabeen last January, missed several event this year due to school obligations but has jumped back to No. 16 on the regional ratings in four events only. After placing equal 17th in the ASP WQS 6-Star in Lacanau two weeks ago, Martin is looking forward to compete in the upcoming major World Qualifying Series event.
"I have been on a good roll so far with a final in Lacanau, a 17th in the WQS, now this win," Martin said. "Things are going my way and it is so good to make it through that many heats. I cannot wait to paddle back out next week and try and get another good result."
Placing runner-ups in both divisions were Justine Dupont (FRA) and Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK) respectively in the women’s and men’s events.
Dupont, 17, a great competitor who rides both longboards and shortboards, has been among the regional top contenders for a year only and slowly rises with solid results and consistency event after event.
"The conditions were really difficult and it was all about tactics," Dupont said. "I tried to battle as hard as I could but the waves just went to Alizee (Arnaud). It was a good event with a great day yesterday and the level was high so I am happy with the result. It is my best result this year so I am pretty satisfied."
Berasaluce, 19, was surfing his third final of the year and once again missed the win failing to counter Martin’s assault in the final battle of the event.
Berasaluce, who placed 4th on the ASP European Pro Junior ratings last year, still secured an important result today that will count towards his Top 5 goal that would give him a qualification for the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Billabong World Junior Championships next January.
"I did not catch the better waves during the final and I was not able to show my best surfing," Berasaluce said. "I even had an interference penality so I am pretty stoked to still get a second place. It is excellent for my Top 5 goal and I will be waiting patiently for the final event in Portugal in October."
BILLABONG MEN’S PRO JUNIOR RESULTS
Final: Charles Martin (GLP) 13.84 pts, Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK) 10.35 pts, Wiggoly Dantas (BRA) 8.77 pts, Reubyn Ash (GBR) 8.27 pts
BILLABONG WOMEN’S PRO JUNIOR RESULTS
Final: Alizee Arnaud (FRA) 14.37 pts, Justine Dupont (FRA) 11.17 pts, Lee Ann Curren (FRA) 10.63 pts, Canelle Bulard (REU) 8.23 pts