- 22 October 2008 | Surfing
The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) WQS European title race is heating up as the 2008 Champion will be crowned next Sunday at the end of this year's final event, the Estoril Coast Pro, taking place this week at Carcavelos in Portugal.
After a season of intense action with the biggest leg of consecutive ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 5, 6 and 6-Star Prime events ever taking the pro-surfing caravan from England's Cornwall to the Canary Islands including France and Portugal, the 2008 ASP European Champion will raise his trophy this weekend in Portugal during the 2008 ASP Europe Award Ceremony.
Tim Boal (Anglet, FRA), 24, current ratings' No.1 who comfortably leads the pack with six results only and yet one more to add to his end-of the-year total, missed the Canarian leg because of a serious foot injury but will show-up in Portugal to get the minimum 336 points in the Estoril Coast Pro.
Boal, who will not surf his heat though, finishes the year after a fantastic run this summer where he reached the finals of all events he attended between the ASP WQS 6-Star Sooruz Lacanau Pro and ASP WQS 5-Star the Rip Curl Pro Zarautz which he ended up winning finishing his European campaign with an average of 800 points per event.
His win in Zarautz rocketed him to No. 3 on the international ratings awarding him a solid 11888 points' total, enough to guarantee his berth for next year's ASP World Tour.
Boal, who has had his most successful year on tour since he became a full-time WQS touring competitior three years ago, will be watching closely the Estoril Coast Pro as his direct followers Michel Bourez (PYF) and Glenn Hall (IRE) remain in contention for the 2008 prestigious title.
Michel Bourez (Tahiti, PYF), 22, ASP European Champion in 2006 and currently No. 2 on the regional ratings, will have two major goals in the Estoril Coast Pro for both his regional and international runs. Bourez, renowned for his powerful surfing and already seen as Tahiti's next ASP World Tour surfer, needs to reach the Quarterfinals to place 5th or better in Portugal to secure a second regional crown and steal Boal's maiden one.
Any lower finish for Bourez will not be sufficient for him to grab the 2008 ASP European title. But a 5th place will also be significant for his ASP WQS international rating as the Tahitian sits No. 13 at this stage and will have to get one last big result to keep any 2009 ASP World Tour hope alive.
Last but not least, Australian-Irish campaigner Glenn Hall (IRE) is the third man still in reach of a maiden ASP European title. Hall, who showed consistency on the European waves all year peaking with a 5th in the ASP WQS 5-Star Rip Curl Pro Zarautz, will be on a mission in the Estoril Coast Pro with no option but to win the ASP WQS 6-Star event in Carcavelos, a victory that would crown him regional champion and put him back in the race for the end-of-the-year qualification.