Marc Lacomare (FRA), 18, claimed the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Europe 3-Star Rip Curl Pro Junior powered by Renault today at Peniche, Portugal, to take the lead of the 2008 season. Lacomare, who lives in Hossegor, made his way during two days of solid three to six foot (one to two meter) waves, defeating Medi Veminardi (REU) in the first man-on-man final ever held at a Pro Junior event in Europe.

Lacomare, a promissing ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) surfer used to the French hollow beachbreaks, ended up winning with a solid 15.00 point heat tally (out of possible 20) against Veminardi. Posting an excellent 8.83 point ride in the first ten minutes of the 30-minute final, Lacomare led all the way to his first crown of the season.

“I am stoked I won this event,” Lacomare said. “I want to thank my coach Stephen Bell for helping me in all my training and travel organisation this year because it is already making a difference.”

Lacomare, who ended up 6th on the overall 2007 Asp Europe Junior ratings, opens this year’s campaign with a win at one of the biggest events of the year. “I missed out my qualification for the ASP World Junior Championships at Narabeen by one spot last year,” Lacomare said. “With this win, I am on for the regional title and am already looking forward to the next event in Tenerife.”

The European Pro Junior tour will head to the Canarian archipelago on the ilsnad of Tenerife in June, and Lacomare is already a favorite in the ASP Europe 4-Star Pro Junior. “I had my first WQS final at the exact location where the event will take place,” Lacomare said. “I am 100% focused on the juniors this year and I cannot wait to be there.”

Vasco Ribeiro (PRT), 12, Portugal’s most promissing surfer, got the best result of his young career by reaching the quarterfinals. Ribeiro takes the best Portuguese performance in the Rip Curl Pro Junior powered by Renault. 

“I never thought I would make the quarterfinals when I entered the event,” Ribeiro said. “I surfed the biggest waves of my life on Day 1 and I am now ready to train and improve. Just a great feeling for me.”

Antonio Pedro (PRT), contest director and organiser of the Rip Curl Pro, has organised ASP events at Peniche for five years and was happy with his event. “We have had good waves in the past here so it is not that surprising,” Pedro said. “It was really great to offer our top juniors their go in a world class wave and they put on a show.”

The Rip Curl Pro showcased the first man-on-man finals ever in Europe, and opens a new era for all future WQS surfers. “To have a closed 96-men format and man-on-man heats was very good,” Pedro said. “We need to give to all our future top European surfers all conditions to be prepared for the World Qualifying Series.”

Adrien Toyon (REU) and Maxime Huscenot (REU) both placed equal 3rd in the event, Huscenot posting his best result ever in an ASP Europe Pro Junior event.

Source: ASP Europe