Vicente Romero: prepare to take off

Vicente Romero and Cannelle Bulard have won the Billabong Sopelana Pro Junior titles, in 2-3Ft surf at the main beach of Sopelana, Basque-Country.

Vicente Romero, 19, won consecutively six heats to come out the 2012 Billabong Sopelana Pro Junior Champion. Romero was the most consistant throughout these two days of competition, regularly posting scores in the excellent range despite complicated conditions like in the final.

"I live here so I know the place and the waves really well", an ecstatic Romero said. "I've just tried to do my best again, and with confidence and a good board I feel like everything went my way. Without sponsors I need money to survive the tour and results like this will help for sure."

After a second place in the opening event of the season in Canary Islands, and a 9th place in Royan earlier this month, this win in Sopelana allows Vicente Romero to overtake Vasco Ribeiro and take the pole position in this year's European Junior Championship race.

"The season is not over yet, Galicia is a really important event next week so I'll need to really focus for this comp, I'm going back to training and I'll just try my best once again in the next events."

Cannelle Bulard, 18, won the women's division after successfully winning her quarter-final and semi-final heats this morning. The young Reunion Island born surfer had control over the low scoring final managing to find the best waves and keep her opponents off them.

"It was really complicated," Bulard said. "I was lucky enough to find a good righthander that scored over the average, and then I was just struggling and paddling everywhere to try and find the good ones. It was really close when Maud (Le Car) got that wave in the end, but she didn't get the score so I'm stoked with this win !"

After a late season deception last year where she saw her dream of participating in the World Junior Championships dissapear following an early loss, Cannelle Bulard is now sitting second on the European rankings and is virtually the first qualifier for 2012.

Despite the excitement of today's victory, Bulard keeps her head in the game and knows it takes consistance to be there at the end of the year.

"I haven't had the best of luck at Lacanau, the last event of the season, so basically I'm taking it event by event and we'll see what happens when the season is over !"

Billabong Sopelana Pro Junior Men's Final Results:
1 - Vicente Romero (ESP) 15.34
2 - Mihimana Braye (PYF) 11.16
3 - Diego Mignot (FRA) 10.07
4 - Frederico Morais (PRT) 9.38

Billabong Sopelana Pro Junior Women's Final Results:
1 - Cannelle Bulard (REU) 9.83
2 - Maud Le Car (FRA) 9.73
3 - Garazi Sanchez (EUK) 4.27
4 - Tanika Hoffman (ZAF) 3.80