Tim Boal: white angel

Tim Boal has conquered the Protest Vendee Pro, at La Sauzaie, in France. The French surfer defeated Alain Riou in a tight final held with 3ft (1m) waves.

Boal, who had already won the contest in 2007, led early with two solid rides before Riou turned the tables on the former ASP Dream Tour member with a long deep barrel and a succession on turns to score an 8.43 out of 10, the highest of the final and place Boal on the ropes.

"It was fun for sure that final but not when Alain got that 8.50.(laughs) I thought it was going to be won with maximum two sevens because the waves are getting really inconsistent and it is hard to get the good waves. Then I saw that wave of his and thought ‘There goes my plan’", commented Boal on his opponents excellent barrel ride.

With less than 10 minutes remaining, a mistake on priority by Riou was capitalized upon by Boal who laid down three forehand smashes to claim 7.50 out of 10 and secure the lead and the narrowest of wins by only 0.03 of a point.

"He let me go on that last one and I wasn’t sure if I had the score or not. I was expecting him to paddle for it but I needed a high score and it didn’t look that good at first so in his position I would have left it too. In the end it turned out to be a good wave and it went my way I guess."

Boal has gained even more confidence leading into the upcoming all important ASP Prime rated events scheduled for the first half of the season.

"It is always good to win an event, it doesn’t happen every day. I am actually stoked I have won two in the last six months actually so something must be going good and I’m going to focus now on trying to do good in the Prime events."

"The last time I won this event my former sponsor was sponsoring the event and now I am with Protest and I have won it again" continued an elated Boal. "I was thinking about it at the beginning of the week actually because I didn’t come here last year and this year I have signed with Protest so it is a lucking thing that happened."

Alain Riou surfed brilliantly all week and the final was no exception. He has furthered his lead on the ASP European rankings with his runner-up finish.

Marlon Lipke placed equal third at the Protest Vendee Pro going down to eventual event winner Boal in a close encounter which was controlled by Lipke in the early stages. Chris Friend struggled to find a decent scoring ride in semi-final nº 1 against Alain Riou who got off to a flying start and never let the young natural-footer into the race.

Protest Vendee Pro Final Result
Tim Boal (FRA) 14.33 Def. Alain Riou (PYF) 14.30

Evan Geiselman: high confidence levels

Evan Geiselman and Lakey Peterson are the grand winners of the Rob Machado Seaside Pro Junior, held in the Seaside Reef, California. The surfers had to take the most out of the peaky two-to-four foot waves to defeat their opponents.

In the Men's division, Geiselman belted the highest single-wave score of the competition - a 9.50 point ride - and managed the best available waves to beat Kolohe Andino, Chase Wilson and Dane Zaun.

"It was kind of a sluggish final for me and I think for the rest of the competitors and I was pretty tired out there, but I’m so happy to get a win and get some momentum going", Geiselman said.

"I’m not having the best year like last year so I’m so excited. I just want to thank my Mom for helping me out lately. She flew out here before the event and has been doing everything for me."

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Ben Skinner: toe surfing

Ben Skinner has taken the Goanna Pro Tapia, in Tapia de Casariego, Asturias, Spain. The Newquay surfer defeated fellow British rider Adam Griffiths, in a hard-fought final.

The winner used using both experience and great variety of technique to tame the incoming-tide bigger sets, led the battle all the way through to the end, using stylish nose-rides and fast forehand re-entries to secure points.

With an accurate wave selection throughout the 40-minute final and pleasing the Easter weekend crowds, the experienced athlete was able to stay ahead and win the ASP sanctioned 1-Star Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) event for the second time in three years.

"I am so stoked right now and it’s pretty emotional," Skinner said. "I wanted that win so bad, I wanted to do it for my dad, my new sponsor, my wife and kids and it’s just so good to take the win. I really overwhelmed with emotions right now and this win means a lot to me."

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