Gony Zubizarreta 

Gonzalo Zubizarreta (ESP), 24, claimed the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 5-Star San Miguel Pro Zarautz pres. by Euskaltel today after besting runner-up Blake Thornton (AUS), 24, in three foot (one meter) waves. Zubizarreta, who pocketed valuable 2000 ratings’ points, finishes atop the 144-man field after four days of intense competition that saw local hero Aritz Aranburu (Zarautz, EUK) post the event’s best scores. The Spanish performer is guaranteed to jump into the coveted ASP WQS Top 20 and getting closer to the 10000 point mark.

Zubizarreta, who went through several tough heats throughout the four-day event besting Dion Atkinson (AUS), Patrick Gudauskas (USA) and Glenn Hall (IRL) en route to the final, had to surf four times today to claim the crown, his career best win that will significantly count for his ASP World Tour qualification campaign. Having scored the day’s best scores throughout his final run today, Zubizarreta was in unstoppable form in front of a cheering crowd that put all its passion to support the last European surfer in the event and push the 24-year-old man towards his best result ever.

“It’s a dream coming true right now, I can’t believe I have won that event,” Zubizarreta said. “Since I left the junior series I have been looking to make a final in a major event and I have finally won my first one ever so I couldn’t hope for anything better. I was feeling good this week and almost at home with the huge support and I was pretty relaxed in the final, just letting my surfing flow and it went right. I am just stoked.”

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Marc Lacomare 

Marc Lacomare (Capbreton, FRA), 18, was crowned the 2009 ASP European Junior champion today after closest title contender Jatyr Berasaluce (Sopelana, EUK), 20, was eliminated from the ASP Grade-3 Santa Surf Pro Junior in the Canarian island of Tenerife.

Leading the regional ratings since his recent win in the Rip Curl Pro Junior at Hossegor a couple of weeks ago, Lacomare sealed the deal today closing a great year of performance to claim his maiden regional title and get his ticket for this year’s ASP World Junior Championships (WJC) taking place at Narabeen in Australia next January.

“The title wasn’t done for me even if I was in the lead before Tenerife,” Lacomare said. “I was really focused on my heats and did not think about the title until it would be confirmed and I am just over the moon right now. I’ve had a long year competing on both ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) and Pro Junior events. I had an injury in June and July and I got back to competition to focus on the junior series, and it finishes perfectly with that title.”

Lacomare, who had a great year where he placed 3rd in the world at Narabeen before clinching the opening ASP Grade-2 B! Pro Junior in Portugal last April, was considered a favorite throughout the seven-event season that saw several exceptional battles take place including his duel with title contender Berasaluce in the Semifinals at Hossegor where Lacomare took a serious lead before the final contest at Tenerife.

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Romain Cloitre 

The ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 5-Star San Miguel Pro Zarautz pres. by Euskaltel got closer to its much expected showdown today after another day of exciting action and clashes, the wind-blown three foot (one meter) waves not easing the remaining competitors’ mission. With world-class level definitely making the difference throughout the day and nine of the current ASP WQS Top 20 surfers still in contention for the crown and valuable ratings’ points, it was a show of excellent surfing and variety for the faithful Basque crowds and another successful heat for event best scorer and local hero Aritz Aranburu (EUK), 23.

From nine-pointers to excellent heat results, the whole repertoire of modern surfing was displayed by the remaining twenty-four competitors trying to grab their Man-on-man round tickets, the ASP judging panel rewarding sixteen men only including the day’s best performers Luke Munro (Gold Coast, AUS), Glenn Hall (IRL), Romain Cloitre (Les Roches Noires, REU) and Aritz Aranburu (Zarautz, EUK). With the domination of the Basque warrior leaving everyone behind before tomorrow’s showdown, fellow top athletes stepped-up to remind the local cheering crowds the battle was just starting for the crowning of the 2009 edition.

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