Pauline Ado: a great surfer

An amazing day of surfing unfolded at the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Oakley Pro Junior San Sebastian were Europe's finest under-21 male and female surfers showed off what talent is on offer at the moment with Pauline Ado (FRA) coming out on top in the Oakley Girls Pro Junior San Sebastian while Medi Vemenardi (REU) 19, claimed the Oakley Pro Junior San Sebastian men's title.

Excellent 3-4ft (1m) peeling lefts and rights greeted event officials and surfers this morning offering competitors the perfect playing field to do battle in the 2010 edition of the Oakley Pro Junior San Sebastian. With a poor swell prediction for the following days officials did not hesitate to take advantage of the conditions to run the finals.

In a highly contested 35-minute men's final Medi Vemenardi (REU) held on to take the victory and the lead in the ASP Europe Pro Junior ratings with his maiden win here at the Oakley Pro Junior San Sebastian over Tom Cloarec (FRA), Damien Chaudoy (REU) and Basque surfer Alex Gironi who finished in second, third and fourth place respectively.

From the opening siren Vemenardi had a set strategy opening his account strongly with a 5.83 and a 7.50 out of 10 to take the lead in the first half of the final knowing that with the tide rising waves with scoring potential would be scarce in the remaining minutes and sticking to his game plan despite heavy pressure from his opponents managed to hold on until the final siren.

"I knew the tide was getting higher so I was sure I would have to get my waves in the first half of the heat. I was lucky enough to get those two waves in the first five minutes and after that I just waited for 30-minutes saying to myself that no more waves would come so I am so happy now with the win."

"With the high tide there is only one peak," explained Vemenardi. "Everyone wanted to get the good ones and there is only one spot and we were very close to each other so everyone was paddling for anything that came through so there was a lot of pressure for the entire heat. I tried this board yesterday and it went really well so I have used it today and it worked. I want to win as many pro juniors as I can that is my goal and hope I can make it. It is three years now in the top 5 and I really want to make it this year."

Local Basque surfer Alex Gironi (Sopelana/EUK) was the crowd favourite after securing his best result in an ASP Europe Pro Junior sanctioned event. Surfing hard on his backhand to impress the judges Gironi battled it out like a seasoned veteran not throwing in the towel in his attempt to get into the heat.

With his fourth place finish here and the Sopelana Pro Junior coming up next week Girioni will be hungry to better his result on home soil.

"I am happy but in the final I couldn't catch any waves that would let me do any turns but it was great to be in the final with these guys and with all the people here on the beach. My semi was better because I got a wave with only two minutes left and I did some strong turns and made it through to the final, I just don't know what to say I am just so happy right now."

Pauline Ado (Hendaye/FRA) 19, was the standout surfer today in the Oakley Girls Pro Junior San Sebastian which she dominated from her open heat where she belted out a series of forehand turns to claim a 9.60 out of 10 and a combined heat total of 17.27 the highest of the entire event. Having missed the opening series event Ado jumps to fourth on the overall women's pro junior ratings. With other commitments at the US Open shortly Ado will have to leave her European title hopes to the last throw of the dice in the final ASP Grade-2 Pro Junior in Lacanau this August.

"My first heat of the day my quarter-final went really well with some good scores which gave me a big confidence boost so I just wanted to do the same in the semi and the final. I started well in the final but it felt so long the 30-minute final because I was in the lead and the girls were getting closer and closer but it finished really good because I didn't do very well in the last contest so I am pretty happy right now."

"It is great to be on the ratings in fourth spot," continued Ado. "I didn't do the first contest but unfortunately I won't be in the next pro junior in Sopelana because I am going to the US Open but I think here is a perfect training session for the WQS events with so many girls surfing so well. I have been preparing physically and on my technique for the summer leg of ASP contests and I feel fit and inform and I hope I can continue like this."

Cannelle Bulard (REU) who made her third consecutive Pro Junior final this year now leads the ASP Europe Women's Junior ratings ahead of fellow finalists today Justine Dupont (FRA) who is currently second followed by Alizee Arnaud (FRA).

"I am happy with the result but the waves for the final were not the same as this morning with it getting smaller and difficult to find the best waves but I am happy. I really want to qualify for the World Juniors this year and I want to stay at the top of the ratings so it will be a difficult task but in Lacanau we will see how I finish and maybe I can win it if I am a bit lucky."

There are four events on this year's ASP European Men's Junior Tour which will eventually crown the prestigious ASP European Junior Championship as well as qualifying for the ASP World Junior Tour. Year-end ratings' Top 4 securing their place in the two ASP Wold Junior title decider events in Bali and Australia.

First of two ASP Europe Sanctioned Pro Junior events taking place in Euskadi (Basque Country), the Oakley Pro Junior San Sebastian will also be a crucial event for surfers bidding for the 1000 Euro extra-prize money offered by Surfing Euskadi to the best male and female performer at both the Oakley Pro Junior San Sebastian and the upcoming Sopelana Pro Junior.

1 - Medi Vemenardi (REU) 13.33
2 - Tom Cloarec (FRA) 10.60
3 - Damien Chaudoy (REU) 8.50
4 - Alex Gironi (EUK) 6.27

1 - Pauline Ado (FRA) 13.67
2 - Alizee Arnaud (FRA) 12.56
3 - Cannelle Bulard (REU) 7.64
4 - Justine Dupont (FRA) 5.93

Surfing in Canada: it must be quite lonely...

The 1st Annual Canadian Surf Film Festival (CSFF) will take place at the Empire Park Lane Cinemas in Halifax, Nova Scotia From September 30 to October 2, 2010.

Created by four Nova Scotian surfers, the CSFF will be a celebration of surf films and Canadian surf culture. The three-day event will include screenings, presentations and receptions.

“When I hear about a surf film screening in town, I get excited,” says Keith Maddison, CSFF co-founder. “Everyone shows up and is stoked to be there. So we wanted to create an event around surf films in our community.”

Renown surf photographer and filmmaker Yassine Ouhilal is also a co-founder of the festival.

“Surfing in Nova Scotia has been around here since the Sixties and with the CSFF, we will honor that heritage by showcasing classic films as well as exciting new releases,” says Ouhilal.

Included in the CSFF will be a competition for Canadians to create short 10-minute surf films with the best ones premiering at the festival.

“We want the community to be involved,” says Walter Forsyth, another CSFF founder, “and what better way to participate than to make a film.”

Deadline for submissions is September 3. For complete details, check out the recently-launched CSFF website.

The Canadian Surf Film Festival is also partnering with the Surfing Association of Nova Scotia (SANS) and the Coastal Access Committee to help raise awareness of their efforts.

“We would like to see the local surf culture to continue evolving in positive ways and we think an annual festival can contribute to this,” says Maddison. “Plus, if the ocean is flat, it’s the next best thing.”

In addition to festival details, the CSFF website includes a forum for surfers and surf culture enthusiasts to discuss surf films and culture and to promote their own surf art. It will be updated frequently in the coming months.

Malibu: a surfing sanctuary

Save The Waves Coalition, in partnership with National Surfing Reserves Australia and the International Surfing Association, is proud to announce the forthcoming dedication of iconic Malibu Surfrider Beach as the first World Surfing Reserve.

The enshrinement ceremony for the Malibu World Surfing Reserve will be held at Surfrider Beach on October 9, 2010. There will be a paddle-out celebration, daytime media event, and evening fundraiser to celebrate this special occasion.

The October 9th event will also mark the commencement of a stewardship and preservation plan for Malibu aimed at building general awareness around the importance of protecting the world’s greatest, most cherished surf spots.

Malibu is California’s definitive pointbreak and one of the world’s first ‘perfect waves’. Following World War II, Malibu helped established directions in technology, surfing style, and the image of the sport that are still followed today. It remains a transcendent name: included in more than 75 surfing films, representative of a Southern California lifestyle, and represented by name on any number of products and businesses.

A Local Stewardship Council, made up of community members intimately familiar with and dedicated to surfing at Malibu, will be responsible for implementing the stewardship plan to protect Malibu’s environmental, cultural, social and economic benefits.

Confirmed members of this Council include local surfing legends Allen Sarlo, Andy Lyon, and Steven Lippman, as well as community members Bill Parr and Michael Blum. Honorable Mayor of Malibu Jefferson Wagner, also known as Zuma Jay, has also voiced his enthusiastic support of the initiative. More stewards will be announced soon.

“The WSR program, inspired by UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, helps the surfing community to identify and preserve surfing heritage through their important surf breaks. Malibu makes any short list of the world’s most famous beaches, and remains a reference point for much of what we think of as style in or out of the water,” stated Michael Blum, President of the Malibu Surfing Association and a member of the Malibu World Surfing Reserve Local Stewardship Council.

Ross Mirkarimi, a California Coastal Commissioner, political leader and early advocate for World Surfing Reserves, announced: “Earlier this year, California took a leadership role to protect iconic surf spots through the California Coastal Commission’s adoption of an important resolution supporting World Surfing Reserves. I am delighted to see this program move forward as it will benefit not only surfers but also the greater coastal community."

This designation of Malibu is the first in a series of World Surfing Reserves planned for the iconic surfing coastlines of Australia, Hawaii and numerous other areas worldwide. World Surfing Reserves are nominated through a selection process and currently there are dozens of proposed WSRs covering nearly every continent on the planet.

World Surfing Reserves are produced through a partnership of Save The Waves, National Surfing Reserves Australia, the International Surfing Association (ISA) and Stanford University’s Center for Responsible Travel (CREST).