Vicente Romero

Vicente Romero from Spain has been crowned European King of The Groms Champion.  He had the highest scoring wave of the final.  Surfing strongly on a solid 4ft (1.5m) left, he tore three great off the lip manoeuvres and landed a mini air, which added to his 13.17 heat score.   His fellow finalists put on a great show to produce a fitting climax to what has been a truly spectacular event.

 “I am proud to win today,” he said after his victory.  “I am happy for me and Spain.  We win in the cycling and in the football.  It was a wonderful final.  I’m really looking forward to surfing against the top 16 in the world.  I will go in with no stress, no worries so let’s see.  I’m excited to surf alongside Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning.” He finished his winner’s speech with a “Merci a todos!”  

The final day of competition at this year’s KOTG event has again raised the level of junior surfing in Europe.  The sun was scorching, the waves solid, and the crowds lined Le Prévent Beach at Capbreton to watch the action.  President of Quiksilver Europe, Pierre Agnes, at the prize presentation thanked everybody for coming to his home-town to make the event special.   

The best 32 European surfers aged 16 and under fought it out today but only the top two have earned prestigious wild cards into the World KOTG final.  The Europeans will be up against the best young surfers from around the globe who will be here to compete during the Quiksilver Pro France in September.  Joining Vicente as a World KOTG finalist will be Dimitri Ouvré from Guadeloupe, who came second today.

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Island Style Pro Junior 

Medi Veminardi (REU) and Alizee Arnaud (Hossegor, FRA) respectively won the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Grade-2 Men’s and Grade-1 Women’s Pro Junior events today at Sopelana in the Basque Counrty, ending victorious after a four-day long event that saw big upsets and major ratings’ points taken for the regional title race.

Medi Veminardi (REU), 18, won the Island Style Men’s Pro Junior after defeating local Basque surfer Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK) in a Man-on-Man 30-minute final posting a good 14.00 point heat score (out of a possible 20). Veminardi, who got through three heats today with victories over underdog Thomas Fok Cheong (REU) in Semifinals and Justin Delanne (FRA) in the Quarters, built his confidence with consistency and heat tactics en route to the final where he waited for a last minute 7.50 point ride (out of a possible 10) to secure his maiden ASP Pro Junior title.

"I was really turned on for this final", Veminardi said. "I had a second place in Portugal in April and I was not going to let this go away from me. I am so stoked to win this event as it is a 2-Star and it will be a very important one for the end-of-the-year ratings."

Veminardi, who moves up from No. 4 to No. 3 on the regional ratings, remains well in contention for the crown and 384 points away only from fellow Reunion Island born surfer and current leader Maxime Huscenot (REU).

"This win keeps well in the Top 5 and it is really important to get this halfway through the season", Veminardi said. "My goals are easy now: regional Top 3 at least and a good result at Narabeen in Australia this winter. Still a long way to go."

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Bruce Irons 

Bruce Irons (HAW) has defeated fellow finalist Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) to claim the 2008 Rip Curl Pro Search in rifling four-foot (1.5 metre) lefthanders ‘somewhere’ in Indonesia.

Stop No. 6 of 11 on the 2008 ASP World Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Search saw a marathon day of action capped off by a stunning barrel shootout finale between the young Hawaiians.

Irons, who took down reigning ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS) and Dream Tour sophomore Ben Dunn (AUS) en route to his Finals berth, came from behind in last 10 minutes of the event, grabbing an 8.33 and a 9.33 to scalp his first ASP World Tour victory.

“One of my goals when I joined the Tour was to win an event and I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen since I’ll be stepping away after this season,” Irons said. “But the waves pumped this event! This is what the Dream Tour should be like all the time. I’m definitely stepping away from the ASP Tour at the end of this year, but I’m not retiring. I’m still planning on competing at Pipeline and Teahupoo and at venues that I can get into.”

The progressive natural-footer eased into the Final against Patacchia grabbing small scores before unleashing a fury of backhand tubes and commited re-entries over dry reef to take the win and move into No. 10 on the ASP World Tour ratings.

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