Marc Lacomare (FRA), 18, claimed the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Europe 3-Star Rip Curl Pro Junior powered by Renault today at Peniche, Portugal, to take the lead of the 2008 season. Lacomare, who lives in Hossegor, made his way during two days of solid three to six foot (one to two meter) waves, defeating Medi Veminardi (REU) in the first man-on-man final ever held at a Pro Junior event in Europe.

Lacomare, a promissing ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) surfer used to the French hollow beachbreaks, ended up winning with a solid 15.00 point heat tally (out of possible 20) against Veminardi. Posting an excellent 8.83 point ride in the first ten minutes of the 30-minute final, Lacomare led all the way to his first crown of the season.

“I am stoked I won this event,” Lacomare said. “I want to thank my coach Stephen Bell for helping me in all my training and travel organisation this year because it is already making a difference.”

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It was an early start on Saturday morning for Irish surfers competing in the Denny Irish Surfing Championships with the first heat in the water at 8.00am at Tullan Strand. With the wave forecast for Sunday looking poor event organisers were eager to complete the event in one day.

The open division saw some great surfing. Standouts in the early rounds included Hugh Galloway (Tramore), Damien Conway (Lahinch), Aron Reid (Sligo), Ronan Oertzen (Belfast) and Nicole Morgan (Bundoran, the only women to compete in the Open). In the semi-finals newcomer Liam Joyce (Dublin) and veteran, David Blount (Tramore) eliminated Hugh Galloway (Tramore) and Kevin Doyle (Tramore) while Cain Kilcullen (Enniscrone) and Fergal Smith (Westport) secured their passes in the final eliminating Owen Murphy (Bundoran) and Ronan Oertzen (Belfast).

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An inspired performance from Durban’s Davey Weare saw him surf to victory against USA’s Austin Ware in excellent surf at Ansteys on the Bluff near Durban. Utilising their Prime-status alternative venue, the contest organisers had little hesitation in choosing Ansteys for the final day of surfing at the Quiksilver Pro Durban.

“Ansteys was always on the radar,” said contest director Matt Wilson of the venue choice for the day. “There’s not much happening at New Pier, or anywhere else on the coast, and we’re seeing some great waves here. The surfers are happy, so it was the right decision to make.” A day of great surfing, big moves and barrel rides ensued, with some explosive match-ups the order of the day.

Josh Kerr from Australia was in the first heat of the day against fellow Australian Shaun Cansdell, and won it convincingly with big turns and some trade-mark airs. “This is a great wave and stoked we moved here,” said Kerr of the new location. “These waves have plenty of push and there’s opportunities for big scores, so it definitely was a good idea to move the event. I got lucky in that heat by catching the good ones, but a win’s a win, so I’ll take it.”

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