Coco Ho: Hawaiian finalist in Europe

The finalists of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Swatch Girls Pro Junior were decided during an action packed day of competitive surfing by the best European and overseas under-21 female juniors.

The final will run over the weekend along with the Swatch Girls Pro a 6-Star Women’s Star Series event which was again postponed allowing the future of women’s surfing to showcase their talent at the main break of Les Bourdaines.

Conditions were small and clean with a light cross-shore sea breeze throughout the afternoon as the low tide offered waves in the 2-3ft range. Surfing further south on low tide long rights ran along the bank allowing for some high performance surfing to be laid down by the girls.

Coco Ho (HAW) blasted her way to the final with an amazing performance in semi-final nº2 by opening her account with a 7.00 out of a possible 10 and then smashing out to claim a near perfect 9.60 the highest single score and two wave total of the event so far.

“The conditions and the tide just worked out so well for me in that heat and I got one of the best waves I’ve had since coming here,” said Ho. “It has felt good to do the junior here to just find my feet again and happy to be in the final with a few friends so now we will wait until the weekend and it looks like the conditions should be good.”

Deciding to compete in both the Swatch Girls Pro Junior and the Swatch Girls Pro Ho has built slowly on her momentum and is looking more comfortable with the conditions making her one of the favourites running into the weekend in both events.

“I started off making my first heat with a couple of three point rides and now I have definitely built up my momentum and find my feet and rhythm again. We came off a lot of events in Australia and it can be hard on tour with back-to-back events so I had a little break at home and then came to France and it feels really good here.”

Fellow Hawaiian Nage Melamed will meet Ho in the final after advancing through her semi-final encounter overcoming her rivals in a closely fought out clash. Scoring an 8.5 early on Melamed keep her guard up and searched for her backup score which eventually came in the second half of her heat allowing her to compete in her first ASP Pro Junior final outside of her home region.

“I feel really good because it is my first pro junior final out of my country so I am really excited. My semi was so difficult with Laura Enever and the two French girls Justine Dupont and Pauline Ado because they are all such really good surfers so I am very fortunate to make it to the final. It was fun even though the wind picked up and I had fun out there.”

Laura Enever (AUS) advanced to the final in a nail biting struggle against Justine Dupont (FRA) who held the upper-hand over Enever until the current ASP Women’s Junior World Champion secured precisely the score she needed to overtake her local opponent and place second behind Melamed. Surfing further south and not being able to hear her scores Enever had no idea what she needed to advance.

“I didn’t know what position I was in but I knew I only had one good wave so I tried to catch whatever I could. I couldn’t hear anything out there and I thought the heat was over actually so when I came in it was my mum who told me they gave me exactly what I needed. It was tough out there but I’m in the final so I am stoked with that.”

An inform Courtney Conlogue (USA) continued her excellent campaign at the Swatch Girls Pro Junior making up the final spot for the contenders to this year’s title. Colognue surfed strongly in all of her three heats today and looks a threat to her more experienced opponents.

“In this situation I just went out there and threw it all into my surfing and on my first wave I got a score and then just looked for the best waves and with it so inconsistent you have to be on the right ones when they come through. The weather is perfect today and it is a shame it isn’t four to five foot because that would be heaven for us.” (laughs)

The Swatch Girls Pro Junior an ASP Grade-2 event will run in conjunction with the Swatch Girls Pro bringing together a fantastic blend of both European and overseas talent for this second event on the ASP European Women’s Pro Junior Series.

The ASP 6-Star Swatch Girls Pro and ASP Grade-2 Swatch Girls Pro Junior run from May 12 to 16 at Les Bourdains in Seignosse, France.

SWATCH GIRLS PRO JUNIOR FINALIST
Nage Melamed (HAW), Laura Enever (AUS), Coco Ho (HAW), Courtney Conlogue (USA)