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.

RESULTS FINAL OAKLEY PRO JUNIOR SAN SEBASTIAN
1 - Medi Vemenardi (REU) 13.33
2 - Tom Cloarec (FRA) 10.60
3 - Damien Chaudoy (REU) 8.50
4 - Alex Gironi (EUK) 6.27

RESULTS FINAL OAKLEY GIRLS PRO JUNIOR SAN SEBASTIAN
1 - Pauline Ado (FRA) 13.67
2 - Alizee Arnaud (FRA) 12.56
3 - Cannelle Bulard (REU) 7.64
4 - Justine Dupont (FRA) 5.93

It produces a characteristic sound that immediately takes us to tropical environments. The ukulele was born in Hawaii but has its roots in Western Europe.

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