Justine Dupont

Justine Dupont (Lacanau, FRA), 17, clinched the 2008 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) European Women's title after placing second in the ASP WQS 3-Star Pantin Classic in Spain.

Dupont, who who had to place third or better in the final to clinch the prestigious title ahead of Pauline Ado (FRA), came up with solid surfing posting an average of 15.00 points (out of a possible 20) per heat during the 3-day event.

"I am so happy to get that title," Dupont said. "I was not really thinking of any ratings but I figured out that I could grab the regional crown when I made the final and it is just so good to make it. It is my best result on a WQS event and we had good waves so it is even better to win the regional championship in these waves."

Dupont, currently No. 4 on the ASP European Women's Junior tour, will lead female surfing for a year in Europe and confirms her status as one of France’s most promissing surfers.

"I am definitely starting to think of a career now but I will still keep my studies going," Dupont said. "Things have been going good for me and I am really enjoying my time competing."

Dupont, who competes in both longboard and shortboard categories, placed second in the ASP Women's World Longboard Championships in 2007, and now rises as Europe's best female surfer following Lee Ann Curren (FRA) in ASP Europe's history. At 17 years of age, Dupont already stands with a prestigious career and should keep rising among surfing's elite.

2008 ASP European Women's Final ratings
1. Justine Dupont (FRA)
2. Pauline Ado (FRA)
3. Marie Dejean (FRA)
4. Amandine Sanchez (FRA)
5. Caroline Sarran (FRA)
6. Lee-Ann Curren (FRA)
7. Anne-Cecile Le Tallec (FRA)
8. Fransisca de Santos (PRT)
9. Joana Rocha (PRT)
10. Filipa Prudencio (PRT)

William Cardoso

Willian Cardoso (BRA), 22, won the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 5-Star Movistar O'Neill Pantin Classic in three foot (one meter) waves defeating Michel Bourez (PYF) in the final man-on-man battle of the week winning 2000 valuable points counting for the international ratings.

Cardoso, who defeated Bourez in tricky conditions, ended a week of high performance big wave surfing after posting some of the event's best scores for his maiden WQS victory.

"I am over the moon right now and I am stoked to get that win," Cardoso said. "It was a week of great waves and I was just feeling good and relaxed. It ends up perfectly for me and today is a special one as I placed second in an event exactly a year ago and I wanted to better that."

Cardoso, who will surf in the upcoming event next week, was impressive all week in the massive ten foot (three meter) waves and it was no surprise to see him grab the title today.

"I like big waves and we had the biggest swell of the summer this week so I was definitely hoping to get a big result," Cardoso said. "I had a tough time this year with an injury that kept me out of the water for two months after an operation and this win definitely puts me back on track for the race. So stoked."

Michel Bourez (PYF), 23, did a remarkable comeback by reaching the final today after a disappointing European leg. Bourez, who posted one of four perfect 10.00 point rides of the event on Day 4 of competition, was on fire all week enjoying the big swell but lacked a last wave in the final encounter and finishes overall second.

"I am happy for William (Cardoso) because he surfed really well in the event and totally deserves to win it," Bourez said. "I could not really hear the scores out there but I knew I had to get a second good wave so I waited for a set but it never came. There was nothing i could do but I am happy with that final."

Bourez, who jumps back to No. 26 on the ratings, will be much awaited at all big events coming up including the Canarian 6-Star Prime rated one and the Hawaiian contests where his shallow-reef experience will be a great assett.

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Pantin Classic 2008

Day 2 of the Movistar O’Neill Pantin Classic was treated to a full day of action with twenty heats taking place in testing five to eight foot (1.5 to 2.5 meter) waves taking the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 5-Star event into the top seeded surfers’ round with big names getting their start in the event.

William Cardoso (BRA) took top honours again winning Heat 5 of Round 3 with the second best heat tally of the event so far including the best wave score, respectively 16.56 points (out of a possible 20) and a near perfect 9.73 (out of a possible 10) to advance.

Cardoso, a power surfer from Brazil, was at ease in the testing eight foot sets and defeated defending champion and current ASP WQS No. 9 Marlon Lipke (DEU) to secure his spot in Round 4.

"I am pretty stoked with that heat and I was lucky to surf with the tide coming in because it cleaned up the line-up," Williams said. "I had that good 9.57 point ride yesterday in Round 2 and I did better in that one so it is a great confidence boost."

Cardoso, who lost early in all events in Europe this summer, came to Pantin with a fresh mental ready to start from scratch and get a result under his belt.

"It has been pretty hard for me and I was feeling very bad after that loss in Ericeira last week," Cardoso said. "I decided to try harder in a positive way and it seems like I am back on the right path so I am stoked. I cannot wait to paddle back out and surf those big waves coming soon, it seems like it will very solid Friday."

Cardoso’s performance was just a starter to the upcoming show with most of the current ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) leaders being present at Pantin.

The opening clash of Round 3 saw last week’s ASP WQS 6-Star runner-up Patrick Gudauskas (USA) come up with some of the most impressive surfing of the day posting a 7.83 point ride out of a possible 10 after landing an eight-foot high floater on one of the set waves.

Gudauskas, who is rated No. 4 on the international ratings, finished second though after Reunion Island born surfer Christophe Allary (REU) went from fourth to first in the last minute with the highest singl wave score of the event so far, an impressive 9.57 point ride after busting a huge double-grab frontside air.

"I went out there to have fun and try a lot of maneuvers but kept falling on all my waves," Allary said. "I knew I needed more than seven points to catch up with the guys so I paddled in that last wave with nothing to lose and went for that big air which I landed. Pretty stoked to make this one."

Allary, who has had a disappointing European leg so far, let go the pressure for his second heat in the event and left the water smiling.

"It has been pretty hard for me this year and to make a heat with that kind of finish is pretty good for my confidence," Allary said. "This event and the next ones will be my main focus to get back at my level and I am definitely ready to surf again in bigger waves tomorrow."

With crowds cheering their local heroes despite the rains and winds blowing all day, the Movistar O’Neill Pantin Classic got into serious business and the pressure definitely rose upon those chasing points counting for the end-of-the-year possible ASP World Tour qualification.

Gony Zubizarreta (ESP), 23, the best local surfer ever who currently sits 44th on the ratings, was much awaited for his start in the only local event of the year and handled the pressure pretty well getting a confident second place to advance behind ASP WQS European No. 3 Glenn Hall (IRE).

"There was a bit of pressure on me for that heat as you always want to do good at home and the public wants you to win," Zubizarreta said. "That first wave came and it was pretty good but I fell and started getting nervous a little but it all ended up well so I am happy. Lots of waves came in and it was just a matter of choice."

Zubizarreta, who is looking to better his overall 7650 point total, has all chances to shine at his home break of Pantin and will be a serious contender for the crown if he reaches the finals where massive crowds are expected.

Ten to twelve foot (3 to 4 meter) waves are supposed to hit Pantin from tomorrow night and today will feature all Round 3 remaining heats and possibly some of Round 4 clashes with more and more points on offer to those campaigning for a possible Dream Tour inception next year.

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