A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis...
St. John Returns From Freshman Run On The ASP Tour
MANHATTAN BEACH, Ca. – Lewis St. John recently returned from his freshman run at the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) Europe Pro Junior Men Tour.
Preparation began with a seven-week training regime in Bali, Indonesia; better known as Surfer’s Paradise. Surfing five hours daily in perfect conditions, Lewis gained valuable knowledge fro both locals and visiting pros with tips on barrel riding, aerial maneuvers, as well as heat strategy.
This provided a solid foundation for his return to battle the best 21 and under European surfers on a six event European Tour.
The first event was the Quiksilver King of the Groms qualifier in Anglet, France, where he placed a commendable second position. Surfing from Round 1 straight through to the finals Lewis dominated his heats.
There was even indecision on the beach as to whether he deserved to be the winner instead of the “Quiksilver” rider. His second place in his qualifier allowed him to enter in Round 3 at the Quiksilver King of the Groms Final in Cape Breton, but Lewis gave up his spot to begin his quest on the Official ASP Europe Pro Junior Tour by entering the Buondi Pro Junior, in Amando, Portugal.
A combination of small waves and rainy conditions help produce a dismal 25th position and an early exit. Any feeling of depression was quickly erased at the Island Style Pro Junior, held in the picturesque Sopelana, Basque Country, Spain.
Lewis blasted his was through the early rounds and was narrowly defeated in the quarterfinals by the older, more experienced surfers to post a 13th position out of 96 competitors.
Leaving Spain with a quarterfinal finish had the young Bajan pumped to impress his Rip Curl Team Coach/Manager Gilles Darque at the Oakley Lacanau Pro Junior in Lacanau, Girode- France.
Once again, Lewis charged his way into the quarterfinals needing only one solid backup score to advance to the semi finals. Unfortunately, the ocean went flat which resulted in another 13th place finish.
The Tour remained in France for the Grade 3 Rip Curl Pro Junior in Hossegor. This event is seen as a warm up for all touring pro juniors preparing for the six (6) star WQS (World Qualifying Series), so the competition is extremely high.
With some heavily stacked heats against touring pro junior veterans, Lewis’ campaign was halted just before the quarterfinals to achieve a respectable 25th position.
Now ranked 20th on the tour and heading into the final event, Lewis was prepared to end the tour with a solid finish at the Billabong Pro Junior in Ericeira, Portugal. After advancing only two rounds, Lewis found himself in a “wave-starved” heat.
With time winding down and no “bumps” on the horizon, a depressing 65th position is all that could be gained. This early exit affected Lewis’ overall ranking, seeing him drop into 27th position for his final ranking.
With his grueling first year tour finally over, it was now homeward bound to Atlantic Shores, Oistins, Barbados for some much needed R & R (Rest and Relaxation) as well as prepare for the final contests of the BSA (Barbados Surfing Association) and CSN (Caribbean Surf Network) Calendar.
Up next is the Lazy Days/ BSA National Championships (Sept. 15-16) followed by the CSN Caribbean Challenge Cup Tour’s Final Event — the 2007 Soup Bowl Pro (Sept. 23-24).
The final events of the year will be held in November beginning with the WQS/ALAS Reef Classic (Nov. 16-18) followed by the BPSA/CSN Champion of Champions (Nov 23-25).