A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
High Scores, Performances Rule ASP Qualifying
LA SAUZAIE, France – Clean 3 ft (1 meter) waves were breaking over the reef of La Sauzaie for Day 2 of the Vendee Pro, allowing organisers to run the ten remaining heats of Round 1 and get Round 2 underway with Heats 1 to 6 completed Wednesday.
Eric Geiselman (California, USA) was the man of the day, opening Round 2 with the best score of the event, an impressive 18.77 point heat tally to easily advance ahead of Bobby Morris (USA) in the 3 ft clean waves at La Sauzaie.
“I had a bad result here last year so I just tried to stay loose and have fun,” Geiselman said. “The water is cold but the consistency of the waves today made it really fun, very similar to Lowers in California so I just felt good.”
Geiselman, who will be a favorite in Round 3, posted an near perfect 9.77 out of possible 10 during the 25-minute decider showing great speed and control on his board.
“I have been surfing new boards shaped by my dad and they just work really well so it should keep me turned on for next round,” Geiselman said. “I cannot wait to get back out there and surf these waves.”
The second day of competition happened to be a day of high scores and performance, the top seeded surfers entering the event in perfect timing with the swell increase.
Luke Campbell (AUS) was one of the day’s top scorers posting a solid 17.34 point heat score to qualify. Campbell, who surfed in the ASP WQS 6-Star Prime event of Margaret River last week , adapted well to the 10Â°C water and finished ahead of Arthur Bourbon (GLP), both getting their Round 3 ticket ahead of Norman Landa (EUK) and Alexandre Ferreira (PRT).
Dale Lovelock (Queensland, AUS), 21, had secured an impressive 16.76 point heat tally (out of possible 20) earlier in the day in Heat 12 of Round 1. Lovelock, who dominated the small tricky conditions, defeated Hawaii’s North Shore charger Tamayo Perry (HAW) and local Vincent Primel (FRA) to advance ahead of heat second Adrien Toyon (REU).
“I am stoked to get such scores, and I could not hope more than this 9.33 to start my first event in France” Lovelock said. “The waves were pretty good out there and I felt in rythm and got the good ones.”
Lovelock, who surfed his first heat ever in the French cold waters, became a full ASP World Qualifying Series campaigner this year and hopes for a solid result in the Vendee Pro before going to Scotland next week.
“The water is so cold here it was tough when I first paddled out yesterday,” Lovelock said. “It was my fourth surf since I got here and I am getting used to it now. I am looking for a quarterfinal finish and anything above that will be perfect before the event in Scotland next week.”
Lovelock will meet veteran European surfer Frederic Robin (REU), Devon Tresher (USA) and Joao Guedes (PRT) in Heat 12 of Round 2 when competition resumes.
Joan Duru (Hossegor, FRA), former ASP European Pro Junior Champion, showed promising skills posting the fifth best wave score of the event in Heat 14 of Round 1 with a 9.00 point ride.
Duru, a World Qualifying Series top European and French surfer, easily advanced to Round 2 with a 15.00 point final score (out of possible 20).
“The waves were better than I thought and I am happy with that heat,” Duru said. “I did not plan to come here as I was supposed to be in the 6-Star Prime event in South Africa, but now that I am here I want to get the best result possible.”
Duru, who will turn 19 next week, is now a full time WQS surfer and is already thinking of possible qualification for the 2009 ASP World Tour.
“I want to give my best at every event I will go to this year and why not end up in the top 16 to join the ASP Top 45,” Duru said. “I feel good right now so I will see how things go.”
Among the upsets were the elminations of former ASP European Pro Surf Tour champion Justin Mujica (PRT) and former top ASP European junior Vincent Duivgnac (FRA). Hawaii’s North Shore Liam Mc Namara and Tamayo Perry were both eliminated, as was former top ASP World Tour surfer Richie Collins (USA).