Small Waves No Problem For Euro Leader

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: April 15, 2008

LA SAUZAIE, France — The Vendée Pro, an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 4-Star event, got underway Tuesday at the famous reef break of La Sauzaie in 2 ft (0.5 meter) clean waves.

Gathering 96 surfers from around the world for a week of competition on the West Coast of France, the 7th edition of the Vendée Pro offered a numerous crowd its first day of action with Heats 1 to 7 of Round 1 being held in the afternoon.

Marcos San Segundo (EUK), current ASP European Pro Surf Tour leader, qualified for Round 2 with a second place finish behind British surfer Johnny Fryer (GBR).

San Segundo, 20, who is leading the European Tour for the first time ever in his young career, managed to secure a Round 2 birth despite the small waves on offer.

“It is something new for me to be a leader among the experienced European surfers,” San Segundo said. “I am not feeling any pressure however and I felt good out there.”

“I just want to keep up the good work and will see how things go.”

San Segundo, who won his first ever WQS event last month in Tapia, will now meet Darren Turner (AUS) and European veteran Kepa Acero (EUK) in Round 2.

“I am not really thinking about my opponents or results,” San Segundo said. “Winning the first event of the year was excellent for confidence and I will take heats one by one as I did in the past. Nothing changes.”

It was a day of low scores and average surfing at La Sauzaie, the famous french reef not delivering good potential waves. Bobby Morris (USA), who won Heat 1 of Round 1 ahead of Karlos Gomez (EUK) and Rafael Batista (BRA), posted the highest heat tally of the day with 13.00 points out of possible 20 and will now surf against top seeded surfer Eric Geiselman (USA), Oier Illaramendi (EUK) and Yannick De Jager (NLD).

Former top competitor and surfing legend Richie Collins (USA) surfed in Round 1 of the Vendée Pro, coming back to professional surfing after a decade away from tour.

Collins, who was a leader of surfing’s renewal in the 90s, won Heat 2 of Round 1 against 20-year-old Yannick De Jager (NLD) to advance to Round 2 where he will meet top seeded and promissing French surfer Vincent Duvignac (FRA).

The Vendée Pro will restart Wednesday at 10.30 AM at La Sauzaie. Tamayo Perry (HAW) and Liam McNamara, renowned Hawaiian Pipeline chargers, will get their chance in Round 1 of the Vendée Pro when competition resumes.

The forecast shows a solid swell on its way and 4 to 6 ft waves are expected from Thursday.

NOTE: The Vendée Pro is LIVE on


All news, videos, podcasts and photos are available on