While the girls are still competing at the Huntington Beach in the US, the beautiful spot of Sopelana in the Basque Country of Spain is already quite again, after having hosted the ASP Billabong Pro Junior Sopelana last weekend. With this win, Cannelle Bulard (St Leu, REU) 17, is now finally on top of the ASP Europe Women’s Pro Junior rankings.
“I am really happy and the waves were hard to surf but now I am first on the junior rankings so I’ve got a chance to go to the World Juniors so I am really happy. Well done to Joanne (Defay), who surfed really well and it was close. We couldn’t hear the scores way out the back so I took my last wave and looked to see if she had a wave. I heard the speaker saying that we were waiting for scores so my heart was going crazy. I was nervous but I won so I am happy.”
Joanne Defay, who despite a slow start, came back late in the heat with two solid backhand waves to leave the water waiting for her last score. Falling short by the smallest of margins to take the lead, Defay was optimistic about her chances of continuing on the leader’s board of the European Junior rankings where she sits in second place.
“I was stressed a little bit at the beginning because I didn’t catch anything and so I said to myself, ‘calm down, it will be ok.’ I eventually got a wave and then I got my second wave in the last minute but it was not enough. I was only 0.40 away from Cannelle in the end so maybe if I had made another turn or a cutback on my last wave then it might have been different.”
“The last event in Lacanau is really important,” stated Defay. “It is a two-star contest. Every year it always comes down to this event to see who will win the European title so we will see.”
Surfing Euskadi has returned for the second consecutive year with increased financial support for Europe’s top surfers with Vasco Ribeiro (Praia da Poca, PRT) 17, taking out the added prize purse of 1,000 Euros for the best overall performance in the two ASP Pro Juniors celebrated this month in the Basque Country, while Bulard pocketed another 1,000 Euros for taking out the overall best women’s performance.
“I want to say thank you to Surfing Euskadi,” said Ribeiro. “These two contests are two of the best contests on the whole tour. I really enjoy coming to the Basque Country and surf in San Sebastian and Sopelana. They are such good beach breaks and I hope they continue to do both these contests for a long time.”
“Yes, thanks to Surf Euskadi,” added an elated Bulard. “I normally don’t do well in these two contests but this time I was lucky. It is great because the weather is warm and the people are nice. I am really glad to be here and I hope to come back again next year.”
The Billabong Pro Junior Sopelana provided crucial points for all surfers wishing to build on their rankings towards qualifying for the ASP World Junior Series which kicks off on October 3, in Bali Indonesia. The top three men and top two women on the ASP Europe Pro Junior ranking will qualify for the prestigious series.