The European ratings leader, Lee-Anne Curren (FRA) takes the second leg of the tour in extreme conditions on the beach at Guincho, Portugal. 10 seconds before the hooter at the BPI Cascais Girls Festival, the four competitors suddenly seemed to wake up, throwing themselves into a wave one after the other, whereas during the 30 minutes of the final only 7 waves had been surfed.
Marie Dejean (FRA), the only surfer to have two scoring waves, was in the lead for nearly the entire final, with Lee-Anne Curren (FRA) behind her with just one scoring wave, but not any old wave : a 9 pointer! Counting down…a set approaches from the horizon and Lee-Anne Curren takes off on the biggest one, lays down a cut-back to re-position herself, then heads down the line to finish with a huge re-entry that nobody expected her to make, so quick and radical was the move. But make it she did, and Lee-Anne Curren (FRA) put herself way out in front in the heat to take the title and the ratings lead.
Before getting up on the podium Lee-Anne told us: “…it was a tough 30 minutes but luckily I got a good wave at the start, without that I would have been stressing. When I got out of the water, I kind of knew my scores and that’s exactly what the judges gave me…".
Lee-Anne has had an excellent start to the season : “…there’s less pressure on me in the open division because I’m one of the youngest, but in the pro junior division, I’m the defending champion and I’m having problems dealing with the stress…".
Next year Lee-Anne is going to take on the world tour and is hoping to qualify for the ASP Women World Tour : “…I’m hoping to achieve my objective in the first year. My dad is going to go with me to certain events. And then Alizee Arnaud and Charlotte Caton will be there as well, so I won’t be all alone…".
Marie Dejean will not be one of the European surfers on the World Tour in 2008, but at 15 years of age, she has shown that she could well be representing the colors of France at an international level in a few years time : “…I came into the season with no objectives, just to do my best and to surf against the best to see where my level is at. I made the semis at the Kana Miss cup (WQS 1*), and today I got a second, its fantastic !..."
Miriam Imaz (EUK) also had a great contest finishing in third place : “…the conditions were super tough, I think it was the hardest contest I’ve ever done. Paddling out, I couldn’t even open my eyes because of the wind…I couldn’t see the other competitors, we all surfed our own heat and it was a surprise on getting out of the water…but I wasn’t expecting much because I didn’t get any really good ones. I hope to get my revenge in Pantin !"
Then came Alizee Arnaud who took what must be the most frustrating place, but must be happy nevertheless to have reached the final after having won the pro junior last week-end at Lacanau.
The next event is at Pantin from 7 to 9 september for a WQS 3 star.