What: Roxy Jam Biarritz presented by Orange, ASP WLT Women’s Champs
Where: Cote des Basques France
When: 11 – 16 July 2008
The first eliminations took place on day two of the Roxy ASP Women’s World Longboard Championships (WWLC) at la Cote des Basques. Twenty-two heats were done in good 1-metre waves and heats 1-6 of Round 3 were completed, making most of the consistent swell. Ten heats remain to wrap up Round 3.
Rachel Barry (USA), 16, created the upset of the day when she eliminated 2007 ASP Women’s World Longboard Tour No. 5 Crystal Dzigas (HAW) in the opening heat of Round 3 for her first appearance ever at La Cote des Basques.
Barry, who had eliminated Brazilian Sabrina Olas (BRA) in Round 2 earlier in the day, came close to an elimination before jumping ahead of Dzigas thanks to a last minute 7.25 point ride (out of a possible 10) to take the win by a mere 0.25 point lead.
“I didn’t know I won until people in the crowd congratulated me,” Barry said. “I was so surprised to get the win in the end. I tried my best and that 7.50 point ride was a big relief. Crystal (Dzigas) is one of the best longboarders in the world and it is amazing to get through this round.” Barry, who will turn 17 next Tuesday, already secures her best result to date and will be an outsider when her Round 4 heat resumes.
Schuyler McFerran (USA), 2006 ASP Women’s World Longboard Champion, easily led her encounter with Lindsay Steiriede (USA) posting the best heat and wave scores of the day, with a solid 14.25 point tally (out of a possible 20) including an 8-pointer. “I could not hear the scores during the heat until heard I got an 8.00 point ride,” McFerran said. “I was definitely stoked. I got a couple of cutbacks and nose rides but it was quite hard because of the bumpy waves. I am very happy with my surf because I am a very classic longboard surfer.”
McFerran put on an exciting show with combinations of classical manoeuvres and radical cutbacks while the setting sun was showing up over Biarritz. Thanks to this win, she equals her last year’s 9th place and will be looking to better it when competition reaches Round 4.
Kassia Meador (USA), a famous Roxy girl and one of the world’s best longboarders, surfed in the last heat of the day in wind-blown tricky waves. Meador, 26, who placed equal 9th last year in Biarritz, managed to advance ahead of event wildcard Emma Neuschwanger (REU) to secure her Round 4 ticket with a low 10.50 point heat result (out of a possible 20).
“My scores were pretty low so I tried to get as many waves as I could but the scores went back and forth in the heat and it kept me nervous”, Meador said. “I feel much better at this stage than I was last year even if the waves were better.”
Meador, who remains a potential ASP World Longboard Title contender, will meet McFerran in Round 4. “I want to do better than I did last year,” Meador said. “My secret for next round is to do some stretching for the bounce. I am definitely aiming at bettering the equal 9th I got in 2007.”
Earlier in the day, multiple ASP European Women’s Longboard Champion Claire Karabatsos (FRA) got through her Round 2 clash with Emma Wilson (AUS) to join fellow French surfers Justine Dupont (FRA), Nathalie Destandeau (FRA), Coline Menard (FRA) and Claire Dereux (FRA) in Round 3. Karabatsos, a former ASP Women’s World Tour No. 3, is a local from the French Basque Country and knows the spot better than anyone.
“I am from Biarritz and I know this spot very well so I felt pretty comfortable in the water despite the messy waves,” Karabatsos said. “I usually ride different and shorter boards in that kind of conditions but I felt good today.” Karabatsos, who has been a leading European surfer on both long and short boards for a decade, used her laid-back natural style to convince the ASP judges and will now face Karina Abras (BRA) in Round 3.
“I ride both longboard and shortboard usually and I just like to enjoy myself in any conditions”, Karabatsos said. “It helps me improve my style and technique and I hope it will help me again next heat. Knowing the place and the waves is defintely helpful.”
Competitors will be back at les Cote des Basques at 8am tomorrow morning to check the surf and make the call for Day 3 of the Roxy ASP WWLC.
ROUND 3 RESULTS
Heat 1: Rachel Barry (USA) 9.25 pts Def. Crystal Dzigas (HAW) 9.00 pts
Heat 2: Isabelle Braly (AUS) 10.85 pts Def. Selby Riddle (AUS) 6.90 pts
Heat 3: Yuko Shimajiri (JPN) 5.65 pts Def. Helene Chabeaud (FRA) 3.40 pts
Heat 4: Joy Monahan (HAW) 11.00 pts Def. Sarah Baum (ZAF) 5.10 pts
Heat 5: Schuyler Mc Ferran (USA) 14.25 pts Def. Lindsay Steinriede (USA) 11.25 pts
Heat 6: Kassia Meador (USA) 10.50 pts Def. Emma Neuschwanger (REU) 7.60 pts
UPCOMING ROUND 3 HEATS
Heat 7: Kaitlin Maguire (USA) Vs Kelly Nicely (USA)
Heat 8: Jennifer Smith (USA) Vs Roxy Towill (ZAF)
Heat 9: Justine Dupont (FRA) Vs Carissa Moore (HAW)
Heat 10: Claire Karabatsos (FRA) Vs Karina Abras (BRA)
Heat 11: Jennifer Flannigan (USA) Vs Nathalie Destandeau (FRA)
Heat 12: Leah Dawson (USA) Vs Kelia Moniz (HAW)
Heat 13: Chelsea Williams (AUS) Vs Yuko Furuchi (JPN)
Heat 14: Miku Uemura (HAW) Vs Cristiana Pires (BRA)
Heat 15: Julie Cox (USA) Vs Myriam Imaz (EUK)
Heat 16: Coline Menard (FRA) Vs Claire Dereux (FRA)