What: Roxy Jam Biarritz presented by Orange, ASP WLT Women's Champs Where: Cote des Basques France When: 11-16 July 2008
The Roxy ASP Women's World Longboard Championships (WWLC) edged closer to the finale today after both Round 3 and 4 were wrapped up in good 2-3 foot waves at Cotes des Basques. From the 48 female longboarders who surfed in the event on Day 1, just eight remain in contention for the prestigious 2008 ASP Women's World Longboard Champion crown.
Jennifer Smith (USA), reigning ASP Women's World Longboard Champion, put on a solid performance to defeat Kelly Nicely (USA), courtesy of a 14.75 point heat score (out of a possible 20) she posted in Heat 4 of Round 4, the highest total of the event so far.
"I was pretty selective with my waves and I am stoked to get an 8.75 point ride (out of a possible 10)," Smith said. "I am supposed to surf against Kassia (Meador) next and she is my favourite surfer so it is really cool and will be a pleasure." Smith, 22, who confessed she was definitely aiming at a repeat this year, has won all encounters so far with her custom made classical style and will now face Kassia Meador (USA) in Quarterfinal No. 2.
"We will both give everything we have to move further in the event," Smith said. "This is going to be a big heat and I cannot wait to paddle back out there and keep going."
Kassia Meador (USA), 25, bettered her 2007 ASP Roxy WWLC result when she advanced through to the Quarterfinals after defeating fellow American favourite and 2006 ASP Women's World Longboard Champion Schuyler McFerran (USA). Meador, who will have to deal with the defending champion Smith when competition resumes, has been using great tactics and wave choices since the start of the 2008 edition and will be the outsider in Quarterfinal No. 2.
"I am super stoked to win this one because Schuyler McFerran (USA) is such an amazing surfer," Meador said. "I will take heat by heat from now on but I am really excited to keep going in the event. I am really happy with that heat." Meador, who lost to McFerran last year in the same round, had a revenge to take over the Californian favourite: "It is crazy because last year I lost to her in Round 4 and I really tried not to think about it and stay cool", Meador said. "I really tried not to get nervous during the heat and it ends up perfectly."
Justine Dupont (FRA), ASP Women's World Longboard Tour No. 2 in 2007, was another of today's standouts. Dupont, 16, managed to get away with another solid win over fellow French surfer and former ASP Women's World Tour No. 3 Claire Karabatsos (FRA) in Round 4. "I am very happy to get through to the quarters but I did not get enough good waves to really show my surf," Dupont said. "I was very relaxed, maybe too much, at the beginning of the heat so I lost time and I will have to be more dynamic."
Dupont, who originally comes from Lacanau two hours from Biarritz, stands as France's only remaining representative in the event. "I will give my best from the start to the end in the quarters," Dupont said. "I will have to take the lead early enough and stay relaxed but I am really looking forward to surfing again in this contest."
Rachel Barry (USA), Joy Monahan (HAW) and Leah Dawson also advanced through to the Quarterfinals today. The Roxy ASP Women's World Longboard Championships will be on hold until Tuesday, July 15, 2008 to leave the ASP Grade-2 Roxy Pro Junior competitors time to get things going tomorrow.
UPCOMING QUARTERFINALS Heat 1: Rachel Barry (USA) Vs Joy Monahan (HAW) Heat 2: Kassia Meador (USA) Vs Jennifer Smith (USA) Heat 3: Justine Dupont (FRA) Vs Leah Dawson (USA) Heat 4: Chelsea Williams (AUS) Vs Julie Cox (USA)
ROUND 4 RESULTS Heat 1: Rachel Barry (USA) 10.75 pts Def. Isabelle Braly (AUS) 7.75 pts Heat 2: Joy Monahan (HAW) 13.75 pts Def. Yuko Shimajiri (JPN) 4.80 pts Heat 3: Kassia Meador (USA) 10.00 pts Def. Schuyler McFerran (USA) 7.15 pts Heat 4: Jennifer Smith (USA) 14.75 pts Def. Kaitlin Maguire (USA) 11.25 pts Heat 5: Justine Dupont (FRA) 11.50 pts Def. Claire Karabatsos (FRA) 5.55 pts Heat 6: Leah Dawson (USA) 11.00 pts Def. Jennifer Flannigan (USA) 6.95 pts Heat 7: Chelsea Williams (AUS) 13.00 pts Def. Miku Uemura (HAW) 7.45 pts Heat 8: Julie Cox (USA) 5.40 pts Def. Claire Dereux (FRA) 4.95 pts