The Protest Vendee Pro raced through 5 heats of Round Three with 2010 Asp European champion Marc Lacomare (Hossegor,FRA) 19, leading the charge in clean 3-4ft (1m) peaks at the main event site of La Sauzaie early this morning. Competition was once again placed on hold during the low tide and after several late afternoon calls, event officials decided to wait for the increase in swell and more favourable winds which are expected to push in overnight.
Lacomare, who struggled through the first half of his 30-minute encounter, charged home on a peeling left which sat up perfectly to allow the young goofy-footer to lay down a huge forehand carve followed by two powerful snaps to haul in an 8.83 out of 10 and achieve a combined heat total of 15.66 out of 20, the highest of the Protest Vendee Pro.
“It is really hard to get the right wave and then when you find a good one for me it is difficult to surf these types of waves. I tried to be patient and not freak out and wait for the good one.”
Lacomare, after having seen two-time and defending Protest Vendee Pro champion Joan Duru (Ondres, FRA) 22, eliminated from competition in the previous heat, went on to control the situation overtaking early heat leader and inform surfer Chris Friend (AUS).
“From here it looks easy to surf but from the water it is very different but I made it so I am happy for sure. Unfortunately my friend Joan (Duru) went down in his heat but I hope that I continue in the event as far as I can.”
Tim Boal (Anglet, FRA) 27, a former winner here in Vendee (2007) and current Protest team rider, controlled from the outset his heat deciding to get off to a strong start knowing that tide and conditions were changing quickly.
“I knew it was the last heat of the morning because I saw the Head Judge talking to the Contest Director before my heat but there were still waves so we went out and there were waves for the first half of the heat but that was about it. I got my scores at the start so I felt comfortable the whole time.”
Boal placed first ahead of up-and-coming European junior, Tom Cloarec (Bretagne, FRA) 17, who held on to oust Nic von Rupp (DEU) in a closely fought battle for second place. Cloarec, who finished 4th overall in the 2010 Asp European Junior Series, has developed rapidly over the last six months displaying modern progressive surfing mixed with solid tactical strategies.
“This is my first Star event this year so it is very exciting for me and with cool, fun waves as well it is great. That second wave was very important to me and I did a carve and then I landed an air-reverse so I was happy to get another score and to make the heat.”
Cloarec had a disappointing start to his 2011 European Pro Junior campaign finishing out of the Top placings and has arrived in Vendee prepared to improve on his previous results.
“I was in the Reunion Island Pro Junior and I came 9th so I was a little bit disappointed with that result overall so I have come here very motivated for this event. The World Juniors have given me a lot of experience which has helped me as well as more confidence in my surfing and when I get into my heats.”
Vincent Duvignac (Mimizan, FRA) 23, relied on his solid forehand attack on the rippable rights to amass a two-wave heat total of 13.10 out of 20 to take out a low scoring opening heat of the day. Duvignac along with Hugo Savalli (REU) had the best of the set waves advancing through to Round Four and leaving Joan Duru without the possibility of making it a third Protest Vendee Pro title in-a-row.
“I got a 6.60 and a 5.90 to start the heat and I knew I had to get off to a good start with some solid scores because I was against three good goofy-footers including Joan who is the best surfer for me in the comp. I had some good scores but not crazy waves so I was more confident and just kept trying to build on my total which in the end I did with a 6.40.”
“I made the quarters in Scotland which is my best result so far in my career, continued Duvignac. “I think the training paid off for sure. I think this season is going to work for me and I have my goal to be in the Top 10 in Europe but now I want to try and be in the Top 5 maybe. It is a long season so I will try and do my best and see what happens at the end of the year.”
Adrien Toyon (REU) continued his excellent run of form laying down a combination of forehand hacks on two consecutive left peaks to seal the heat win and a two-wave combined total of 14.40, one of the best of the day.
“I got really busy at the beginning and I was lucky with that because the waves came and then it went pretty flat for the rest of the heat so to catch two waves at the beginning and put some pressure on the other guys was great.”
A call will be made at 07h00 and up first when competition resumes in Heat nº6 of Round Three will be Lincoln Taylor (AUS) up against an all European field including former Asp Dream Tour member (2009) Marlon Lipke (DEU) and future talents Borja Agote (EUK) and Adrien Valero (FRA).
The Protest Vendee Pro, stop nº2 on the Asp Europe Men’s Series, offers surfers valuable ranking points on both the Asp Europe Men’s Series and the Asp World rankings.
The Protest Vendee Pro is scheduled from April 21-25, 2011. For more information, and all upcoming results, photos, video highlights, press releases and LIVE webcast log-on to www.aspeurope.com
Remaining Protest Vendee Pro Round Three Match-ups
Heat 6: Lincoln Taylor (AUS), Borja Agote (EUK), Marlon Lipke (DEU), Adrien Valero (FRA)
Heat 7: Mickey Picon (FRA), Gregory Pastusiak (FRA), Eneko Acero (EUK), Jose Ferreira (PRT)
Heat 8: Dane Anderson (USA), Justin Mujica (PRT), Charles Martin (GLP), Joao Guedes (PRT)
Upcoming Protest Vendee Pro Round Four Match-ups
Heat 1: Vincent Duvignac (FRA), Brent Dorrington (AUS), Marc Lacomare (FRA), Frederico Morais (PRT)
Heat 2: Alain Riou (PYF), Hugo Savalli (REU), Adrien Toyon (REU), Chris Friend (AUS)
Heat 3: TBA
Heat 4: TBA
Protest Vendee Pro Round Three Results
Heat 1: Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 13.10, Hugo Savalli (REU) 10.50, Joan Duru (FRA) 9.50, Txaber Trojaola (EUK) 5.90
Heat 2: Marc Lacomare (FRA) 15.66, Chris Friend (AUS) 14.13, Gordan Fontaine (FRA) 10.00, Frederic Robin (REU) 0.00
Heat 3: Alain Riou (PYF) 13.63, Brent Dorrington (AUS) 13.50, Demitri Ouvre (FRA) 8.80, Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK) 7.63
Heat 4: Adrien Toyon (REU) 14.40, Frederico Morais (PRT) 10.74, Filipe Jervis (PRT) 8.30, Norman Landa (EUK) 5.70
Heat 5: Tim Boal (FRA) 13.66, Tom Cloarec (FRA) 12.17, Nic von Rupp (DEU) 10.80, Romain Laulhe (FRA) 7.07