The Swatch Girls Pro France resumed in clean waves of 1-to-2 feet (0.4 metre) with Junior surfers taking on the waning lineup. The Junior event completed two and a half rounds of competition while the 6-Star field was whittled down to just 12.
Bronte Macaulay (AUS), 20, was the standout surfer of the Pro Junior competition today, netting a combined heat-total of 14.17 to advance into the latter rounds. The talented goofy-footer dominated the field on her backhand, finding clean righthanders to score two solid seven-point rides.
â€œIt's very challenging but I guess we all have to do with what we have,â€ reflected Macaulay. â€œI was lucky to find two waves that allowed me two turns I guess.â€
Currently second on the Australasian Junior series, right behind former semifinalist of the Swatch Girls Pro France Junior Keely Andrew (AUS), Macaulay looked a little despondent by an early exit in the main event, but will look to re-group and go all the way in the under-20 division.
â€œThe QS is kind of the reason I came, Juniors are great to have heat-practice,â€ she continued. â€œIt's nice to have this back-up so, yes, I'll try to get through as many heats as I can. Then I'm off straight to Pantin [Classic Galicia Pro] and I'm excited. I hope we'll get good waves there.â€
Holly-Sue Coffey (AUS), 16, surfed a total of four heats today to qualify for both the fourth round of Juniors and fifth round of the main event in Seignosse. Sharp and dynamic in spite of the complicated surf, Coffey took out an impressive four wins and a second place finish to Coco Ho (HAW) to round out the day.
â€œWe're all surfing the same conditions, so I'm just trying to keep my focus and go out and do what I know I can do,â€ Coffey said. â€œIt seems to be getting me through heats so I'm really stoked.â€
Traveling across Europe with her parents and sister/sparring partner Ellie-Jean Coffey (AUS), the young Australian seemed to have found the perfect rhythm and a winning frame of mind.
â€œI've been traveling with my family ever since I can remember, around Australia for years and now in the world,â€ she added. â€œTo have their support is just amazing. My sister's constantly cheering me on. We do have a little rivalry going on in everything we do -- from surfing to the way we dress and make up -- but you know it's all fun and I'm stoked to have them.â€
Mahina Maeda (HAW), 16, continued to navigate through both the Junior and 6-Star divisions today, seemingly unstoppable in the small surf. The talented Hawaiian, currently leading the North American Pro Junior series, asserted her position amongst the event favorites for the title.
â€œIt's even smaller today and so much more challenging, but you need to overcome that,â€ Maeda stated. â€œI'm riding a 5'6 JP-X shaped by Pyzel surfboards. We've been working on this model for quite some time. When I was in Japan it was the same conditions and we designed this board specifically for those small waves. It works great.â€
Tessa Thyssen (GLP), 17, current leader in the European Junior rankings, managed to advance into the fourth round of competition and will try to keep her opponents at a distance to solidify her position before the final showdown in the Canary Islands.
â€œYou really have to give everything out there, be dynamic and obviously not fall,â€ Thyssen said. â€œI tried to sit on a different peak but the option didn't seem to be paying off, but finally I got a little left and made it. I felt the pressure since the first event, but I'm trying to keep enjoying myself surfing and hopefully it will be enough to win the title.â€
Silvana Lima (BRA), 29, current leader of the 2014 ASP Women's Qualifying Series (QS) , advanced serenely through her Round 4 bout, taking the win over Anali Gomez (PER), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) and Chelsea Tuach (BRB).
â€œIt's difficult but the waves still come, it still fun,â€ Lima commented. â€œI'm super excited to get back on the [World Championship] Tour next year. I'm really happy with my results and I have a lot of fun competing on the QS.â€
The next call will be held on Friday at 7 a.m. to re-assess conditions and decide if waves are sufficient to resume competition.