PLAGE NORD, Vieux Boucau / France - Edouard Delpero (FRA) 24, and Justine Dupont (FRA) 23, have won the ASP Europe 1-Star Men & Women Vieux Boucau Longboard Festival in 2-to-3-foot waves at plage Nord, crowned ASP European Longboard Champions in the process.
Delpero got off to an excellent start facing his older brother Antoine, and French compatriots Emilien Fleury and Rémi Arauzo. In the opening exchange, splitting the peak with Antoine, Edouard found a long righthander to collect one of the top scoring rides of the final. An early lead gave the younger Delpero the confidence boost to carry his rhythm all the way into the final moments of the heat.
â€œI was first to hit the peak way out the back and I was lucky enough to score that super-nice right, a very smooth wave with a cleaner face and I managed to do a hang-ten and a couple maneuvers to finish it clean,â€ Edouard Delpero said. â€œThe level was super-high all event so I'm stoked to get that win and the European title. I came close a couple years ago in another final with Antoine, so it makes the victory even sweeter today.â€
The newly crowned European longboard champion will try to carry momentum into the World Finals later this year, and build on his career-best result of a fifth.
â€œI'm going to surf the LQS in Japan cause I'll be tripping there at the time, and to keep my form going into the Worlds.â€ Delpero added. â€œIt's great to be back here in Vieux Boucau, there's a real special vibe for longboarding here and the people are super nice. We're all stoked to have an event this season and the title given in great conditions.â€
Older brother Antoine Delpero placed runner-up, coming just short of finding the necessary 8.13 to overtake Edouard. With a solid experience at all levels of competition, Antoine did not back off at any point and kept pushing and improving his scores until the final horn.
â€œIt's not the first time he's (Edouard) beaten me and probably not the last, but I'm stoked for both him and I,â€ Antoine said.
"We surf a lot together, we live together and we're always pushing each other to do better. I've had titles and it's great to see his hard work pay off too. Four Frenchies in the final is great, I think it really shows the current level here.â€
Finalists Emilien Fleury and Remi Arauzo placed 3rd and 4th, respectively, both netting the coveted spots for the World Longboard Tour event to be held this year. The two talented surfers put on a good battle but eventually were surpassed by the in-form Delpero brothers.
In the women's final, former WCT competitor Justine Dupont beat all odds, netting her victory in the very last moments of an exciting 25-minute exchange. Off to an average start but carrying momentum from two successful previous heats, Dupont found the resources to regroup mid-way through the final and showcase her excellent nose-riding skills for the win.
â€œI'm super happy, I haven't won heats in some time so to come here and compete at home, surf with all my friends and win was great,â€ Dupont said. â€œI'm so thankful to Vieux Boucau for putting up this event, I had a great time catching up with all the longboarders here.â€
A complete surfer, Dupont has spent time developing her skill set on all sorts of equipment, from longboarding to big-wave surfing, ultimately becoming one of the best surfers in all disciplines. With the regional crown under her belt, Dupont will look to post a major result in China for the World Longboard Title.
â€œI love doing all of this, each is a different side of the sport and I just enjoy myself in the ocean no matter what board I ride,â€ Dupont added. â€œI never get bored in the water, this is my passion and I'll spend as much time out there as I can.â€
Leading the final for most of the 25 minutes, runner-up Alice Lemoigne (REU) 17, came close to her first big break, ultimately just defeated by Dupont. Lemoigne opened fire first with a stylish approach to net one of the biggest scores of the final, but couldn't find the back-up wave she needed to stay in pole position all the way.
â€œI was in the lead for a while and heard Justine got the score right at the end so I feel a little disappointed, but it's a great result for me still,â€ Lemoigne commented.
â€œI'm glad that we got this event," she continued. "It really puts longboarding in the light and to compete here in France is great for all of us. I train a lot more on smaller boards but I feel it makes me improve my longboarding as well. I was in China in the past and placed 12th, but I'm older now and hopefully I'll better that.â€
Alongside Dupont and Lemoigne, Coline Menard (FRA), 26, will fly the French flag at the international Final, placing third in Vieux Boucau to bank the final ticket. Victoria Vergara (FRA) 20, is fourth place in the women's Final to complete the podium.