GIJON, Asturias â€“ Spain (Friday, August 2, 2013) - The ASP 1-Star Gijon Pro Junior resumed this morning in clean 2Ft surf at the secondary location of Salinas with the remaining heats of the Men's second round. Conditions deteriorated slightly around lunch before the wind backed off and let room for the competition to continue and run the Men's third round as well as the opening round of the Women's in playful surf.
Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 15, qualified for the quarter-finals and looked sharp in the waist-high surf, displaying his trademarked front-hand hacks on his way to score a near-perfect 9.33 and a 7.00. The young Italian wasted no time in his round 3 bout catching medium waves right from the start and building his scoreboard before taking things to the next level on a longer right he caught from out the back and milked all the way through to the inside with a collection of radical top turns and a big frontside layback.
"I had a couple 5 which were alright to start off, but I couldn't really find the double-ups," Fioravanti said. "Then I shared that wave with Nomme it was a really good one he went left and I went right, and right at the end I found that 7.00, it was a pretty good heat !"
With his extensive International competing experience, Fioravanti is a good judge of the current level of surfing in Europe and admits to find the whole tour very promising and exciting to be a part of. With numerous potential event winners here in Gijon again, the remaining heats of the Men's draw promise to bring action and drama to the summer crowds of Asturias.
"There's the Cloarec and Mignot brothers, Ian Fontaine and a whole bunch, a lot of those guys surf good. I think it'll go to whoever finds the best waves. Generally I'd say the level is super high, in the past couple of years it used to be just the older guys that ruled the tour but now there's younger guys and I guess we'll take over the Pro Juniors and those older guys will more likely move on to the Star tour."
Ugo Robin (FRA) 18, created one of the biggest upsets of the day, defeating current European No.3 Andy Criere (FRA) in an action-packed heat the Reunion Island surfer dominated. Robin surfed a smart heat and chose his rides carefully to ensure he scored high enough to keep his competitors at a distance.
"There was a good feeling out in the lineup with everyone respecting each other and I think I'm lucky to have found two really good rights," Robin stated. "It feels great to finally be able to surf well in an event, I couldn't do Royan cause I was waiting on my exams results (ed: that he passed) and I didn't do great in Sopelana so I'm happy with this win. Surf against guys like Andy and being able to get through ahead is really satisfying, to show that I'm capable of surfing good as well."
Facing the challenges of surfers in Reunion Island lately, Robin admitted to lack preparation coming into his second to last season on the European Junior series but has set his pace on making the top spots in anticipation for his final year to give a go at the World Juniors qualification race.
"I want to try and finish in the Top 10 this year to have a good seeding next season, even though it's been hard to train properly this past few months at home in Reunion Island. We used to be able to surf a couple hours a day with constant supervision but lately I haven't even set foot in the water, it's just too dangerous. So I'm going to spend more time in France to train a lot more."
Tessa Thyssen (GLP) 16, drew first blood this afternoon in the opening heat of the Women's event, finding a couple of fun lefthanders to express her powerful frontside surfing. The young surfer from Guadeloupe advanced ahead of current frontrunner Cannelle Bulard (REU) into the quarter-finals of the event.
"I saw the waves get pretty fat, but there was a little left that worked well aside from the main peak so I decided to stick to the left cause that's what I'm most comfortable with," Thyssen commented. "I was lucky to get those two waves they were great ! I already had a heat with Cannelle in Royan and I was leading for most of it but she beat me so I wanted one back !"
Attaining the semi-finals last year in Lacanau as her career-best result so far, Thyssen is quickly jumping up the rankings and regularly makes a name for herself with this sort of displaying excellent surfing.
"Waves yesterday were so good, watching the boys we've been aching to get out there ! This year I'd like to make the semis or final and improve I have plenty of time left surfing the Junior tour."
Portuguese grom Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) 13, showed seasonned competitors Yolanda Aneiros (ESP) and Lucia Martino (ESP) she meant business in Heat 5 of the Women's opening round, posting two solid scores to advance ahead of Aneiros and eliminate Martino from her hometown event. Winner of multiple events on the National circuit in Portugal, Bonvalot demonstrated great determination in taking her game to the next level amongst Europe's best in the future.
"It's my first year on tour and I'm only here to gain experience so I'm super happy to win this heat !" Bonvalot said. "I didn't go so well in Sopelana, so it's cool to get two proper scores here and I can't wait for the next round !"
Carina Duarte (PRT) 19, netted today's second highest single wave score, an excellent 8.00 point for a long lefthander she surfed with flow hitting the little shoulder multiple times all the way to the beach. With a fourth place finish under her belt from the opening event in Royan, Duarte is looking to confirm her progression with consistence to claim one of the top spots of the European ladder.
"It was a hard heat but fun !" Duarte commented. "At first I couldn't catch any decent waves and started to feel a little nervous but in the end I got that long left and I'm happy with the result. I want to make the finals again, I'm feeling quite confident at the moment and I think I can do it !"
Following Bonvalot's path in the next heat and Keshia Seelow-Eyre a little earlier, Duarte adds her name to the list of up-and-coming Portuguese talents flowing on the women's draw. Team support and a growing leg of local events have helped develop a pool of extremely talented young surfers that will soon show everything they're capable of on the European scene.
"At home in Portugal it's the same, in the national events we see the global level rise and it's good to see the surfers manage to do well at the European level as well," Duarte confirmed. "We're all traveling together and training and pushing each other which helps with confidence and everything."
Johanne Defay (FRA) 19, rounded up today's action in the last heat, scoring a 9.00 out of a possible 10 to easily move on to the quarters. The in-form surfer of the season so far didn't disappoint today finding a longer wave to push her frontside surfing on three turns that the judges clearly appreciated.
Next Call will be at 7:30am tomorrow morning back at the primary venue of Playa de San Lorenzo, Gijon for a possible final day of action.
The 2013 Gijon Pro Junior is scheduled from August 1-4, 2013 at playa de San Lorenzo, Gijon, Asturias-Spain. For all results, photos, video highlights, press releases and LIVE webcast, log on to aspeurope.com/gijon2013.
The ASP 1-Star Men and Women's Gijon Pro Junior is made possible with the support of the following event partners: El Corte Inglés, Vodafone yu, Liberbank, Gijon Surf Club, Slash Surf School Gijon, Gam Eventos, Ayto Gijon and la Direccion General de Deportes del P.A. amongst others.