GRANDE PLAGE, Lacanau - France (Saturday, August 17, 2013) â€“ After two consecutive laydays, the ASP 5-Star Soöruz Lacanau Pro finally resumed in a clean, building 3-4Ft swell this morning in Lacanau and completed both the fourth and fifth rounds deciding the last 16 surfers in contention for the crowning. Despite hot summer temperatures today, the wind never really picked up and conditions stayed ideal all the way from 9am to 7pm.
Balaram Stack (USA) 21, had a slow start to his day barely managing to place second in his first heat this morning, but came out swinging in the round of 32 this afternoon taking his aerial game to a whole new level to post two incredible scores of 9.57 and 9.00.
"It was just like a little airshow, it was fun !" Stack stated. "It was my ideal kind of heat I guess. All I was getting were those perfect little air sections, lefts and rights. Lacanau's been great so far, fun nightlife and good waves, I'll come back ! Last year I lost in the round of 16 so I'll be trying to better that tomorrow."
Conner Coffin (USA) 20, recent winner of the US Open Pro Junior in Huntington, is no stranger to big manoeuvers and punts, and despite almost not making it to the round of 32 either, was one of the form surfers this afternoon.
"Super fun heat, it started a little bit slow but the waves kind of moved towards the North end of the competition area and there were some super fun ones !" Coffin said. "This morning I had a tough time just getting some waves cause everyone was sitting close together, but this afternoon everyone spread out and I was able to get a few fun waves !"
Sitting in 85th position on the World Rankings, Coffin is on the forefront of the up-and-coming Californian surf scene and will be one to watch when competition enters its final day tomorrow in Lacanau. While the Californian admitted to lack preparation in Lacanau due to the small conditions these last few days, he seemed to have found his rythmn this afternoon and looked really sharp.
"It's my first time here in Lacanau and I've only been to Hossegor when I was like 14, so it's all kind of a new experience. I love Europe and France, this has been an amazing week hanging out with some amazing people and having good food. I've been having a lot of fun in heats lately and I have great boards so I'll be taking it heat by heat and hopefully go far !"
Steven Pierson (PYF) 29, had to wait for the very last seconds of his 25mn bout to finally take the two waves he needed to advance into the next round. Sitting on two average scores with only a couple minutes left in the heat in third position, Pierson even hesitated to paddle back out after his second to last ride, but found the mental strength to stay focused. He was graced with a last opportunity while just arriving at the lineup and seized it to move directly to first place.
"During the whole heat I had a hard time finding waves with the other surfers sitting on me," Pierson commented. "Just at the end there I caught two fun ones but I wasn't even thinking about winning the heat anymore. I paddle in and they hadn't anounced the scores so I thought I had lost but then my friends said it wasn't over and when I heard the last two scores I was just so stoked !"
Born and bread on the powerful waves of French Polynesia, Pierson showed today he could adapt perfectly to the beachbreaks conditions of Lacanau and pose a legitimate threat to the best international competitors.
"I want to thank all my Tahitian friends here, Mihimana, Lorenzo and JB they've been really supporting. We have a cool crew and I'm stoked to have them by my side. I haven't had the best run in contests lately with two interferences called in events where I was surfing well and getting good scores but I feel like my surfing is good at the moment so I'll try to keep going all the way if possible !"
Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 18, rounded up today's action in the last heat, posting an excellent combined heat total of 15.20 to qualify for the last day of competition. The current European Junior No.5 still in the hunt for a maiden regional under-20 title, keeps building experience amongst the older crowd and looks untouched by the pressure of competing at the highest level.
"It's my first Star event this season cause of my injury, so I'm just here to have fun and try to surf the best I can. It's always good to surf against all the older guys from Brazil, Australia and everywhere, the level is super high and it's motivating. To be honest I'm more into big powerful turns than just airs, I know if I can try to mix it up it scores high, and hopefully tomorrow if we have the same conditions a bit bigger it will be more about the turns than the air game !"
Organizers have set a 9am Call tomorrow morning for the final day of the Soöruz Lacanau Pro's waiting period that will see a champion crowned mid-afternoon in front of capacity crowds on the classic French beach.
The 2013 Soöruz Lacanau Pro is scheduled from August 13-18, 2013 at Grande Plage, Lacanau - France. For all results, photos, video highlights, press releases and LIVE webcast, log on to aspworldtour.com.
The Sooruz Lacanau Pro is made possible with the support of the following event partners: Soöruz, Airwalk, Ice Watches, NRJ, Red Bull and Smurfit amongst others.