What: Rip Curl Pro, ASP 6-Star Prime WQS Men's Event Where: Les Bourdaines Hossegor, France When: 18 - 24 August 2008
The Rip Curl Pro got underway yesterday at the world famous beachbreak of Les Bourdaines. The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Prime event, got 20 heats of Round 1 out of the way in good quality one-meter waves despite the light on-shore winds blowing over Seignosse.
Several heats featured big scores and great performances for the kick-off of the prestigious Rip Curl Pro. As a 6-Star event, more points than usual are up for grabs to count towards the end of year ratings, so the Round 1 surfers went big and didn't lose any time in setting the pace and making their intentions clear.
Jadson Andre (BRA), currently on the rise among the WQS campaigners, was the man of the day, winning Heat 9 over European soldiers Jose Maria Cabrera (CNY) and Miguel Ximenes (PRT) with an impressive 18.40 points out of a possible 20.
"The waves were tricky out there and I just looked for better potential ones,” Andre said. “It kind of came my way then I tried to get a couple of big airs and completed them so it gave me some big scores.” Andre is slowly rising with his progressive and fast surfing and will be a potential giant killer when Round 2 resumes. “I had a good result in Japan and it boosted my confidence pretty good,” Andre said. “This event is a Prime one and there are many points to grab so I hope I can get things going well tomorrow.”
Andre, who will face Top 15 member Yadin Nicol (AUS) and fellow Brazilian Odirlei Countinho, was not the only one to impress the ASP judges. Several European surfers including local competitor and former ASP European Junior champion Joan Duru (FRA) were among those advancing today. Duru, 19, came up with excellent power surfing in Heat 10 to advance in first position and secure a spot in Round 2, the top seeds’ round.
“I was a bit stressed before that heat but once in the water I just let go,” Duru said. “I was feeling comfortable and the waves were fun so I just pushed my turns really hard. I have been surfing some really good boards that bring me enough speed so I am trying to get airs and radical manoevres.” Duru, currently rated No. 62 on the ASP WQS, will be looking to grab more points in front of his home crowd this week. “I really want to make as far as possible here,” Duru said. “When you compete at home you just feel relaxed and you get boosted by the public cheering. It really makes a big difference.” Duru joins fellow French representatives Romain Cloitre, Tim Boal, Miky Picon and Michel Bourez in Round 2.
Placing second to Duru was current ASP European WQS No.2 Romain Laulhe (FRA). Laulhe, 23, who placed equal 17th in 2007 here at Les Bourdaines, managed to best Shaun Burrell (USA) and Clint Kimmins (AUS) and will have another chance to shine tomorrow. “I was kind of shaky before that heat because I really want to do good here,” Laulhe said. “I have had several good results here and I wanted to get through that one. Clint (Kimmins) and Shaun (Burrell) are excellent surfers and it was not an easy one. It has been good this year but I just need to get more consistency. It is tough to travel all year and remain in top form at every event you go but you have to step up and keep the flow. I hope I can have a good one in that 6-Star Prime.”
Remaining Round 1 competitors will meet at 7.15am at Seignosse where some massive 6-8 foot waves are expected to arrive.