The Longboard Pro Vieux Boucau launched today in classic longboarding conditions with clean, peeling waves off the two main sandbanks of central beach in Vieux-Boucau. Surfers took on the playful field and put on a great show for the Spring vacationers.
Former European Longboard Champion Edouard Delpero (FRA), 26, created the day's upset in eliminating two-time WSL longboard World Champion Piccolo Clemente (PER), 33, in the opening quarterfinal. The young Frenchman perfectly utilized his local knowledge to select the better waves and surf them great for two big scores and a combined heat total of 16.16 out of 20.
"It's my first longboarding event this year and it's great to be back here," he said. "It was awesome to have Piccolo, we're traveling together all year and it's nice to have him visit us here. Conditions were really nice this morning, and even with the light onshore this afternoon we didn't expect to have waves that good, let's hope they stick around for tomorrow."
The Peruvian Clemente, who visited Vieux-Boucau for the first time, had previously scored the day's highest single wave score of 9.33 out of 10, but had a hard time finding the right spot to sit at in the moving lineup on a rising tide.
"I had trouble figuring out the spot but the waves were super fun today," he said. "There's a really good atmosphere, the water's nice so I'm really happy with my first visit to Vieux-Boucau. There's definitely similarities with the wave in China, but here has a little bit more power so it's fun."
On the women's side, the day's standout was Brazil's Chloe Calmon (BRA), 21, who collected an impressive 15.17 combined heat total in her morning round 1 matchup.
"I've been to Biarritz a few times when the Roxy Jam was still on, but that's my first time up here on the coast in Vieux-Boucau," she explained. "I love being in France, I like the culture and the food, I have a lot of friends here and the waves are fun! This morning conditions were so nice, I've been here for a week and we haven't had the best luck these last few days weather wise."
Calmon, who finished equal third at the last two Longboard World Championship finals in China, decided to take her act on the road and enter multiple qualifying series events worldwide to get as much practice as possible before the next final. With a victory under her belt in Australia, and a solid display in Vieux-Boucau so far, her efforts seem to be paying off.
"With only one event deciding the World Champion at the end of the year you need to find ways to keep busy during the year and get some practice and experience in heats," she continued. "I know I can improve some skills so I want to spend as much time as possible in the water and get better."
Calmon will face the event's defending champion Victoria Vergara (FRA), 21, when the event resumes Saturday morning. Reunion Island's Justine Mauvin, 22, and Alice Lemoigne, 19, complete the draw and will matchup in semifinal N°2.
Event officials have set the next call at 7AM Saturday for a possible final day of competition in Vieux-Boucau.