It was Day 1 of the Pro Anglet's waiting period, and unfortunately the wave gods weren't exactly on our side. At first light, the super-clean lines of swell were barely breaking and organizers had to wait it out for an hour and a half before the tide dropped enough to launch the show.
By then, clean, two-to-three foot waves were breaking on the north side of the pier. Later on, the call was made to start dividing the event on two parallel podiums, one on each side of the pier to run twice as many heats and capitalize on the few hours of low tide.
Jihad Khodr showed no signs of trouble in the small stuff as he annihilated a long right for an incredible 9-point ride, the highest score of the day. Back from a competition hiatus of nearly four years, Jihad seemed amped to put the jersey back on, and looks he could make it to the finals in Anglet.
"I surfed the north bank this morning and there were some really nice rights," he said. "I surf a really light epoxy board from my friend Canfield in Brazil and it feels great in those waves. I'm stoked to get that best wave of the day. You have to prepared for all kinds of conditions and I'm happy I was able to surf well in those today."
Leo Paul Etienne was one of the best European juniors in his final season in the under-18 category. He will be part of the regional team heading to Kiama in January for the World Junior Championships. As part of his new challenge of starting a career on the challenging Qualifying Series (QS), Etienne is keen to grab every bit of experience along the way.
"It was small but still pretty fun, I got a few opened waves which were nice," he said. "My scores were decent and I did a couple of ok turns so I'm happy with that. Lacanau was my best result yet on the QS, so my goal here is to try and do as well if not better. I'm lighter than some of the guys so that probably helps in the small surf."
Andy Criere made the finals in Anglet in 2015 but missed his 2016 calling to win the event. He's coming back with high hopes to turn his season around on home turf.
"I've been very consistent this season but my results are pretty average so I want to try to improve on that especially during the Euro leg," he said. "It's always good to be home, you know the spots well and already have your little habits there. I decided to stick to the rights because on my backhand I need less room to fit more and better turns in."
Organizers will reconvene at 7:30 a.m Wednesday to potentially relaunch the men's event, while the women will have a call at 9:30 a.m for a potential start.
Check out all photos, videos, updates and tune in to the live webcast when the event resumes right here.