The ASP 5-Star Soöruz Lacanau Pro started in clean surf of 3-to-4 feet at the main beach of Lacanau, completing the opening two rounds of competition on Day 1 of the event window.
As the second of five stops on the European Qualifying Series (QS), the event really kicks off the regional summer leg and offers a taste of European surfing to the numerous international competitors. With a handful of young surfers looking to one-up their more veteran opponents, Rounds 1 and 2 of the Soöruz Pro had the same feel as the recent Lacanau Pro Junior.
Miguel Blanco (PRT) 18, a Semifinalist in the Lacanau event, secured today's highest combined heat total with a 15.97. The young Portuguese found his rhythm mid-heat, confirming his ability to do battle at the QS level.
â€œI was completely lost in the water for the first half there,â€ Blanco said. â€œBut I started to get a few small scores and built on this. I couldn't hear my scores and didn't know the situation, but I had the feeling that I did enough to get through.â€
Tommy Boucaut (FRA), 19, competing in his first European event, has been consistently posting great scores in the Juniors event. His performance in Lacanau, his first QS, so far has shown he can match the required level and beyond.
â€œWaves were super fun at low tide, right on the bank,â€ Boucaut commented. â€œI started alright with an average score and kept getting better waves and better scores so I'm stoked with my heat.â€
Following three days of competition in the under-20 event, Boucaut has gained extensive knowledge of the beach setup and was able to sit in a better spot than his opponents.
â€œI spent the whole heat away from the other guys,â€ he continued. â€œI knew some good waves would come my way there on the wider part of the peak and I wanted to be able to select anything I wanted. I guess it all worked out well.â€
Runner-up in 2013, Frederico Morais (PRT), 22, missed the inscription deadline and had to enter competition in the earlier rounds. Morais managed to advance in second despite only being able to gather average scores.
â€œConditions were tough, it's hard to connect from the outside all the way in,â€ Morais explained. â€œI'm feeling really good this year, I've had results in the Prime [events] and I want to do good here, maybe even better than last year!â€
â€œComing off against a good mate is always tough, and I knew Leon Glatzer (DEU) surfs really well from the World Juniors,â€ Tait said. â€œEveryone got good waves, I'm just lucky to have gotten two good scores.â€
Visiting the old continent for the very first time, Tait will need to balance his appetite for discovery and maintain his focus on the competition when the event resumes.
â€œIt's amazing, people are really cool and the landscapes are beautiful, the food's ridiculous; we don't have this back home.â€ Tait continued. â€œI'm going to go down to Spain for the first time, too. This is only my second QS event ever, I'm building experience and trying to get points for next year.â€
Other highlights on Day 1 included the qualification of Tom Cloarec (FRA), 20, winner of the Lacanau Pro Junior, with the third-highest single-wave score of the event so far, an excellent 8.33.
Contest officials have set the next call at 8:00 a.m. local time Wednesday, August 13, 2014 to decide wether conditions will allow for the start of Round 3.