CAPBRETON, France (Thursday, August 22, 2013) - The Swatch Girls Pro France resumed this morning in perfect 3-4 ft. surf similar to yesterday's conditions before the onshore winds picked up, placing the event on hold. Following a holding period to accommodate unfavorable tide and wind, the day's action would continue, culminating with the Round of 24.
Surfers from the early heats including today's standout Courtney Conlogue (USA) 20, managed to post excellent scores this morning before conditions deteriorated. The Californian netted the event's first perfect 10, for a succession of perfectly executed frontside hacks on a long peeling righthander.
â€œUsually I want to build on an event, but the waves were just really fun, seriously it looked like Lowers,â€ Conlogue said. â€œI wasn't expecting a beachbreak to have waves like that come through and I was very fortunate to get on the good ones.â€
Current World No.3 and serious threat in the ASP Women's World Title race, Conlogue surpassed her opponents today, backing up her first score of 10 with another near-perfect 9.05 to leave everyone in a combination situation. Defending event champion at the Swatch Girls Pro France, Conlogue will be tough to beat when competition recommences and she tries to keep the trophy by her side.
â€œEvery heat's a new heat and sometimes strategies are totally different so I just do each heat and this one's behind me already.â€ Conlogue continued. â€œIt's still definitely a confidence boost, especially at this spot the waves are so shifty and I've only been here maybe two days and I was feeling a bit nervous. I don't have much to lose at this event and I just went out there looking at where they put the Swatch buoys and making sure I was in the right spot!â€
Keely Andrew (AUS) 18, netted the second highest scoring ride of the event so far, an impressive 9.40, that she managed to find in this afternoon's complicated lineup in Seignosse. The young Australian is in her first year on the Qualifying Series and had a very slow start to her Swatch Girls Pro France campaign, but built on her scoreboard and found that incredible right before the horn finally sounded.
â€œIt's pretty tough out there but I was very lucky to get that good wave,â€ Andrew said. â€œI did a couple snaps and a carving turn, I think I got the fins out a little and I was pretty happy with that. It's completely different to Australia here and it's always good to experience different things, food is great and people are friendly.â€
Sitting in 14th position on the WCT rankings and outside of the requalification zone of the Star tour, Silvana Lima (BRA) 28, is in desperate need of a big result to turn her season around and keep her dream of continuing with the ASP Top 17 alive. The explosive Brazilian whose repetitive injuries have kept from performing to her best level, seemed sharp and determined today in Seignosse.
â€œI found a wave that opened up and I managed to do two or three turns, it's a little bumpy but there are waves!â€ Lima said. â€œI think this is my fifth time here in France and it's very similar to Brazil, the waves get exactly like that with the wind so I feel good in these conditions. I really need the points, both here and on the WCT, I've had a quarters result in California but I need to do even better here!â€
Leticia Canales Bilbao (EUK) 18, current 3rd in the European Junior title race, managed to qualify through two heats today attaining the Round of 12 in a 6-Star event for the first time in her young career. Feeling free of any pressure against some of the best juniors in the world as well as Elite Top 17 surfers, the young Basque surfer displayed her usual lethal fronthand attack to advance alongside event favorite Courtney Conlogue.
â€œI felt confident in the first heat, and that pushed me in the next, I just thought I had nothing to lose and went out there relaxed and wanting to have fun,â€ Canales Bilbao said. â€œI'm only a rookie, and surfing with Courtney and Nikki or Philippa is like a dream and really inspiring so I'm very happy to make it through two heats. This is the coolest event.â€
Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 19, former Swatch Girls Pro France Junior winner, rounded out today's action before the tide was too high and forced competition off for the day. In a low scoring, wave starved heat, the talented South-African managed to catch two average waves to keep her leading position and come in with the win.
â€œI came out of the water not knowing what was going on,â€ Buitendag said. â€œI kind of thought I had lost because I didn't really have great waves and I didn't hear a thing out there. My coach Mathias came to tell me I needed a 5 when I got to the shore after a wave, so I decided to stay in the inside and catch the reforms. I really do want to do well in this event, I've been coming here for at least three years, and I've seen Courtney win it a couple times, I just really want to be on that podium!â€
Next call will be tomorrow morning at 8am for both surfers from the Junior and main event, with similar conditions expected.
The SWATCH GIRLS PRO FRANCE and Pro Junior are made possible with the support of the following event partners: SWATCH, Landes CÃ´te Sud, Conseil Général des Landes, Région Aquitaine, Unbottle Yourself, EQ, Honda, Makila Auto, MagicSeaWeed, Lamono, NRJ, Surf Session, Adrénaline â€“ L'Ã‰quipe.fr, Beach Brother amongst others.