CÃ”TE SAUVAGE, Royan - France (Thursday, July 4, 2013) â€“ The ASP 1-Star Soöruz Pro Junior Royan Atlantique started today in clean 3-4Ft surf on the CÃ´te Sauvage of Royan and completed the first two rounds of the Men's event. Conditions improved throughout the day with the incoming tide further cleaning the lineup and clouds gradually giving way to a sunny afternoon.
Nelson Cloarec (FRA) 17, blew up in the very last heat of Round 2 finding the only barrel seen today and punctuating the ride with a radical top turn to score the first perfect 10.00 point wave of the event.
"The tide dropped at the exact right moment for us and I think those are the best waves of the day," Cloarec said. "The righthander was so much fun, I surfed a couple good waves and I was relaxed with good scores on the board. Then that set came a little on the side and I was in the right spot to paddle for it. I got a nice barrel that stayed wide open I couldn't believe it !"
Andy Criere (FRA) 17, took top honors as well today posting an excellent score of 9.33 in Round 2 of the ASP 1-Star Soöruz Pro Junior Royan Atlantique and displayed a strong backhand repertoire in his first appearance.
"Mid-heat I was sitting a little further out than the other guys and that set came, super clean and beautiful," Criere said. "I did a few good turns on my backside and I tried to vary a little the different manoeuvers and on the last one I was a little late and unfortunately fell. They gave me a 9.33 so I thought maybe if I could stick it I'd have a 10 or something."
A fifth place finisher in 2012, Criere is hoping to capitalize on his round 2 performance and build his confidence level to attain his objective of a Top 4 finish this time around.
"Last year was my best result ever and I lost by just 0.07 so I was disappointed and I don't want to relive that experience, but I know the level is super high this year. My goal is set on the final, I'm super motivated and I have great boards and thank's for everyone's support my sponsors, family and friends."
Nomme Mignot (FRA) 16, scored the third highest heat total of the event so far, an impressive 16.00 out of a possible 20. The talented goofyfooter took full advantage of the beautiful peaks on offer scoring his two best rides on both a left and a rightander. The judges rewarded his combining major turns in the critical sections of the waves.
"Waves were super fun, there's a really good right and it's good to start the Tour with nice conditions like these." Mignot stated. "Sun's out too ! I came here last year for the first time and it was a whole different story so I really appreciate the waves right now !"
Splitting residence between the powerful beachbreaks of Hossegor and a little town in Mexico, Mignot has been quickly improving these last couple of years and at only 16 years of age starts to target the top spots amongst some older and more experienced competitors.
"It's my third year on tour now," said Mignot. "I don't put too much pressure on myself, and I'm really trying to just have fun surfing in those events. My goal is to keep getting better and try to beat some of the older guys, ultimately I'll want to be on top someday ! Every year there are new young guys too and you gotta watch them closely cause the level keeps rising all the time !"
Young Carribean Gatien Delahaye (GLP) 16, surfed a solid heat to advance into the third round ahead of Britanny's Gaspard Larsonneur. The two battled it out up until the last instants of their 20 minutes bout exchanging wave for wave but eventually it was Delahaye with a 7.93 that put the nail in his opponent's coffin.
"It was fun !" commented Delahaye. "I saw Gaspard out there and he looked real good, the waves are fun and look a lot like what he has at home in Britanny, but fortunately I managed to find a couple good ones."
Far from his tropical island of Guadeloupe, Delahaye managed to overcome the difficulties and adapt to the ever changing conditions of the beachbreak. Building momentum on a great opening heat in Royan, Delahaye will try and confirm when competition recommences tomorrow.
"I train mostly at home on reefbreaks so it's really different with well defined conditions and more time to work on your turns. I've been surfing the Junior tour for three years now and I count on making it to the finals hopefully sooner than later !"
Local favourite Charly Quivront (FRA) 17, put on a show for his support crew this afternoon and dominated his heat advancing by a margin of more than 6 points with his closest opponent. The light regular footer managed to score a 7.50 out of 10 to leave his three competitors battling for second place.
"I watched closely the previous heat with my dad to spot the best peak," Quivront said. "We saw that the lefts were best and I tried to surf them based on what happened before with Gatien and Gaspard. I usually surf here at low tide more but it's home and I kinda know my way around here well. Last year I put too much pressure on myself being a local, so this year I've taken it better and I'm enjoying having family here with me."
Organizers have called for a 9am call tomorrow morning to re-assess the conditions and decide of the day's schedule. Tomorrow should see the women's event start and the men's continue. The event is broadcasted LIVE via the event's website.
The Soöruz Pro Junior Royan Atlantique is made possible with the support of the following event partners: Soöruz, Agglomération Royan Atlantique, Conseil Régional de Poitou-Charentes, l'Office National des FÃ´rets, Pitel, Station Nautique Royan Atlantique, Virgin Radio, MAAF, and Fédération FranÃ§aise de Surf amongst others.