CÃ”TE SAUVAGE, Royan - France (Sunday, July 7, 2013) â€“ Competitors were greeted with a fading 2-3Ft swell and strong offshore winds this morning for the final day of the ASP 1-Star Soöruz Pro Junior Royan Atlantique. Tom Cloarec (FRA) and Johanne Defay (FRA) have won this second edition of the competition in Charentes and take the lead in the ASP European Junior Title race.
Britanny's Tom Cloarec (FRA) 19, wins his first ever Pro Junior event in Royan at the term of an exciting final. The powerful goofy-footer opened his wave account with two high-sixes scores but was stuck in second place until he found a long peeling righthander which he destroyed on his backhand with vertical turns in the power sections of the wave to earn a 7.77 and lead the rest of the heat.
"I'm so stoked !" Cloarec stated. "It was a great final between frenchies we all know each other but it was a little bit tense. I managed to find a good little right and got that 7."
Recently invited to surf in an international event's final in Fiji, Cloarec is trusting the podiums and building a great deal of experience in all types of conditions and against some of the best Juniors in the World. His experience got him a victory today and he will try to keep his momentum going into the next series of European events.
"I did a few mistakes this year on other events and it got me thinking about how to avoid those situations and made me improve and build more confidence to let loose in the finals ! I have a great support team with my family and coach that I want to thank.. My brother keeps pushing me too he gets better all the time and it motivates me to stay on top."
Andy Criere (FRA) 17, placed runner-up today in the 2-3ft clean lines of Royan despite leading the final for most of the 25-minutes heat. Criere was the first to score high in the final, displaying his signature sharp turns to open his wave account with an excellent 7.50. He quickly backed it up with a 6.83 and stayed on top of the final up until Cloarec found his best ride.
"There were a lot of waves at the start there and I thought I needed to score very high right away but unfortunately I didn't find the best waves," Criere said. "I got two pretty good scores but I knew I needed something really significant and that I could do it if I found the wave. Then Tom got it, it's a bit deceiving cause I've surfed a few finals lately and couldn't win one.. Still my best result in a Pro Junior so far so I'm happy."
In the women's final Johanne Defay (FRA) 19, got the better of a thrilling exchange with her good friend and fellow Reunion Island surfer Cannelle Bulard (REU) 19. Defay opened fire first with a 7.2 on a good little right with two big turns to which Bulard responded with an excellent 9.23 on a similar wave but squeezing a third manoeuver in. Her back against the ropes, Defay found the energy to keep fighting and started on a bigger wave that let her hit harder and she earned an 8.83 to take the lead.
"We've been on a break for a long while and in training you can have doubtful moments about your preparation and the whole meaning of sacrifices you got to make to be on top so finally to have it pay off like this I'm over the moon ! I haven't won a lot either so far so yeah I'm stoked with this victory !!"
Chosing to spend time on her home island of Reunion, Defay isolated herself to work hard and come back in-form for the European leg. She attacked the waves all week and displayed a mature and powerful surf which rightfully earned her the win today.
"Since my contract with Roxy ended I decided to not let it affect me and I've been working super hard. I've worked with Amandine Sanchez in France and Australia and I have worked with two coaches Joel and Nico too that I really want to thank as well as my family !! "
Reigning ASP European Junior Champion Cannelle Bulard (REU) 19, was the in-form surfer all week scoring most of the highest scores and heat totals of the Soöruz Pro Junior Royan Atlantique but couldn't find her rythmn in the final heat and fell just short of another victory in the Junior series.
"Johanne was just better," Bulard humbly commented. "I had a really good score and didn't need much but I couldn't find it.. I think I waited too much for a bomb and she was just collecting scores and building momentum so well done Johanne, I'll try to get her back next time ! We've had great waves this week and it was super fun here in Royan !"
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.