GIJON, Asturias - Spain (Thursday, August 1, 2013) - Competition relocated to the backup event site of Salinas situated just outside of the main city of Gijon this morning, to find clean 3Ft waves for the opening round of the Men's event. Clean lines of swell and an incoming tide delivered fun, playful rights and lefthanders on two different peaks giving surfers the option to strategically sit where they felt more comfortable.
Elliot Ivarra (GLP) 17, was the highlight of round one this morning, posting an impressive 8.5 out of a possible 10 to take first place and move on to the second round. He later repeated his performance advancing ahead of Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) into round three. The young surfer originally from St Martin in the Carribean controlled his heats before letting his full aerial repertoire take over.
"Waves were excellent !" Ivarra said. "I tried to focus on chosing the right waves and doing the right manoeuvers on them without too much thinking. Before my 8.5, I was building my scoreboard to get in first so I could then try something bigger. I had a good couple of scores so on that left I went for it and landed a nice reverse air."
Vehiatua Prunier (PYF) 20, adapted well to today's conditions as well, taking his reef-developped technique to score in the beachbreaks of Salinas. The powerful regular footer managed to find two excellent waves and ride them radically to net a heat total of 16.00 to advance into the next round of competition.
"I think I was a little lucky I found that 8.33 on my first wave !" Prunier stated. "I got a few other good ones so I'm stoked with that heat. I surfed the long lefthander and it was really fun. Coming from Tahiti for sure the conditions were different from what I'm used to, but knowing I was coming to surf the Junior events in Europe I trained in similar beachbreaks at home. I'm travelling with another Tahitian surfer and I've met the Billabong and Volcom guys so it's been a fun time so far in Gijon !"
Portuguese up-and-comer Miguel Blanco (PRT) 17, had a rather difficult start to his 2013 Junior campain but looked sharp today in the second round of the Gijon Pro Junior. Blanco navigated the lineup and displayed speed and control on all manoeuvers to score a very consistent 15.44 heat total and advance into the third round.
"I'm wearing earplugs and I didn't hear anything out there, no scores or situation so I'm happy to find out I won that heat !" Blanco said. "I was super calm out there and tried to be patient and wait for the good walls, when they came I tried to hit it as hard as I could. My season's been really bad and I lost in the first two events stupidly with one good score and not needing much to get through so I'm happy to make it through that one and I hope I can go a long way !"
Jobe Hariss (GBR) 17, dominated his first round bout this morning in the excellent surf and managed to overcome a difficult second confrontation at low tide. The young British surfer advances into the third round along fellow UK ambassador Luke Dillon.
"This morning there was a really good left breaking in a kind of a rip, and then this afternoon it was way out back, fat, bouncy and wobbly but I got a couple OK ones.." Harris commented. "This is my first year, two years ago I did a couple of events but last year I couldn't afford the tour. I've also been injured for the last five months and I missed Royan but I plan on surfing the full tour now. I have three more years of doing the Juniors so basically this year I'll be trying to ameliorate my seeding, place in the Top 10 hopefully next year and see if I can qualify for the World Juniors in my last season, that's the plan !"
Asked about the difficulties English surfers face, Harris answered: "I train a lot at home and don't travel that much. England does have waves most of the time, so I'll train when it's big and onshore and also really small. I also go to the gym a lot so I'd say I'm pretty fit. This weather and waves would pretty much be the best contest of the year in England so yeah I appreciate it here in Gijon !"
Upsets were made when the top seeds entered competition in Round 2 this afternoon and in-form surfers from the earlier round managed to push them out, the biggest of all being the early exit of last year's runner up in the European Title race Vasco Ribeiro (PRT).
Organizers have called for a 9am Call tomorrow morning in Salinas for the remaining heats 9-16 of Men's Round of 64, while surfers from the Round of 32 both Men and Women will have the leisure to only come to the beach at 11am.
The 2013 Gijon Pro Junior is scheduled from August 1-4, 2013 at playa de San Lorenzo, Gijon, Asturias-Spain. For all results, photos, video highlights, press releases and LIVE webcast, log on to aspeurope.com/gijon2013.
The ASP 1-Star Men and Women's Gijon Pro Junior is made possible with the support of the following event partners: El Corte Inglés, Vodafone yu, Liberbank, Gijon Surf Club, Slash Surf School Gijon, Gam Eventos, Ayto Gijon and la Direccion General de Deportes del P.A. amongst others.