GRANDE PLAGE, Lacanau - France (Tuesday, August 13, 2013) - The 2013 Soöruz Lacanau Pro started today in clean 2-3Ft surf this morning, allowing competition to run the first two rounds and six heats of the third. Surfers from all around the world convened to the classic Lacanau beachbreaks to take part in one of the most anticipated events of the European leg, a 35 years old professional surfing competition.
Connor O'Leary (AUS) 19, fresh off an excellent three event streak in Japan where he placed 3rd and 5th in Star events and won a Pro Junior, started perfectly his Lacanau campaign scoring a near-perfect 9.57 in the third round on a succession of big powerfuls turns. Back to excellent form after suffering an injury at the beginning of the season, O'Leary looked sharp and determined to go far in the Soöruz Lacanau Pro.
"The waves have suddenly turned on, before it didn't look that good." O'Leary stated. "I was just waiting and a little wave came through, it opened up and let me do three good turns so I was pretty happy ! There's been some ups-and-downs, I've broken my leg this year and I missed the qualification for the World Juniors in my last season so I was pretty bummed but I went to Japan recently and got a couple good results so I'm happy to be back to normal again !"
In the previous round, Mateia Hiquily (PYF) 17, rised up to the challenge amongst International competitors and revealed his explosive surfing and aerial game to the large crowds assembled on the beach. The young polynesian started frontside on a clean lefthander and launched into an alley-oop perfectly executed to net a 7.83.
"That was fun ! I was starting to get tired after waking up early for the Junior everyday and this morning I managed to get some good rest. I felt great when I paddled out this afternoon and I saw there were a couple fun lefts still. I started to get a good rythmn going and everything I tried seemed to work out ! Perfect little ramps on the left is just what I love so hopefully we keep getting some."
Originating from Tahiti, Hiquily is no stranger to powersurfing and barrel riding either, and is confident in his capability to adapt against the top seeds in the next rounds.
"I know my next heat will be super hard against Frederico Morais, he can do huge turns so I think I'll have to mix everything up cause single airs probably won't cut it anymore. I don't have any pressure though, every heat is just another opportunity for me to challenge myself and I'll keep surfing and having fun, hopefully I'll get through a couple more !"
Alan Donato (BRA) 27, may have overheard Hiquily's comments, putting his words exactly in practice in the very next heat, mixing powerful gauges and air sections to score one of the highest heat totals of the day.
"I'm super happy with that heat, I got two good scores and fun waves, hopefully I can keep it up in the next one," Donato said. "It's my fourth time in Lacanau and I think my best result is a 13th so obviously I want to better that. This event has been good for Brazilians in the past so fingers crossed !"
Tom Cloarec (FRA) 19, current European No.3 on the Junior rankings, revealed himself worthy of the 5-Star event navigating through a tricky lineup to advance into the third round of competition. The talented goofy-footer fresh off a disappointing 9th place in the Airwalk Lacanau Pro Junior stepped it up today and will try to confirm in the following rounds.
"It was super tricky out there but I'm happy I got through," Cloarec said. "It's going to get a lot harder in every round so I'm going to need to raise the bar and hopefully make a couple more. Having surfed in the junior before we do have a little advantage of knowing the spot well and where to sit whatever the tide is doing. There's quite a gap between us juniors and the older guys but so far we've been doing ok !"
Next Call has been set to 7:30AM tomorrow for a potential re-start to the Round of 96 with Heat 7.
The 2013 Soöruz Lacanau Pro is scheduled from August 13-18, 2013 at Grande Plage, Lacanau - France. For all results, photos, video highlights, press releases and LIVE webcast, log on to aspworldtour.com.
The Sooruz Lacanau Pro is made possible with the support of the following event partners: Soöruz, Airwalk, Ice Watches, NRJ, Red Bull and Smurfit amongst others.