PLAYA DE LA CICER, Gran Canaria - Canary Islands (Friday, September 13, 2013) - The ASP 3-Star Men and 1-Star Women's Gran Canaria Santa Pro Junior completed a big day of surfing today running through 32 heats to decide the last few surfers in contention for the Canarian title. An expected 2-3Ft swell brought little waves to the black-sanded beach of la Cicer this morning allowing competition to re-start after a lay-day yesterday.
Vehiatua Prunier (PYF) 20, continued his dominating run today making his way into the quarter-finals at the expense of France's Ian Fontaine, and posting the highest heat total of the event so far. The talented polynesian whose best performance is a semi-final in Tahiti earlier this year will try to confirm his excellent form tomorrow and advance through a couple more rounds.
"I was very lucky this morning cause I could have lost there in my first heat," Prunier admitted. "But in that second one I had two good scores, I was very active and I found a couple good ones. Man-on-man tomorrow is going to be interesting, maybe more strategy involved.. I'm going to be facing Leonardo, he's surfing really well so we'll see how I do !"
Tom Cloarec (FRA) 19, European No.3 eliminated the current leader of the regional rankings Diego Mignot (FRA), busting the door wide open for a few other surfers including himself to steal the pole position in the title race. Building on an early average score in the heat, Cloarec kept chasing better waves and found good scores on his last two attempts, and advanced in first into the quarters.
"My first two heats this morning were mediocre to be honest, and in this last one I really wanted to do good !" Cloarec stated. "I was confident in this heat and managed to get a couple good scores, waves improved a little with the incoming tide and it was better than earlier today. I know this is an important event and the next one as well, but I don't focus on the rankings I'm taking every heat as they come."
Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 18, defending event champion at the Gran Canaria Santa Pro Junior, won his three confrontations today at la Cicer and will face current European No.2 Nomme Mignot (FRA) in a decisive quarter-final towards both the event's title and the European Junior crown.
"It's been a long day, it started with fun waves this morning and now not so much but I guess everyone gets the same conditions so I'm happy to make it through to the quarters," Ribeiro said. "I've been runner-up in the title race for the last couple of years and this year I'm a little behind on the rankings and it's motivating me I really want to win and get to the first place !"
Carina Duarte (PRT) 19, current European No.4, put on a great performance today to earn her spot in the semi-finals of the event. A consistent competitor since the beginning of the season, the portuguese coud beneficiate from the absence of the two leaders in the rankings to make her way into the top spots and eye a World Junior Championships qualification.
"It was fun, I caught a good wave considering the conditions, it was very tough to find the right spot to sit out there," Duarte explained. "I think it was a good heat to get things going, I'll have more confidence in the next one. My goal is the final but I'll take things heat by heat, I think it's going to be interesting to see who wins this one !"
Keshia Seelow-Eyre (PRT) 17, young up-and-comer from Portugal, got her share of spotlight today, netting the second best heat total of the women's round to access the semi-finals of an ASP Pro Junior event for the second time this season.
"It's really small and tricky, but if you get the right one it's pretty fun !" Seelow Eyre said. "This morning seemed a lot better, bigger and cleaner so I would have prefered those waves but it's alright. There's many strong girls here even though Cannelle and Johanne are not, so my goal is to get to the final hopefully."
Next call will be tomorrow morning at 7:30am for a probable last day of competition at playa de la Cicer !
The 2013 Gran Canaria Santa Pro Junior is scheduled from September 11-15, 2013 at Playa de la Cicer, Gran Canaria - Canary Islands/Spain. For all results, photos, video highlights, press releases and LIVE webcast, log on to aspeurope.com/grancanaria2013.
The Gran Canaria Santa Pro Junior is made possible with the support of the following event partners: Islas Canarias, WeterSports Experience, Ayuntamiento de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Cabildo de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria Patronato de Turismo, Cafe Central, Windguru, Surfers Village, Hotel Best Western Cantur, Red Bull, Armas, FCS, Oceanside surfing adventures, BST SurfAcademy, Wavestreamers, Efimera amongst others.