PLAYA DE LA CICER, Gran Canaria - Canary Islands (Saturday, September 14, 2013) - Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 15, and Leticia Canales Bilbao (EUK) 18, have won the ASP 3-Star Men's and 1-Star Women's Gran Canaria Santa Pro Junior today in a difficult lineup of 1-2Ft wind chops. Competition re-started this morning at la playa de la Cicer and completed the final rounds to crown the Canarian champions.
Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 15, whose previous best result was a runner-up finish in Sopelana, managed to keep his composure until the very end of the event in Gran Canaria and was crowned the Canarian champion. Adding a total of 750 points to his 2013 season tally, Fioravanti takes a major leap forward in the European title race.
"Waves were tough, this is my first big win in a pro junior I feel super happy !" Fioravanti stated. "I've trained a lot for this and we've been waking up super early all-week but it was all worth it. I was concentrating on the qualification for the World Juniors, but for sure now the big goal is the European title !"
Mateia Hiquily (PYF) 17, the uncontested form surfer in this event, placed runner-up today, unable to find scoring opportunities in a wave-starved final. Consistently posting the highest single-wave scores and heat totals in Las Palmas, Hiquily has now jumped from 26th to the third spot in the European rankings and will be looking to finish strong in the upcoming last event of the season.
"Second is a great result for sure, but I really wished I'd won this one," Hiquily said. "I just didn't get the waves in that final and Leo did. I'm still stoked with how I surfed here, especially cause it's a 3-Star and it was great to see other tahitians JB (Vehiatua Prunier) and Mihimana Braye do well and score high too. We've been surfing together since we're kids and it's awesome to travel together and support each other !"
Leticia Canales Bilbao (EUK) 18, led the 30mn final from start to finish today and logically confirmed her status of event favorite, taking out the Gran Canaria Santa Pro Junior title. Despite all efforts from her opponents today, Canales Bilbao controlled her heat in a difficult lineup. With this victory, the Basque surfer consolidates her third place on the regional rankings and gets in striking distance of Cannelle Bulard (REU) for the second spot and qualification ticket for the World Junior Championships.
"I feel incredible, I was out there looking at my watch thinking time couldn't have gone any slower !" Canales Bilbao admitted. "This was my opportunity and I'm glad I seized it. I've had a victory here already in the past in a Spanish event so I guess Canary's suit me well !"
Tessa Thyssen (GLP) 16, came out victorious of a hard fought battle for the runner-up spot with her compatriot Kim Veteau (GLP), netting the score she needed to place second on her ultimate attempt as she already had surfed fourteen waves (out of fifteen allowed). This excellent result, the best of her young career, propels Guadeloupe's Thyssen in the fourth position on the regional rankings and reveals the young goofy-footer as a potential threat in coming years.
"There wasn't much time left but yeah I guess I got lucky to get that last wave," Thyssen said. "It's my best result so far, I'm super happy cause my goal was to make the final in those last two events and I wanted to do good. Waves were horrible but I managed to fight my way into second place so I'm stoked and I'm going to try my best in the next event in Galicia too !"
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.