Antoine Delpero (FRA), 30, and Alice Lemoigne (REU), 19, have claimed the Longboard Pro Vieux-Boucau event titles today in clean one-to-two foot waves. Competition resumed early this morning with the semifinals disputed in peeling, little left-handers and culminated mid-morning with exciting finals to crown the event champions.
In a now-familiar matchup, Delpero took on his younger brother Edouard (FRA), 26, in the final, the two delivering an exciting battle of high scores and exceptional nose riding abilities. Antoine kept extremely busy in the lineup and collected no less than four waves in the excellent range, culminating with a 17.40 heat total, enough to take the win.
"It's always a dream come true to surf a final against my brother, we know it's a possibility but the level is so high it's still an awesome turn of events," Antoine said. "We push each other every time and I really think we surf better and more relaxed at the same time. We're not counting, but I think I might have an edge now over him, but it's not even a question, he's grown into an exceptional longboarder and I'm always stoked to see him surf well, I'm proud of him."
"This year we're super happy to have four events in Europe and are really grateful to the WSL and its partners for putting them on for us, it's definitely a plus in our preparation for the World final in China," he continued. "I have a lot of projects going on and I haven't had much time to travel but I'm happy to be working on different things like a surf school we're launching with my brother and my surfboard and SUP brand Bonz."
Despite scoring the final's highest single scoring ride of 9.07, Edouard fell just short of the 8.33 required to take over his brother. The former European Longboard Champion kept chasing the right wave until the final seconds of their 30-minute battle but ultimately couldn't close the gap and had to settle for the runner-up spot.
"It was such a good final, I started a little too slow and that's what might have cost me the win I think," Edouard reflected. "I broke my equipment before the event and had to borrow boards too unfortunately, but I did give it a good go, we exchanged the lead a few times and I almost made it in the final seconds."
In the women's final, Brazil's Chloe Calmon (BRA), 21, had the situation under control with two solid scores for the most part of the 30-minute bout until she interfered with her opponent's wave and was penalized accordingly. Reigning European Longboard Champion Lemoigne utilized her priority perfectly and took over the final to claim her second event win.
"I was a little bit stressed in that final and am not super happy with my surfing, but winning here is an awesome result still, especially over such a great competitor like Chloe," she commented. "We all have such a great time among the girls at these events it's just wonderful to be able to surf more heats and practice more before China."
Calmon had previously belted the two highest single-wave scores and combined heat totals in earlier rounds and will leave a stamp of authority on this year's Longboard Pro Vieux-Boucau despite finishing runner-up. The talented young Brazilian surfer will have a chance to redeem herself next week as she follows the European caravan to Portugal for the next LQS event.
"I made a mistake, I really thought I had priority and didn't really understand what was going on, it's the first time I receive an interference," she stated. "Alice is a great surfer and a really good friend of mine, so I'm sad I didn't win but at the same time happy for her. I'm super happy we got such good waves for this event, the forecast was a little scary but we ended up surfing two days of really fun waves."
The long and clean waves of Vieux-Boucau provided a perfect canvas for the Trump Wetsuits Expression Session, featuring competitors in a single-fin only contest. Surfers were judged solely on their ability to nose ride the longest sections with style and at that game Antoine Delpero was once again victorious.
Alongside Delpero, Olinto, Skinner and Arauzo also demonstrated their talent and the four surfers shared the extra US$1,000 prize purse equally.
Following the opening European LQS event of 2016, regional rankings stand as follows:
Men's European Longboard QS Rankings:
1- Antoine Delpero (FRA)
2- Edouard Delpero (FRA)
3- Ben Skinner (GBR)
4- Emilien Fleury (FRA)
4- Martin Coret (REU)
Women's European Longboard QS Rankings:
1- Alice Lemoigne (REU)
2- Victoria Vergara (FRA)
2- Justine Mauvin (REU)
4- Kathleen Barrigao (PRT)
4- Phoebe Gould (JEY)