The Junior Pro Biscarrosse started in minimal swell to complete the men and women's opening rounds of competition. An extremely difficult forecast outlook for the event's waiting period prompted organizers to launch the competition in clean one-to-two foot surf this morning in Biscarrosse.
Local surfer Nemo Nogues took advantage of his local knowledge to score the best two-wave combination of the day. The 2016 Junior Pro Biscarrosse wildcard wouldn't post more than 8 points total last year during the inaugural edition of the unique french Junior event, and surprised the local fans community this time, scoring two little peelers, with a 6.50 and a 4.57 in his heat against Mediterranean Paco Peruzzo and Jao Errera as conditions became really tricky.
The other highlight of the day was Thomas Ledee‘s performance, equalling Nogues' best score of 6.50, quickly backed up with a decent 4.50. Ledee adapted his surf to the small but clean swell on offer as the sun came out to warm up the freezing atmosphere reigning on the wide northern Landes beach.
Low tide combined with wind and slow action forced contest officials to put the competition on hold, expecting the ocean to offer something more consistent and launch the women's opening round later on. The call came in early afternoon and the event got back underway.
After taking control of Europe's Junior rankings in Caparica earlier this month, Teresa Bonvalot easily made her way into Round Two of competition in Biscarrosse. Despite surfing difficult conditions yet again, the Portuguese surfer looked back at a somewhat positive start to her season.
"The last few weeks have been pretty weak in terms of wave conditions," Bonvalot stated. "Caparica was very small, it was tricky in Zarautz as I surfed at high tide, and now it's even more complicated. But you know, we play with mother nature, we can't really do anything about this, that's part of the game. We can only pray for more waves and hopefully the next few days get bigger, but not too stormy. "
With the amount of experience Bonvalot has already built through the Junior, Qualifying Series and her multiple stints as a wildcard on the Championship Tour, she's carrying the hopes of Portugal to have a female surfer amongst the very best in the world soon.
"We have a few more stops in Europe and I want to qualify for the World Junior Championship in Australia next Janaury," she continued. "I always keep in mind my main objective, and I try to do as much as I can in my surfing, watching the best athletes and getting inspired from them and join them on the Championship Tour one day. I want to be World Champion."
In the penultimate heat of the day, rookie Lucia Machado, braved the cold and posted the best single score and combined heat total of the entire event so far, men and women included, with a 7.67 and a 4.67, a strong total of 12.34 which put all three of her opponents in a combination situation, needing two scores to try to overtake her.
"I am really happy to get such good scores," Machado stated. "It was not easy, I was freezing and the waves were pretty small. That's my first season doing the Junior Tour in Europe and I really like being in the water with the other competitors. I just surfed, I had a really good feeling on my board and I managed to generate enough speed to do some good turns."
Surfers and event officials will reconvene at 7 a.m Saturday to reassess conditions.