The Longboard Pro Biarritz was called off today around lunchtime as conditions remained small and the forecast looks great for the upcoming three days.
Instead, organizers decided to launch the BTZ Belza Classic, an invitational, 32-surfer format log fest. The opening round was completed this afternoon under the bright blue skies of Southwest France and a busy Côte des Basques promenade.
French-Brasilian surfer Marina Carbonell discovered the Biarritz scene and acclimated perfectly as she laid her graceful nose rides and classic cross-steps to advance in second position in the opening heat this afternoon.
"It was fun today," she said. "I've only surfed twice since I got here but it was a bit stormy whereas today we had small but super clean waves. My surfing suits the classic criteria well so I really enjoy these kinds of events. I've also entered the LQS and I'm hoping I can make a few heats as well."
An atypical event in that male and female surfers compete in the same heats, the BTZ Belza Classic did not wait long to prove the women had what it take to rival the men.
"I had a lot of fun, I'm a bit surprised I advanced cause the guys are really good but I'm super happy I did," she continued. "I come from a town in northeast Brasil where the waves are often like this so I felt kind of like home. This is my first time visiting Biarritz and so far I'm loving it, the people are very nice and waves are fun."
Local longboard superstar Antoine Delpero made full use of his local knowledge at Côte des Basques and dominated his heat to advance into Round 2 as well.
"An event like this at home, for sure the vibe is going to be more relaxed but don't mistake it, most of us are still here to make heats and try to win the whole thing!," he said. "It's cool to surf all different kinds of boards, you don't get bored first of all, but more importantly you learn a lot in the process."
A highly stylish surfer on all sorts of equipment, Delpero's transition to the classic approach of longboarding translated into smooth turns and long period of time spent on the nose.
"I've been surfing boards like this for a long time and I love it," he added. "You really need a certain type of conditions though because the boards are heavier and you need to build momentum. Today it was a little bit small but I'm confident we're going to have great waves in the next few days."
With an anticipated bump in swell for Friday and favorable winds, the Longboard Pro Biarritz is likely to start early tomorrow morning. Event officials will reassess conditions at 8 a.m and decide of the day's schedule.
Tune in from June 7-10, 2018 and check out all the photos, videos and updates right here.