- WSL / Damien Poullenot

Anglet, France (Tuesday, September 22, 2020) - The French Rendez-Vous of Surfing, the first of two events as part of the Euro Cup of Surfing and The WSL Countdown, is set to start tomorrow, Wednesday, September 23, at 7:45am CEST / 1:45am ET / 10:45pm PT (day before) in expected three-to-five foot surf at the Chambre d'Amour in Anglet, France. A challenging forecast for the next couple of days will result in a single day event if conditions allow surfers to compete from dawn to dusk on Wednesday.

The broadcast-only event (no fans on-site) will be LIVE on worldsurfleague.com, the WSL app, YouTube Channel and Facebook LIVE as well as lequipe.fr and Fuel TV.

World Champion Italo Ferreira to Compete at the Euro Cup of Surfing

Italo Ferreira Italo Ferreira - WSL / Damien Poullenot

Reigning WSL Champion and recent victor at the Onda do Bem WSL Countdown event, Brazil's Italo Ferreira will be competing in both Euro Cup of Surfing events, starting tomorrow at the French Rendez-Vous of Surfing in Anglet. The surfing phenom has been lighting up the web with incredible clips all-year and showed he is in exceptional competitive form as he won on Friday at Onda Do Bem.

Alongside Ferreira is a plethora of talents, namely World No.6 Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), future Olympians and multiple CT-event winners Michel Bourez (FRA) and Johanne Defay (FRA) as well as the reigning Deeply Pro Anglet winners Andy Criere (ESP) and Anat Lelior (ISR). The full list of athletes is available below:

Italo Ferreira Johanne Defay
Kanoa Igarashi Pauline Ado
Michel Bourez Vahine Fierro
Leonardo Fioravanti Maud Le Car
Frederico Morais Yolanda Hopkins
Joan Duru Tessa Thyssen
Gatien Delahaye Cannelle Bulard
Vasco Ribeiro Teresa Bonvalot
Ramzi Boukhiam Nadia Erostarbe
Maxime Huscenot Anat Lelior
Andy Criere Rachel Presti
Kauli Vaast Juliette Lacome

Unfortunately for the home country, its surfing star Jeremy Flores has pulled out of the event, citing an ongoing ankle injury he has been trying to rehab for the last few weeks. The Frenchman will be replaced by Andy Criere (ESP).

Andy Criere (ESP) during Round 4 of Deeply Pro Anglet 2019 Andy Criere - WSL / Damien Poullenot

"I'm disappointed I can't surf in the Euro Cup of Surfing," Flores said. "My ankle is not at 100% yet and I'd rather not take any risk. It's going to be a fun event. I really hope to be ready for the start of next season this December in Hawaii."

Health and Safety of Athletes, Staff and Fans Paramount to WSL

WSL officials have collaborated extensively with public health officials, medical experts, as well as local and state officials, to create a thorough event COVID Safety plan to ensure the health and safety of participants, staff, and the surrounding community. This event will be strictly executed to follow the WSL's health and safety procedures, which were developed based on guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, and emerging best practices established by other sports leagues and broadcast-only live sports events.

These procedures include a health declaration, testing for athletes and essential onsite staff, strict physical distancing measures, temperature checks, and minimal personnel on-site. Local government agencies have imposed a strict no-public rule for this event.

All athletes, guests and on-site staff have been tested for COVID-19 on Monday and turned negative results ahead of gaining access to the event site.

WSL and Athletes to Support Reforestation Efforts in Anglet

Ajudam Pignada! How the WSL Supports Local Efforts to Rebuilt Green Lung of Anglet
WSL will donate funds from the French Rendez-Vous of Surfing to support local association Ajudam Pignada! in its efforts to secure the forest destroyed by a fire this summer and replant trees in the future.

The city of Anglet suffered a dramatic fire on July 30th, 2020 which destroyed more than half of the Chiberta forest and the World Surf League has decided to support relief efforts by partnering with Ajudam Pignada!. The WSL will make a donation in the name of the event winners to Ajudam Pignada! to help secure and protect the remaining parts of the forest as well as work on regenerating the lost zones.

Former Championship Tour surfer and Anglet local Pauline Ado is the ambassador for the association as she uses her platform to raise awareness about the efforts made by the local community to restore the forest. Follow Pauline and local expert Franck Lacaze to learn more about the fire and Ajudam Pignada!

Pro Anglet Webseries: Episodes 1, 2 & 3 are Live

Le Surf De Nuit
Listen to Jorgann Couzinet reminisce about an insane run-in with Marc Lacomare in the dark.

To build anticipation ahead of the French Rendez-Vous of Surfing, WSL has produced an original docu-series exploring the past five years of QS events in Anglet with action footage and exclusive interviews of the key players that made the short history of the event an exciting one. Episodes 1 to 3 are available online, episode four will drop tomorrow and the final episode on Friday. Watch them now!

Heat 1: Frederico Morais (PRT), Leo Fioravanti (ITA), Vasco Ribeiro (PRT)
Heat 2: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Maxime Huscenot (FRA), Kauli Vaast (FRA)
Heat 3: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Joan Duru (FRA), Andy Criere (ESP)
Heat 4: Michel Bourez (FRA), Gatien Delahaye (FRA), Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR)

Heat 1: Maud Le Car (FRA), Cannelle Bulard (FRA), Nadia Erostarbe (EUK)
Heat 2: Johanne Defay (FRA), Rachel Presti (DEU), Juliette Lacome (FRA)
Heat 3: Vahine Fierro (PYF), Teresa Bonvalot (PRT), Anat Lelior (ISR)
Heat 4: Pauline Ado (FRA), Tessa Thyssen (FRA), Yolanda Hopkins (PRT)

Watch it LIVE on worldsurfleague.com, the WSL app, YouTube Channel and Facebook LIVE as well as lequipe.fr and Fuel TV.

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