PLAYA DE LA CICER, Gran Canaria - Canary Islands (Wednesday, September 11, 2013) - Only four heats were surfed this morning at playa de la cicer in Las Palmas, completing the first round of the ASP 3-Star Men's Gran Canaria Santa Pro Junior in small 1-2Ft surf. Despite a break at low tide, conditions didn't evolve significantly and competition was called off for the rest of the first day.
[Vehiatua Prunier]/athletes/3615/vehiatua-prunier) (PYF) 20, was the highest scorer this morning, finding a couple of fun little peaks at La Cicer to take the win over fellow polynesian Mihimana Braye (PYF). A former 3rd place finisher in a Pro Junior in Tahiti, Prunier is yet to make an impression in Europe and will be looking to confirm when competition recommences in Gran Canaria.
"It went well, I got a few little ones," Prunier said. "Water's cold though this morning, I was expecting a little warmer. Waves were small and slow, I think I got lucky to find those and I think the next heat will be a lot harder ! Mihimana and I wanted to go through together and we're stoked. My goal coming into this event would be a semi-final, I've never come here and hopefully I can do well in those waves."
Arne Bergwinkl (DEU) 18, German born surfer who's been developing his skills in the warm waters of Ecuador, also managed to find decent opportunities in the slow lineup, to advance into the main round of 64 at the Gran Canaria Santa Pro Junior.
"Conditions were really tough, but I managed to find a couple waves," Bergwinkl commented. "My first wave was definitely the best, maybe the tide was a touch higher, but I spent the rest of the heat looking for another which never came. This is my first year following the whole Junior tour, I'm not doing that great so far, but hopefully this contest will be good !"
Leon Glatzer (DEU) 16, won his first heat in an ASP Europe Junior event today, advancing ahead of a trio of Spanish surfers, to be the second German to make it through to the second round. With a similar profile as Bergwinkl, Glatzer lived his whole life in Costa Rica and is giving a try to a whole European Junior campaign.
"Low tide was tricky, you really got to be patient and wait for the better ones," Glatzer explained. "I'm skinny luckily, it's a big advantage if you're light and small ! It's my second year traveling through Europe, and with the Volcom team it's pretty cool. I have a few years left to compete in the juniors so right now I just want to learn as much as I can, watch the other guys, how they surf and practice for the future !"
Despite conditions looking a little more favorable when the tide started pushing again this afternoon, organizers called off competition for a lack of opportunities. Yannick Sarran, ASP European head judge, explained his choice of waiting for an improved forecast.
"We've tried to wait for the tide to come in again, but in the end we had to call it off for the day," Sarran stated. "It's a 3-Star men's event, the most important in 2013 for our juniors so we want to wait for better conditions to make the top seeds surf. We're looking at a positive forecast for Friday and maybe Saturday, so we'll wait and see."
Next Call will be at 8am tomorrow to re-assess conditions and decide if the Gran Canaria Santa Pro Junior can resume.
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/grancanaria.
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.