SANTA MARIA DE OIA, Pontevedra - Galicia/Spain (Saturday, September 21, 2013) - Mateia Hiquily (PYF) and Johanne Defay (FRA) have won the inaugural ASP 2-Star Surf Rias Baixas Pro today at the backup venue of Santa Maria de Oia in clean 3-4Ft surf. Surfers completed another big day of competition in Galicia to crown Hiquily and Defay as the event champions.
Mateia Hiquily (PYF) 17, form surfer of the event in Galicia claimed his maiden ASP European Junior tour win today, with a spectacular showing in the final. The up-and-coming Polynesian who highlighted several events this season finally managed to keep his composure all the way and will be a serious threat in the coming seasons in Europe.
"I'm so happy, in Gran Canaria I got second and I strongly felt like I could have won it there," Hiquily said. "Coming here, I've been patient and got the two waves I needed and I won, I'm stoked ! Those are not really conditions that suit me, I've been struggling in the previous rounds but today I felt great. Next year I'll be competing on the European rankings to try to qualify for the World Juniors as a European, we'll see what happens !"
Pablo Goncalves (REU) 17, dark horse of the competition fought his way into the final and managed to place runner-up at the expense of Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) and Andy Criere (FRA). The young surfer from Reunion Island takes a huge bump on the regional rankings to end his season in the Top10.
"That's my first final I'm super stoked and I hope I can make more of those in the future," Goncalves admitted. "We have a good crew from Reunion with Jorgann, Lucas and Tom so we'll keep pushing, despite our shark problem at home we're super motivated to make our impression on tour !"
Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 15, was in a dominant form today, posting several high scores before falling short of opportunities in his semi-final bout that saw him defeated by the future event winner and runner-up. However, following his win in Gran Canaria and another couple of good results, this equal 7th place was enough for the young Italian superstar to be crowned the 2013 ASP Europe Junior Champion !
"It feels amazing, but you know I don't think it's kicked in yet !" Fioravanti said. "At the start of the year I wasn't going for the title, I didn't think it was a possibility and I focused on the qualification for Brazil. I'm not event on the Star tour yet, so a wildcard into the Primes next year I guess it's like going straight up to the big leagues ! Thank's to all my sponsors and my family for the support, thank's so much everyone !"
Johanne Defay (FRA) 19, European Champion in both the Junior and Open divisions this season, claims the very last event of her junior career in Santa Maria de Oia today to consolidate her status of best european surfer in 2013 ! Patient in the final, the talented regular footer spent most of the heat in fourth position before finally catching the bigger set she'd been waiting for, to score an excellent 7.83 out of 10 and take the lead which transformed into the win a couple minutes later.
"I'm so happy to finish that last junior event with a win !" Defay said. "I'm a little disappointed that Cannelle won't be able to come with me to Brazil but that's how it goes. I'm still super stoked to end the season like that. Next year if I'm on the CT for sure it'll be a big change, before the season I evaluated my objectives and this wasn't even really on the table !"
Leticia Canales Bilbao (EUK) 18, placed runner-up today in Galicia, netting the score she needed to overcome fellow Spanish surfer Lucia Martino in the dying seconds of the final. With this excellent result, Canales Bilbao claims the second ticket to the coveted World Junior Championships that will unfold in Brazil later this season.
"I feel so good now, that final was super difficult," Canales Bilbao stated. "I knew I needed a big result here to make it to Brazil and I was really feeling the pressure, and on that last wave I was over thinking everything. I can't believe how good that season's been, I hope next year will be even better but the younger girls are really pushing us like we saw today with Teresa and Kim for example.."
An update on all qualifiers for the World Junior Championships to be held in Brazil in November will follow shortly.
The 2013 Surf Rias Baixas Pro is scheduled from September 19-22, 2013 at Playa de la lanzada, Pontevedra - Galicia/Spain. For all results, photos, video highlights, press releases and LIVE webcast, log on to aspeurope.com/lanzada2013.
The Surf Rias Baixas Pro is made possible with the support of the following event partners: Diputación de Pontevedra, Concello de O Grove, Club Praia de PantÃn y la Federación Galega de Surf amongst others.