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Junior Pro Sopela gets busy with marathon day of action

 Vahine Fierro reached excellence today in Sopela. Credit: © WSL / Masurel
Vahine Fierro © WSL/Masurel



Junior Pro Sopela

Whopping 30+ heats run and done deep in the Basque Country

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 21 July, 2017 - Thirty-two heats were surfed at the Junior Pro Sopela today. Both men and women showed a high level of surfing in decent three foot waves. The event started at low tide, which allowed surfers to have longer rides than on the previous days and subsequently score bigger numbers.

After a good campaign last year, including a win in Caparica and a final in Espinho, Thomas Debierre (FRA) only had average results so far in 2017, until this final event in Sopela. He found a good rhythm and qualified for Round Four this morning with a combination of two excellent waves, an 8.83 backed up with an 8.53.

“I’ve had a very difficult season,” Debierre said. “We mostly had minimal conditions in every event and seeing my size and weight, I didn’t manage to make good results. After a season like in 2016, which was pretty successful, I think I put too much pressure on myself too. For this one, I’m more relaxed, it’s the last one, I have nothing to lose. Anyway I won’t be qualified for the World Juniors in Australia, so I just hope for a good finish here in Sopela.”

Currently ranked second on the European Junior tour, Tahitian Kauli Vaast (PYF) is one of the European Title contenders, which will be decided by the end of this event. He finished second in Caparica and had a win in Biscarrosse earlier this year.

As Playa de Arriatera revealed a long left hander, Vaast proved to be patient and with only three waves ridden, he found two high scores for a total of 16.13. He will need to finish ahead of Marco Mignot (FRA) if he wants to bring the trophy home. Another Frenchman Theo Julitte is currently third on the rankings and needs a win and his two opponents to lose in quarterfinals to clinch the holy grail.  

“At the start of my heat I was a bit stressed out,” Vaast said. “I have a bit of pressure on my shoulders right now, but you need to have fun when you surf, even if the stakes are important. It was not as easy out there. Waves were a bit flat but I managed to combine a few carves and this is how I got good scores.”  

Another remarquable result came from Joao Moreira (PRT), with a combined heat total of 16.24 (out of 20) and Gaizka Housset Ezponda‘s performance, who eliminated two of his French compatriots Justin Becret and Youri Conradi.

After two days and a half of men only action, the women’s first and second rounds were finally launched in fun waves. Ellie Turner (GBR) opened the festivities with fully committed turns and a total of 13.93 points, to advance into Round Two.

“Waves were fun out there,” Turner said. “I managed to get a few good ones, the first one on my forehand with a carve and a good re-entry, and the other one I got was on my back hand. It felt good to finally be able to surf a heat.”

She later confirmed her excellent form and qualified for Round Three with a second heat win in the afternoon.

Vahine Fierro (PYF), 18, has been very consistent all season, not only on the Junior Tour but on the Qualifying Series as well, and across the planet. She travelled from her tropical paradise to the rest of the world to train on several different types of waves and get more experience, forging her technique and wave selection.

“My home spot is a perfect reef break,” Fierro stated. “The waves today are breaking really fast, it’s moving a lot, so it’s very different from what I’m used to surf. But in a competition you have to adapt to the break. I had fun during my heat and I’m happy to get through.”

With a combined heat total of 12.33, Fierro opened her campaign successfully. A few hours later, she dropped the highest single score so far in the women's event, a 9.23, as well as the highest heat total of 15.06 points.

Surfers and contest officials will meet for the next call on Saturday at 8.00 a.m for the men and 10.30 a.m for the women, anticipating another full day of surfing.

Heat 1: Nicolas Guimond (FRA), Erwan Blouin (FRA), Thomas Doumenjou (FRA), Fynnlee Miller-Cooley (GBR)
Heat 2: Leo Paul Etienne (FRA), Diego Suarez Diaz (CNY), Iker Amatriain (ESP), Sean Gunning (ESP)
Heat 3: Thomas Debierre (FRA), Ignacio Guisasola (ESP), Attilio Goncalves (REU), Adur Amatriain (EUK)
Heat 4: Nanook Ballerin (FRA), Renan Grainville (FRA), Juan Gorostidi (EUK), Marco Mignot (FRA)
Heat 5: Kauli Vaast (PYF), Endika Garai (ESP), Maxime Dos Anjos (FRA), Issam Auptel (FRA)
Heat 6: Lucas Desmoucelle (FRA), Dylan Groen (DEU), Gaizka Housset Ezponda (FRA), Joao Moreira (PRT)
Heat 7: Willoughby Masterman (GBR), Afonso Antunes (PRT), Guilherme Ribeiro (PRT), Theo Julitte (FRA)
Heat 8: Tiago Carrique (FRA), Felix Morau (FRA), Mathis Crozon (FRA), Nemo Nogues (FRA)

Heat 1: Ellie Turner (GBR), Mafalda Lopes (PRT), Isabel Gundin (ESP), Lucia Machado (CNY)
Heat 2: Vahine Fierro (PYF), Nadia Erostarbe (EUK), Uhaina Joly (FRA), Iara Dominguez (ESP)
Heat 3: Neis Lartigue (FRA), Janire Gonzalez Etxabarri (EUK), Eveline Hooft (NLD), Maddi Aizpurura (ESP)
Heat 4: Illona Goasguen (FRA), Juliette Lacome (FRA), Hina Maria Conradi (FRA), Nahia Milhau (FRA)

Heat 1: Ellie Turner (GBR) 12.90, Nadia Erostarbe (EUK) 9.03, Bianca Tye Pineda (ESP) 6.54, Manon Alda (FRA) 6.30
Heat 2: Isabel Gundin (ESP) 13.46, Iara Dominguez (ESP) 10.86, Sara Urresti (EUK) 9.97, Nerea Donaire (ESP) 6.87
Heat 3: Vahine Fierro (PYF) 15.06, Mafalda Lopes (PRT) 8.53, Ainhoa Leiceaga (FRA) 8.33, Melania Suarez Diaz (ESP) 7.10
Heat 4: Uhaina Joly (FRA) 11.00, Lucia Machado (CNY) 10.67, Anat Leilor (ISR) 9.33, Karla Fodor (FRA) 4.50
Heat 5: Neis Lartigue (FRA) 15.00, Juliette Lacome (FRA) 13.63, Mahe Javegny (FRA) 9.17, Paula Nieto (ESP) 6.13
Heat 6: Eveline Hooft (NLD) 9.70, Nahia Milhau (FRA) 8.16, Lisa Girardet (FRA) 8.13, Matilde Passarinho (PRT) 7.90
Heat 7: Illona Goasguen (FRA) 11.40, Janire Gonzalez Etxabarri (EUK) 11.17, Violeta Sanchez (ESP) 9.27, Klervi Masseron (FRA) 6.30
Heat 8: Maddi Aizpurura (ESP), Elisa Cazenave (FRA), Laura De Los Reyes (CNY), Hina-Maria Conradi (FRA)

Heat 1: Ellie Turner (GBR) 13.93, Iara Dominguez (ESP) 10.50, Ozvan Masseron (FRA) 6.44, Lili Termeau (FRA) 5.50
Heat 2: Nerea Donaire (ESP) 11.33, Manon Alda (FRA) 8.87, Nell Auptel (GLP) 8.10, Julie Dufrechou (GLP) 7.96
Heat 3: Vahine Fierro (PYF) 12.33, Lucia Machado (CNY) 9.33, Mae Demanez (GLP) 5.90, Noa Lelior (ISR) 4.13
Heat 4: Anat Lelior (ISR) 14.33, Mafalda Lopes (PRT) 10.23, Jade Magnien (FRA) 7.60, Angela Gonzalez (ESP) 5.90
Heat 5: Juliette Lacome (FRA) 13.83, Matilde Passarinho (PRT)8.50, Mariana Brandao (PRT) 5.33, Arene Basurto (EUK) 5.00
Heat 6:  Nahia Milhau (FRA) 12.07, Mahe Javegny (FRA) 8.17, Belen Botin (ESP) 4.53, Beatriz Macedo (PRT) 2.00  
Heat 7: Janire Gonzales Etxabarri (EUK) 13.90, Hina-Maria Conradi (FRA) 12.40, Emma Dubes (FRA) 11.66, Mikele Beato (EUK) 3.53
Heat 8: Laura De Los Reyes (CNY) 11.90, Klervi Masseron (FRA) 7.80, Maelys Jouault (FRA) 7.16, June Del Campo (EUK) 6.20

Heat 1: Nicolas Guimond (FRA) 14.67, Leo Paul Etienne (FRA) 13.40, Luan Nogues (FRA) 11.07, Olivier Cassaigne (FRA) 8.47
Heat 2: Erwan Blouin (FRA) 12.33, Diego Suarez Diaz (CNY) 10.66, Liam Murray Strout (GBR) 9.87, Dean Vandewalle (BEL) 8.17
Heat 3: Iker Amatriain (ESP) 15.24, Thomas Doumenjou (FRA) 13.56, Edoardo Papa (ITA) 9.80, Teva Bouchgua (FRA) 9.54  
Heat 4: Sean Gunning (ESP) 12.13, Fynnlee Miller Cooley (GBR) 9.27, Ruben Vitoria (EUK) 9.27, Stanislas Sarrotte (MTQ) 9.17
Heat 5: Thomas Debierre (FRA) 17.36, Nanook Ballerin (FRA) 13.77, Mario Rasines (ESP) 8.96, Jonathan Cohen (ISR) 7.76
Heat 6: Ignacio Guisasola (ESP) 15.93, Renan Grainville (FRA) 14.70, Nalu Doutres (FRA) 12.83, Dorian Gomez (FRA) 12.57
Heat 7: Juan Gorostidi (EUK) 11.90, Attilio Goncalves (REU) 11.83, Lenni Jensen (DEU) 9.50, Gonçalo Vieira (PRT) 4.97
Heat 8: Marco Mignot (FRA) 14.40, Adur Amatriain (EUK) 11.47, Yago San Sebastian (EUK) 7.47, Rodrigo Lebre (PRT) 6.63
Heat 9: Kauli Vaast (PYF) 16.13, Lucas Desmoucelle (FRA) 13.74, Paolo Giorgi (CNY) 13.40, Mael Laborde (MTQ) 8.23
Heat 10: Endika Garai (ESP) 13.83, Dylan Groen (DEU) 11.46, Kike Suarez (ESP) 9.83, Bryan Picon (FRA) 8.24
Heat 11: Gaizka Housset Ezponda (FRA) 15.70, Maxime Dos Anjos (FRA) 11.90, Justin Becret (FRA) 11.03, Youri Conradi (FRA) 8.87
Heat 12: Joao Moreira (PRT) 16.24, Issam Auptel (FRA) 10.64, Gabriel Ortiz (ESP) 10.30, Asier Iriondo (EUK) 8.76
Heat 13: Willoughby Masterman (GBR) 14.40, Tiago Carrique (FRA) 12.90, Diego Garcia (ESP) 8.00, Thibault Manson (FRA) 7.67
Heat 14: Afonso Antunes (PRT) 14.67, Felix Morau (FRA) 10.87,  Nicolas Paulet (FRA) 10.57, Zouhir Selyann (MAR) 10.07
Heat 15: Mathis Crozon (FRA) 11.50, Guilherme Ribeiro (PRT) 11.30, Enzo Cavallini (FRA) 11.07, Seth Morris (GBR) 8.47
Heat 16: Nemo Nogues (FRA) 11.33, Theo Julitte (FRA) 10.47, Tomas Ribeiro (PRT) 10.27, Ander Idarraga (ESP) 6.47


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