LACANAU, France (Thursday, August 14, 2008) - Top seeds and barrels attracted massive crowds for Day 3 of the ASP WQS 6-Star Sooruz Lacanau Pro and it was another marathon day with 25 heats wrapped up in clean four to five foot (1.2 to 1.5 meter) waves. From current ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) ratings' leaders to ASP World Tour campaigners, world class surfers displayed some hot action.
Nathaniel Curran (USA), current international ASP WQS ratings' leader, opened his French campaign with a win in Heat 5 and could leave the water relieved despite a low 8.40 heat tally (out of a possible 20). Curran, younger brother of former ASP World Tour surfer and 1999 Lacanau Pro champion Timmy Curran (USA), managed to find his way out of the tricky fast-breaking conditions and will surf in Round 4 tomorrow.
"The conditions were very tricky and you don't really know where to sit," Curran said. "Two of us went out back and two stayed at the inside so it was a bit of a gamble. I am glad I got two okay waves."
Curran, who now bears the "man-to-beat" status, was relaxed after his heat and is looking forward to his much anticipated Round 4 battle against former event winner Shaun Cansdell (AUS), former ASP World Champion Sunny Garcia (HAW) and current ASP WQS top surfer Chris Davidson (AUS).
"I am trying not to think about ratings at the moment," Curran said. "I am focusing on one heat at a time and I am really not worried about the rest. I remember taking a picture of my brother Tim (Curran) when he won nine years ago and I would love to have that same look on the face."
Positionning and wave choice were the keys to success today and some perfect rides were scored by Australians Yadin Nicol (AUS) and Nic Muscroft (AUS).
Nicol, 22, was on fire and came up with the most impressive performance of the day posting a perfect 10.00 point ride right after a near perfect 9.33 pointer (both out of a possible 10) to end up with the highest heat result of the Sorruz Lacanau Pro at this stage.
"I am stoked to start off with such a result," Nicol said. "The waves were pretty fun and really rippable and I found that long enough barrel and came out. It came from nowhere and I was pretty lucky."
Nicol, rated No. 14 coming to France, has had his best year on tour thus far and will be chasing a couple more of big results to keep any possible ASP Top 45 inception for 2009. He will surf in Heat 7 when competition resumes.
The clean and solid waves pleased the Hawaiian crew usually at ease in hollower and faster conditions. Day 3 of competition saw the start of former ASP World Champion Sunny Garcia (HAW) who surfed and advanced with fellow Hawaiian Dustin Barca (HAW) after finding some of the best barrels of the day.
"I am very happy to be back in Lacanau," Garcia said. "It was a close heat but the waves were fun and I am stoked to make it with Dustin (Barca)."
Garcia, rated No. 8 coming to France, is on a quest to requalify for the ASP World Tour he left several years ago and seems unstoppable thus far. Chasing three big results to replace his low throw-away scores, Garcia will be a serious opponent to any competitor.
The European contingent was in good form as well and ASP World Tour rookie Tiago Pires (PRT) confirmed his Round 2 solid performance with another win today against serious contenders Luke Dorrington (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA) and Jihad Khodr (BRA).
"It was the most difficult heat thus far with the strong current," Pires said. "I was pretty tired after that heat and Luke (Dorrington) is an excellent competitor so I am relieved to get that win and keep going."
Pires will surf with fellow European Tim Boal (FRA) in Heat 2 tomorrow, while other European Round 4 qualifiers Romain Laulhe (FRA) and Charles Martin (GLP) will respectively surf in Heat 10 and 4.
Major upsets occured during this day of action and several favorites including much awaited Europeans Lipke and Bourez suffered early losses.
Marlon Lipke (DEU), current No. 9 among the WQS leaders, placed third in his heat losing to Beau Atchinson (AUS) and Kirk Flintoff (AUS). Lipke who has been on a good roll since the US Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach, was stopped today and will be looking forward to the upcoming event in Hossegor.
Michel Bourez (PYF) had a shocker in Heat 6 finishing 4th in a low scoring battle where he did not manage to get more than a surprising 5.43 point tally (out of a possible 20).
Twenty-five heats were done today to take advantage of the good waves on offer and all remaining competitors will meet at 8.30 AM tomorrow morning to assess conditions.
The Sooruz Lacanau Pro is webcast LIVE at www.aspeurope.com
ROUND 3 RESULTS
Heat 1 : Antonio Bortoletto (ZAF) 10.27 pts, Travis Logie (ZAF) 9.00 pts, Adrien Valero (FRA) 7.94 pts, Mick Campbell (AUS) 0.00 pts
Heat 2 : Gabe Kling (USA) 11.00 pts, Tim Boal (FRA) 9.67 pts, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 9.53 pts, Luke Campbell (AUS) 7.47 pts
Heat 3 : Tiago Pires (PRT) 9.93 pts, Luke Dorrington (AUS) 8.13 pts, Jihad Khodr (BRA) 5.73 pts, Brett Simpson (USA) 3.44 pts
Heat 4 : Brent Dorrington (AUS) 16.00 pts, Drew Courtney (AUS) 15.00 pts, Dustin Cuizon (HAW) 10.67 pts, Yuri Sodre (BRA) 7.10 pts
Heat 5 : Nathaniel Curran (USA) 8.40 pts, Dane Gudauskas (USA) 7.50 pts, Che Stang (USA) 7.34 pts, Bernardo Miranda (BRA) 4.46 pts
Heat 6 : Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 10.83 pts, Mike Losness (USA) 10.50 pts, Marco Polo (BRA) 9.70 pts, Michel Bourez (PYF) 5.43 pts
Heat 7 : Dustin Barca (HAW) 16.97 pts, Sunny Garcia (HAW) 13.17 pts, Damien Fahrenfort (ZAF) 12.87 pts, Guilherme Herdy (BRA) 7.83 pts
Heat 8 : Charles Martin (GLP) 11.93 pts, Chris Davison (AUS) 11.43 pts, Phillip Mac Donald (AUS) 9.30 pts, Odirlei Coutinho (BRA) 7.83 pts
Heat 9 : Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 16.17 pts, Masatoshi Ohno (JPN) 11.90 pts, Chad Compton (USA) 11.10 pts, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 9.60 pts
Heat 10 : Glenn Hall (IRE) 14.84 pts, Nathan Yeomans (USA) 12.93 pts, Rhys Bombaci (AUS) 11.67 pts, Anthony Petruso (USA) 2.80 pts
Heat 11 : Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 15.00 pts, Ben Dunn (AUS) 13.13 pts, Adam Melling (AUS) 11.86 pts, Eric Rebière (FRA) 9.93 pts
Heat 12 : Joel Centeio (HAW) 13.03 pts, Leonardo Neves (BRA) 11.17 pts, Romain Cloitre (FRA) 8.20 pts, Miguel Ximenez (PRT) 7.50 pts
Heat 13 : Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 17.00 pts, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 13.83 pts, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.67 pts, Brandon Jackson (ZAF) 6.83 pts
Heat 14 : Yadin Nicol (AUS) 19.33 pts, Austin Ware (USA) 11.33, Mark Mathews (AUS) 8.40 pts, Gilmar Silva (BRA) 5.96 pts
Heat 15 : Beau Atchison (AUS) 14.00 pts, Kirk Flintoff (AUS) 13.13 pts, Marlon Lipke (DEU) 10.43 pts, Abdel El Harim (MAR) 7.80 pts
Heat 16 : Simao Romao (BRA) 15.37 pts, Sam Page (AUS) 9.50 pts, Hodei Collazo (EUK) 8.00 pts, Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 6.30 pts
Heat 17 : David Weare (ZAF) 16.00 pts, Romain Laulhe (FRA) 12.57 pts, Warwick Wright (ZAF) 11.77 pts, Ruben Gonzales (PRT) 6.57 pts
Heat 18 : Paulo Moura (BRA) 16.00 pts, Adam Vic Robertson (AUS) 14.13 pts, Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 9.57 pts, Jarrad Howse (AUS) 11.80 pts
Heat 19 : Nic Muscroft (AUS) 14.33 pts, Nathan Hedge (AUS) 10.63 pts, Diego Rosa (BRA) 9.07 pts, Dunga Neto (BRA) 8.00 pts
Heat 20 : Perdro Henrique (BRA) 13.10 pts, Robson Santos (BRA) 11.57 pts, Renato Galvao (BRA) 11.00 pts, TJ Barron (HAW) 7.00 pts
REMAINING ROUND 3 HEATS
Heat 21 : Pablo Paulino (BRA), Josh Kerr (AUS), Frederic Robin (REU), Gavin Roberts (ZAF)
Heat 22 : Greg Emslie, Gony Zubizarreta (ESP), Heitor Alves (BRA), Jean Sebastien Estienne (BLM)
Heat 23 : Shaun Gossmann (AUS), Leigh Sedley (AUS), Alain Riou (PYF), Mikael Picon (FRA)
Heat 24 : Neco Paradaratz (BRA), Aritz Aranburu (EUK), Reubin Pearce (ZAF), Andre Silva (BRA)
UPCOMING ROUND 4 HEATS
Heat 1 : Antonio Bortoletto (ZAF), Gabe Kling (USA), Luke Dorrington (AUS), Drew Courtney (AUS)
Heat 2 : Travis Logie (ZAF), Tim Boal (FRA), Tiago Pires (PRT), Brent Dorrington (AUS)
Heat 3 : Nathaniel Curran (USA), Shaun Cansdell (AUS), Sunny Garcia (HAW), Chris Davidson (AUS)
Heat 4 : Dane Gudauskas (USA), Mike Losness (USA), Dustin Barca (HAW), Charles Martin (GLP)
Heat 5 : Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Glenn hall (IRE), Ben Dunn (AUS), Leonardo Neves (BRA)
Heat 6 : Masatoshi Ohno (JPN), Nathan Yeomans (USA), Raoni Monteiro (BRA), Joel Centeio (HAW)
Heat 7 : Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA), Yadin Nicol (AUS), Kirk Flintoff (AUS), Sam Page (AUS)
Heat 8 : Dion Atkinson (AUS), Austin Ware (AUS), Beau Atchinson (AUS), Simao Romao (BRA)
Heat 9 : David Weare (ZAF), Paulo Moura (BRA), Nathan Hedge (AUS), Robson Santos (BRA)
Heat 10 : Romain Laulhe (FRA), Adam Vic Robertson (AUS), Nic Muscroft (AUS), Perdro Henrique (BRA)
Heat 11: TBA
Heat 12: TBA