Locals and Outsiders Dominate Day 1 of Vans Pro Junior
SAN SEBASTIAN, Basque Country (Thursday, July 24, 2008) - The
Vans Pro Junior, an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP)
Grade-1 event, got underway today at San Sebastian just across
the French border, inaugurating the crucial summer junior leg in
Europe. The Vans Pro Junior, who is the first of four
consecutive events taking place until August 24, got through
Rounds 1 and 2 and and ran Heats 1 to 4 of Round 3 for an
opening 28-heat marathon day.
With swell predictions looking uncertain for the rest of the
waiting period which lasts until Sunday, July 27, officials made
the most out of the consistent four foot (1.2 meter) waves on
offer and hope the weekend delivers a new swell as forecast.
Eduardo Fernandes (PRT), a 20-year-old phenomenon who placed
second in the ASP Grade-1 Buondi Pro Junior earlier this month
after defeating several favorites, was a standout for the first
day of action. Fernandes, who got through two rounds today, has
already secured his spot for the best seeded surfers' round and
"I am stoked to paddle back out after this good result in
Portugal", Fernandes said. "The place here is really nice and
the waves were fun today and everything went my way."
Fernandes posted an impressive 9.33 point ride (out of a
possible 10) on his way to securing the second best heat result
of the day - a solid 15.66 point heat tally (out of a possible
20). He will now be a favorite when Round 4 resumes.
"I was lucky to surf at low tide and the good waves came to me",
Fernandes said. "I surfed well the few good waves are paddled
into and this board my brother shaped for me is just amazing."
Fernandes will now face former ASP World Junior No. 5
Pierre-Valentin Laborde (FRA).
Igor Muniain (EUK), a local Basque surfer who has been rising
this year event after event, was another of today's solid
winners. Muniain, who currently sits 41st on the ASP European
Junior ratings, was in excellent form and flew the local flag
"It is great to be at home and surf waves I know so well",
Muniain said. "I feel confident and believe I can take my level
higher in these conditions. The waves are fun usually at San
sebastian and usually we get less size at this time of the
Muniain, who posted the best heat tally of the day with an
excellent 16.50 point result (out of a possible 20), used
specific tactics to secure his ticket for Round 3 where he will
meet young promissing French surfer Ian Fontaine (FRA).
"I believe patience is the key to get the better waves", Muniain
said. "You've got to wait for the wave and surf it as good as
you can and with the board I have at the moment I feel like
things can keep going wel for me. I hope I can make the final."
Twenty-eight heats were wrapped today and dozens of young
surfers managed to find their way out of the tricky first rounds
where unexperienced surfers usually feel some pressure. Among
them was Ivo Cacao (PRT) who put on a show when he took off for
a double-grabbed frontside air at the end of his four-men
Cacao, who has been around ASP Pro Junior events for a couple of
years, has yet to confirm promissing skills with a solid result
and will be looking forward to advancing through to Round 4 when
competition restarts tomorrow.
"Stoked with this quaification behind the best scorer of the
day", Cacao said. "I had fun out there and went for this big air
and landed it so it is all good for me."
Cacao, who placed second to Muniain in Round 2, will be among
those checking in tomorrow at 8 AM (GMT+2) for the second day of
action of the Vans Pro Junior.
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