Epic Conditions at La Santa Bay

LA SANTA, LANZAROTE, Canary Islands (Friday, October 29, 2010) - The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) PRIME Islas Canarias Santa Pro witnessed an epic day of competitive surfing at La Santa Right. Clean lines in the 4-6ft (1.5m) range pumped through the entire day offering some spectacular action which saw 18 heats of Round Two competed.

Overnight strong winds abated to leave clean offshore conditions with consistent sets wrapping down the point. The swell direction turned to the north during the afternoon making the sections run faster and closer along the point.

Jonathan Gonzalez (Tenerife, CNY) 30, ignited the right-hander at La Santa early this morning with an incredible display of power surfing obtaining the highest two-wave combined total of 17.50 out of 20. Equal 3rd last week in Ericeira, Gonzalez is carrying over his good form to home soil here in the Canary Islands. Despite winning, Gonzalez felt for his good friend who was unable to qualify for the next round.

"I definitely can't complain about that heat. I started off with an 8.33 and then I got another one and then finished off with that 9.17. I am very pleased with the scores but it was a shame my good friend, Manuel (Lezcano) couldn't get through the heat as well. I would have liked to help him but it was not possible."

"Since I was a child I have been surfing here in Lanzarote so I know the wave pretty well despite not being able to come here as much as I would like to," explained Gonzalez. "It has some great waves and today is an example of what is available."

Having failed to do his entry on time for this event, Gonzalez was fortunate to enter by coming off the waiting list. Once in, he has wasted no time showing he will be tough to beat in the Islas Canarias Santa Pro.

"In the end I was lucky to get in and also other surfers have been able to get in so I am stoked. It would have been a disaster for me if I didn't get in the event and with such good waves it would have been terrible."

Jay Thompson (Gold Coast, AUS) 28, got back his confidence after a first round defeat last week in Santa Cruz left him doubting whether or not to compete in the Islas Canarias Santa Pro. At home on right-hand point breaks, his experience was obvious as he laid down multiple forehand gouges.

"I lost first round last week in Santa Cruz and it was another right-hand point and I was a bit bummed with myself. I was even thinking about not coming here but in the last minute decided just to stick with my ticket so I'm stoked I came and there are some pumping waves with a big swell predicted for Monday so it'll be good."

Thompson knows there is still a long way to go and that every single heat is stacked as the battle for crucial ASP World Ranking points heats up. Fighting to get back on the elite ASP 'Dream Tour', Thompson looks to be getting back into the fight.

"I have been watching a few heats and especially in this round all the top dogs come in and every heat is exciting. I was just stoked to be surfing on a good right-hand point. My legs felt a bit heavy and my board a bit slow but it was fun and had a blast."

Gony Zubizarreta (Vigo, ESP) 25, scraped through in the last minute of his 25-minute clash to advance through to Round Three behind heat winner Ben Dunn (AUS). A relieved Zubizarreta explains how that last throw of the dice went his way in an enthralling finish.

"That was such a close heat and those guys were ripping out there because they all got really good waves. I got one big one and did some turns but I couldn't get around it to find the wall in the end section. In the end I was needing a high 7 to get through and on that last wave I knew it was my final opportunity so I gave it all I had. I took off and on my second turn I did a carve-snap and my back foot slipped off the board and I don't know how I did it but I got it back on the board."

"I was thinking, 'No, it can't be. I can't do anything in the Primes'," continued Zubizarreta. "I was pretty stoked to get that 8.33 because I didn't see any of the other waves so I had no idea what I would get."

Finishing runner-up in Ericeira last week, Zubizarreta has shown once again his ice cool nerves under pressure. His habit of not giving in until the final siren is becoming one of his competitive strengths.

"I don't give up and after all those heats in the past that I have managed to get the score I know that I can still make it and the waves come to me. You have to believe and if you think the wave is going to come to you then it will come for sure. It is very good advice."

In a slow heat, Julian Wilson (AUS) blasted out a combined heat total of 16.53 which included a spectacular 8.60 out of 10 to advance into Round Three along with Neco Padaratz (BRA). The young Australian used his wave selection to perfection riding only three waves in the entire heat.

"It was a really slow start out there because the heat before mine was inconsistent too but the heat before that had waves for everyone right from the start. I was expecting the heat to have a lot of waves because usually it is one heat on and then one heat off. The last 15 minutes everyone started catching great waves and I got a couple of good ones so it was fun for sure."

Despite it being his first time at La Santa Right, Wilson knows the importance of choosing the best waves with the most scoring potential to get the big scores and hopes to build momentum during the latter part of the 2010 ASP Star-Series tour.

"This wave is really fun and it was my first surf out there so I am excited to get that first heat out of the way and build on this good start that I've had."

Richard Christie (NZL) also continued his good form of late with a win in the final heat of the day. Trailing in fourth position due to some poor wave selection, Christie waited patiently and jumped into the winner's bow with only five minutes remaining on the clock.

"I got pretty bad waves at the start which was probably my mistake while the boys got really good waves. I just wanted to get a good one so I paddled a bit further out and waited. In the end it came through and I managed not to fall off and got the score, so I'm stoked."

"I did ok last week and made it through to the round of 16 so that is what I hope to do here as well," explained Christie about his outlook at this event. "I want to get to the man-on-man stage which is what I like, especially in waves like this, I love it. It's the first time I have been here and it is really beautiful. A bit like being on the moon actually but the waves are awesome and it's good to be here."

Surfers competing in the Islas Canarias Santa Pro are out to claim the valuable points on offer for their world rankings in an attempt to qualify for the elite ASP World Tour events in 2011. Also European surfers are on their second last stop for the ASP European Open title which is currently being lead by Marc Lacomare (FRA). Having a PRIME status the Islas Canarias Santa Pro is a crucial event for all the surfers and their 2010 rankings.

For all results, videos, daily highlights, photos and news log-on to www.aspeurope.com

Upcoming Islas Canarias Santa Pro Remaining Round Two Match-Ups
Heat 19: Leonardo Neves (BRA), Billy Stairmand (NZL), Jesse Mendes (BRA), Andre Teixeira (BRA)
Heat 20: Raoni Monteiro (BRA), Glen Hall (IRL), Junior Faria (BRA), Igor Munian (EUK)
Heat 21: Nathaniel Curran (USA), Tim Boal (FRA), Alain Riou (PYF) Brad Ettinger (USA)
Heat 22: Tanner Gadauskas (USA), Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA), Eric Rebiere (FRA), Tiago Camarao (BRA)
Heat 23: Royden Bryson (ZAF), Shaun Cansdell (AUS), Joackim Petersen Guichard (NOR), Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY)
Heat 24: Josh Kerr (AUS), John John Florence (HAW), Yuri Sodre (BRA), Ian Gouveia (BRA)

Islas Canarias Santa Pro Round One Results
Heat 13: Andre Teixeira (BRA) 12.83, Jano Belo (BRA) 11.36, Joao Guedes (PRT) 5.90, Carlos Marques (CNY) ns
Heat 14: Igor Munian (EUK) 9.83, Brad Ettinger (USA) 9.36, Ricardo Santos (BRA) 7.96, Omer Bar (ISR) 6.27
Heat 15: Tiago Camarao (BRA) 11.33, Joackim Petersen Guichard (NOR) 9.34, Davey Cathels (AUS) 8.96, Robertson Goncalves (PRT) 5.43
Heat 16: Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 17.50, Ian Gouveia (BRA) 13.84, Txaber Trojaola (EUK) 9.27, Manuel Lezcano (CNY) 8.03

Islas Canarias Santa Pro Round Two Results
Heat 1: Heitor Alves (BRA) 14.17, Nathan Hedge (AUS) 11.00, Mickey Picon (FRA) 9.26, Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) 9.17
Heat 2: Jay Thompson (AUS) 15.26, Kai Barger (HAW) 14.84, Marc Lacomare (FRA) 14.53, Dane Gudauskas (USA) 13.44
Heat 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.77, Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 11.70, Adam Robertson (AUS) 11.60, Medi Veminardi (REU) 9.83
Heat 4: Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 15.94, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 13.80, Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 13.67, Brendon Gibbens (ZAF) 11.23
Heat 5: Gustavo Fernandes (BRA) 16.53, Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 16.07, Jean Da Silva (BRA) 15.53, Jay Quinn (NZL) 12.67
Heat 6: Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 12.83, Nat Young (USA) 12.50, Patrick Beven (FRA) 12.04, Chris Salisbury (AUS) 8.14
Heat 7: Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.53, Neco Padaratz (BRA) 13.07, Nick Riley (AUS) 8.17, Alan Stokes (GBR) 5.73
Heat 8: Ben Dunn (AUS) 14.50, Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 14.20, Torrey Meister (HAW) 12.94, Romain Cloitre (FRA) 11.40
Heat 9: Austin Ware (USA) 12.67, Klee Strachan (ZAF) 12.00, Nate Yeomans (USA) 11.03, Eneko Acero (EUK) 9.73
Heat 10: Hodei Collazo (EUK) 13.50, Marlon Lipke (DEU) 12.87, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 12.43, Echedey Medero (CNY) 6.67
Heat 11: Marco Fernandez (BRA) 14.33, Nic Muscroft (AUS) 14.17, Pablo Paulino (BRA) 14.10, Mitch Coleborn (AUS) 13.50
Heat 12: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 15.06, Mason Ho (HAW) 10.67, Jeronimo Vargas (BRA) 10.03, Messias Felix (BRA) 8.54
Heat 13: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 14.13, Dyyan Neve (AUS) 12.50, Bernardo Miranda (BRA) 10.57, Marco Giorgi (URY) 7.73
Heat 14: Heath Joske (AUS) 15.00, Granger Larsen (HAW) 13.34, Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 9.23, Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 7.97
Heat 15: Joan Duru (FRA) 14.27, Pedro Henrique (BRA) 13.10, Francisco Saez (CNY) 8.13, Stephen Walsh (AUS) 5.64
Heat 16: Masatoshi Ohno (JPN) 13.30, Cory Lopez (USA) 12.03, Jayke Sharp (AUS) 11.23, Sunny Garcia (HAW) 9.50
Heat 17: Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 13.50, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.17, William Cardoso (BRA) 11.84, Adrien Toyon (REU) 10.76
Heat 18: Richard Christie (NZL) 13.40, Jano Belo (BRA) 13.03, Eric Geiselman (USA) 12.53, Blake Thorton (AUS) 12.07