Maud Le Car (FRA) and Marco Mignot (FRA) have won the 2019 Caraïbos Lacanau Pro in historic fashion today, claiming victory in the Finals against Gabriela Bryan (HAW) and Gatien Delahaye (FRA) held in four-to-six foot surf this afternoon.
Stop No. 7 of 11 on the 2019 World Surf League (WSL) European Qualifying Series (QS), the Caraïbos Lacanau Pro has been treated to good good conditions all week, culminating today with the crowning of Le Car and Mignot as the 2019 winners.
In the women’s Final, Maud Le Car (FRA) and Gabriela Bryan (HAW) drifted apart in the lineup at first, until the French surfed dropped a solid 7.17 score for two backhand turns, prompting her opponent to join her on the lefts breaking right in front of the judges tower closer to shore. Ten minutes into the Final, the surfer from Hawaii answered with a similar wave but slightly softer turns for a 6.17.
Both surfers struggled to back up their main score for a while but Le Car with a 4.03 kept Bryan at a safe distance. Bryan threw the dice on a closing section of a set wave but failed to improve her scoreline and lost precious time battling white water for the following five minutes. Le Car used her priority on the four-minute mark to block Bryan and slightly extended her lead, making her opponent chase a 5.78 with very little time left on the clock.
Bryan paddled for a wave but failed to start, handing Le Car an unexpected first priority in the dying moments of the heat, but the French was forced to use it shortly after, leaving Bryan alone in the lineup for an excruciating last minute in the Final. Swell failed to materialise for the surfer from Hawaii and Le Car claimed her first QS1,500 win.
“I don’t have the words to describe the way I’m feeling right now,” Le Car said. “I’ve had a rough two years and this win is truly liberating. I’m going to keep all this positive energy and everything I learned this week and try to keep the ball rolling into the rest of the year.”
The surfer hailing from Saint Martin in the Caribbean has previously won two QS1,000 events in her career, but has been struggling in the last two seasons. The win in Lacanau will help her regain confidence and build momentum for the back half of the season.
Bryan reached her first QS1,500 Final ever and continued to prove she deserves her spot on the Qualifying Series despite still being a junior. She will also slightly improve her overall ranking on the QS with the 1,125 points collected in Lacanau.
“I had fun this whole event and I’m super happy,” Bryan said. “I just couldn’t find a good enough backup in the Final and Maud surfed really well. I have to reset now cause I’m starting in Round 1 again tomorrow and I’m super excited to go and discover a new place again.”
In the men’s Final, Marco Mignot (FRA) pulled the trigger first with a combination of three decent turns on his backhand for a 5.50 and the first score of the heat. Gatien Delahaye (FRA) answered with an impressive maneuver but failed to control it perfectly, still scoring a 5.67 to get his Final started.
On the next exchange, Delahaye put together a nice combination of backhand gauges but the waves wasn’t offering much verticality, posting a 7.00 for his effort. Mignot answered on a bomb with three critical turns to post an excellent 8.70 and re-claim the lead.
Delahaye multiplied attempts to move back into first but his scores remained under the 7.21 required. Mignot continued to improve his situation and pushed the requirement for Delahaye into the excellent range in the last five minutes of the Final. Two minutes later, both surfers went on back-to-back waves and both took it to the air but once again Mignot got the better of the exchange with a 9.00 against Delahaye’s 8.33, eventually walking away with the win.
“It’s awesome to win today and especially against Gatien whom I’ve been staying with this week,” Mignot said. “My brother showed me the way and helped me immensely this week so I’m super thankful. Ever since the heat with Jorgann I knew my airs would be key and I’m stoked it worked out well, this is just the beginning!”
Delahaye showed great form all week and will be one to watch next week in Anglet where he is the reigning event winner.
“Hats off to Marco he surfed so well and has worked super hard for this,” Delahaye stated. “We gave everyone a good show and it was a super fun Final. I’ve had a great time here and I look forward to Anglet where I have a title to defend!”
Prior to the Finals, a Legends Heat between 3x World Champion Tom Curren(USA), Tom Carroll (AUS), Flavio Padaratz (BRA) and Gary Elkerton (AUS) kept everyone entertained with excellent surfing from the four surfers. Padaratz took an easy win with incredible surfing and a solid 18.33 heat total.
With the completion of the Caraïbos Lacanau Pro, the European rankings have once again slightly changed, here is the new current Top 5.
European Men’s QS Top 5:
1 - Jorgann Couzinet (FRA)
2 - Maxime Huscenot (FRA)
3 - Leon Glatzer (DEU)
4 - Vicente Romero (ESP)
5 - Tristan Guilbaud (FRA)
European Women’s QS Top 5:
1 - Pauline Ado (FRA)
2 - Yolanda Hopkins (PRT)
3 - Ellie Turner (GBR)
4 - Leticia Canales Bilbao (EUK)
5 - Juliette Lacome (FRA)