Estitxu Estremo Claims Womens Goanna Pro Title
TAPIA DE CASARIEGO - Spain (Friday, April 2, 2010) - Estitxu Estremo (ESP) was today crowned champion of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) Womens Goanna Pro 2010. An ecstatic Estremo was overwhelmed with the result which means her qualification into this year's womens ASP World Longboard Tour (WLT). Semi-finalists were decided this morning for the mens competition with the top seeds advancing through to the finals tomorrow.
Difficult wind-blown 4-6ft (1-1.5m) waves were on offer at the main beach break in Tapia. With an increase in swell and wind strength during the afternoon competitors were pushed to the limit in the testing conditions.
Estitxu Estremo (ESP) claimed her maiden Goanna Pro Tapia title in a low scoring however closely fought final. Gaining an early lead with a solid 4.50 out of a possible 10 Estremo continued her control over the heat and take the victory. Pleased with the result and her classification into this year's Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Womens World Longboard Tour (WLT) which commences July 10 in Biarritz, France.
"I am so happy right now and when you least expect to win everything just falls into place. I am pleased with how I have surfed especially in the semis and the final however it was a very close heat and in the end I was lucky."
Estremo returns to the ASP Womens World Championships after missing out last year and is keen to make a strong impression on the international stage.
"I am very excited to go back to the world championship because it is an event I love to compete in and I have it next to my home."
Commenting on runner-up Ophélie Ah-Kouen (FRA), Estremo was quick to highlight the huge future the youngster has ahead of her.
"I first noticed her in France two years ago and she is not only a very good surfer but a very tough competitor. She is a very friendly girl and in the water it is a pleasure to compete against her."
Ah-Kouen with her runner-up finishing was the major surprise in this year's Goanna Pro Tapia. The 16-year-old showed a calm and mature attitude as she advanced through the event to the final. With the increase in swell Ah-Kouen found it hard to adjust her surfing to the quickly changing conditions.
"I am very happy to finish second because I don't know the wave and it's so cool (laughs). My mother and my sister are travelling with me so it has helped a lot. The waves were very difficult in the final a lot more than in the semis but I am just so happy with the result."
In the mens division semi-finalists for the Goanna Pro Tapia were also decided today with the top seeds progressing through their 30-minute heats. Defending title holder Ben Skinner (GBR) overcame fellow Brit and good friend Sam Bleakley (GBR) in a one sided encounter. Bleakley was philosophical about his fifth placing and in true competitive spirit gave full credit to his rival.
"Ben (Skinner) is one of the best and most high profile British longboarders and for his career it's really important that he continues to win and his powerful style is suited to these types of waves. We have been friends for a long time and to surf a man on man heat with him today was something really special and good luck to him."
Alexis Deniel (FRA) two wave total of 13.90 out of a possible 20 was enough to oust fellow countryman Remi Arauzo (FRA) 13.17 points in heat number 3 of the day. Deniel had to fight to the wire and use his priority skilfully to fend off the challenge thrown down by his opponent.
"It was a close heat and I was against my friend but I wanted to win and qualify for the world longboard tour, WLT. I am happy because with this win I am now closer to getting to the final."
Antoine Delpero (FRA) continued his roll into the semi-finals with a win that was never in doubt over his young opponent Lucien Le Ray (FRA). Scoring an early 6.67 out of a possible 10 Delpero controlled the heat to eventually find his back-up score of 6.27 and advance to tomorrow's first semi-final clash against Ben Skinner (GBR).
"The waves this morning are a little smaller than yesterday but there are some good waves out there. I got a couple and it was fun so I am happy. My plan is to just keep going like that," continued Delpero in reference to the upcoming heats. "And if I do I think it will be alright."
Event officials of The Goanna Pro Tapia will assess conditions at 11:30 (local time) for a start to the heat one of the mens semi-finals.
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Upcoming Semi-finals Goanna Pro Tapia
Heat 1: Antoine Delpero (FRA) Vs Ben Skinner (GBR)
Heat 2: Alexis Deniel (FRA) Vs James Parry (GBR)
Results Womens Goanna Pro Tapia
Estitxu Estremo (ESP) 8.67 Def. Ophélie Ah-Kouen 7.40
Heat 1: Ophélie Ah-Kouen 10.70 Def. Emma Neuschwanger (REU) 10.06
Heat 2: Estitxu Estremo (ESP) 10.33 Def. Claire Dereux (FRA) 6.34
Results Quarter-finals Goanna Pro Tapia
Heat 1: Antoine Delpero (FRA) 12.94 Def. Lucien Le Ray (FRA) 7.70
Heat 2: Ben Skinner (GBR) 13.60 Def. Sam Bleakley (GBR) 9.87
Heat 3: Alexis Deniel (FRA) 13.90 Def. Remi Arauzo (FRA) 13.17
Heat 4: James Parry (GBR) 13.83 Def. Adam Griffiths (GBR) 11.00
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