Former ASP World Junior No. 3 and former ASP European Women's Junior champion, favorite and local Joanne Defay (REU) posted the event's highest heat result to date (Copyright: ©Aquashot/aspeurope.com)
TROIS BASSINS, Reunion Island (Tuesday, April 12, 2011) - Women's division in the 2011 Yop Reunion Surf Pro Junior, the ASP 2-Star Rexona Girls Pro Junior kicked-off today in consistent and building five-to-seven-foot (two meter) waves, the twenty athletes battling it out during two consecutive rounds to advance through to the Quarterfinals of the first event of this year's ASP European Women's Junior Series.
Much expected for their first appearance in an ASP sanctioned event on Reunion Island, event top seeds and favorites Joanne Defay (St Leu, REU), Canelle Bulard (St Leu, REU) and Justine Dupont (Lacanau, FRA) taking control of the line-up heat after heat. Coming straight from Australia where they were attending an ASP Women's 6-Star event, the three top guns looked at ease in the consistent surf.
Leading the score board with the event's best heat result men and women division comprised, former ASP World Junior No. 3 Joanne Defay was able to make the best out of the conditions, going left to unleash spectacular top turns and critical sections' assaults.
"I am super happy to get going in the event and start off well," Defay said. "It's the first time I have the chance to surf in an event in Reunion and it's just fantastic to have all my friends and family around supporting during my heats."
Defay, a former ASP European Women's Junior champion (2009), is looking to open her 2011 campaign with a blast, having in mind to finish in this year's European Top 2 if not one the highest step.
"I want to make it to the ASP World Junior Tour events so getting a result here will mean a lot in terms of confidence and points," Defay said. "The waves are good here, especially in comparison with the many beach breaks we usually surf on tour so I guess the locals can benefit from it and do well."
Following fellow Reunion-born athlete Defay en route to the Quarterfinals, multi-event winner on the European Junior tour, Canelle Bulard (St Leu, REU) let no chance to her Round 2 opponents posting solid scores and showing promising determination towards a possible win.
Used to travelling around the world to attend ASP Women's Star and Junior events, Bulard enjoyed competing at home today, the smiling and renowned 16-year-old athlete benefiting from her parents' support, amongst other.
"It is always a bit more stressing to surf at home as you want to even better than usual," Bulard said. "I got some waves, managed to win both my heats today and am definitely enjoying having the support of my dad. My dad never gets to travel with me on tour and it's such a great feeling to have your closest family with you. I hope things keep going well and I can perform."
Answering the Reunion-based assault and flying the Basque flag, experienced Junior competitor Garazi Sanchez (Basque Country, EUK) was able to catch some good lefthanders in Round 2, securing a Quarterfinal ticket where she will battle against fellow Basque native Loiola Canales.
Sole Portuguese in the Final-8 of the Rexona Girls Pro Junior, Maria Abecasis (PRT) stood strong as well against the French contigent, keeping a firm grip on her Quarterfinal qualification where she will meet local top gun Bulard when competition resumes.
With the men set to meet tomorrow Wednesday at 10 AM and the women already in the Quarterfinals stage of the event, the ASP 3-Star Men's Yop Reunion Surf Pro Junior and ASP 2-Star Rexona Girls Pro Junior are getting closing to their business end. Check out all media material via our website.
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Heat 1: Joanne Defay (REU) Vs Joanna Giansanti (FRA)
Heat 2: Loiola Canales (EUK) Vs Garazi Sanchez (EUK)
Heat 3: Canelle Bulard (REU) Vs Maria Abecasis (PRT)
Heat 4: Maud Lecar (REU) Vs Justine Dupont (FRA)
Heat 1 : PV Laborde (FRA), Jules Thomet (REU), Dimitri Ouvre (BRB), Ugo Robin (REU)
Heat 2 : Vasco Ribeiro (PRT), Ramzi Boukiam (MAR), Kieran Bulard (REU), Hugo Dubosc (REU)
Heat 3 : Medi Veminardi (REU), Tristan Guilbaud (FRA), Frederico Morais (PRT), Martin Jannier (REU)
Heat 4 : Maxime Huscenot (REU), Tom Cloarec (FRA), William Aliotti (FRA), Fransisco Alves (PRT)