Oakley Pro Junior San Sebastien
Tom Bellevergue (FRA) [Photocredit:Aquashot/aspeurope.com]
SAN SEBASTIAN, Basque Country, Spain (Thursday, July 21, 2011) - The opening day of the ASP Oakley Pro Junior San Sebastian saw two rounds of competition completed in the men's division with many of Europe's best up-and-comers doing battle in the tricky 3-4ft wind affected peaks. Strong winds and occasional torrential down pours added to the difficulties experienced by Europe's best under-21 surfers in their bid to take on the event's top seeds in the upcoming round.
The Oakley Pro Junior San Sebastian is crucial for all surfers wishing to build on their rankings towards qualifying for the ASP World Junior Series which kicks off with the Oakley World Pro Junior on October 3, in Bali Indonesia. Surfers are also out to win the added prize purse of 2000 Euros up for grabs offered by Surfing Euskadi for the overall best performer in both divisions at the Oakley Pro Junior San Sebastian and the upcoming Sopelana Pro Junior.
Paul Distinguin (FRA) 17, smashed the long rights with his powerful backhand attack mixed with rail-to-rail carves to grind out a combined two-wave heat total of 15.83 out of 20 the highest of the day in his Round One appearance.
"The first heat was good because it wasn't too mushy and there were sections to do big turns so I was happy to have a good surf. I felt the rights were better because they had a bigger wall to do more turns so I went for them."
Distinguin backed up late this afternoon with another heat win and a confidence boost going into the top-seeded round of the Oakley Pro Junior San Sebastian. In his first event of the European season, Distinguin is looking to progress and start building on ranking points for the 2011 season.
"In my second heat it was more difficult to surf and it was hard to get the flow but I did well in the end and I am happy with my surf today. I am feeling strong at the moment but I think I can do better. I don't have a lot of boards, I only have one so I will see tomorrow how I go finally in the third round and do my best here in San Sebastian."
Amongst many excellent scoring rides from several surfers, it was James Woods (Gold Coast, AUS) 20, who took on the European's and claimed the day's highest single wave score on a long peeling right which offered various sections for some stylish surfing in his early morning encounter.
"I didn't think I was going to get such high scores because the waves are not the best and I felt a bit wobbly out there on my feet. It was a double-up right that I could tell was going to have a couple of sections so I did a forehand carve and then come off the bottom and did a close out re-entry. I am happy and I got in some fun turns and I am ready for my next heat."
Woods, whose mother is from Belgium, is spending time in Europe in an attempt to base himself here in the future. Taking advantage of his current working situation in France the young natural footer is building on his experience for the remaining European pro junior series.
"I am trying to move over here and my mum is from Belgium so I am working in the south of France. Basically I am taking time off to do the competitions coming up in Sopelana and Lacanau as well.
Diogo Appleton (Carcavelos, PRT) 18, concentrated on the left hand peaks similar to his home break to advance solidly into Round Three. With aggressive back hand snaps the young Portuguese secured a 14.77 heat total which showed his potential in these types of conditions.
"It is my second time here and I love to be here and I am stoked. I didn't feel any pressure and I am going to surf like I always do. Here is similar to my spot at home which is a beach break and I love to surf those type of waves."
Arne Berwinkl (DEU) 16, advanced through both elimination rounds in his maiden ASP Europe Pro Junior event. The stocky goofy-footer looked at home in the choppy conditions combining smooth carves and powerful snaps to build a modest total of 11.30 out of 20 to finish runner-up behind an inform Nomme Mignot (Lacanau, FRA) 14, who amassed a solid 14.20 heat total including an excellent 8.00 out of 10.
"It is my first Pro Junior here but it is great fun now I am here," stated Berwinkl. "It is a cool event. I have surfed here a couple of times and it is a great wave but today is very stormy and maybe tomorrow we will have better weather. I was lucky to go against the best in Europe and to make these two heats. The waves are not that good but when the sets come it is ok."
Berwinkl, despite his German nationality, spends the majority of his time in different hemispheres of the planet. From warm tropical climates in Central America to European waters.
"I live in Ecuador in the winter and then come to a surf camp in France during the summer when in Ecuador there are not so many good waves. Half a year here a half a year away."
A first call will be made at 07h30 tomorrow Day Two with a call for the women's division at 11h00 of the Oakley Pro Junior San Sebastian.
The Oakley Pro Junior San Sebastian is part of the Oakley Pro Junior Series is webcast LIVE and all results, videos, daily highlights, photos and news log-on to www.oakleyprojunior.com and www.aspeurope.com
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