GRAN CANARIA, Canary Islands (Wednesday, November 3, 2010) - The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro completed 14 heats of Round One at the classic right hand point of El Confital before the lowering tide forced a halt to proceedings. The wedging peak, during the morning session of competition, offered excellent conditions with many of the top seeds as well as local surfers advancing on the opening day of this 120,000US$ event.
Event officials were greeted early this morning with a building swell which turned on as the tide pushed in. The swell direction was not ideal however barrels were the high scoring manoeuvres of the day. The swell is sticking in and more days of action are on the way before the arrival of a new swell towards the end of the official waiting period.
Shaun Joubert (Mossel Bay, ZAF) 19, went from one barrel ride to another as he amassed the highest two-wave combined total of 17.17 out of a possible 20. On his first visit to Gran Canaria, the young natural-footer was at home at El Confital.
"I really like punchy rights like this one and I'm glad I got barrelled out there. It wasn't in my game plan but if they come you just have to go for it. The two free surfs that I have had were really hard to get waves with all the locals on the peak so it is amazing going out with only three other guys."
"It is pretty good when they come those double-up ones on the reef," continued Joubert. "There are some good waves out there to get if you wait for the right one. It was good that I flew in a day early to get used to the wave because it really helps a lot in your first heat."
Aritz Aranburu (Zarautz, EUK) 25, 2009 ASP 'Dream Tour' member started off his Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro campaign with a strong performance in the opening heat of the event. Dominating from start to finish the victory in the three man heat was never in doubt.
"That heat was a present for sure with only three guys in the water. It has been a long time since I have been here to El Confital and it was a nice heat to start with. To surf here with only three guys in the water is amazing, I really enjoyed it"
A well renowned tube rider, Aranburu is definitely one of the favourites to go all the way to the final stage of the event. Having had solid results here in the past the natural-footer is hoping to go all the way and take the 2010 Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro.
"This wave really suits my surfing and I feel pretty comfortable out there. It is such a good wave and there are lots of other guys who know the wave well and will be hard to beat. I am just going to take it heat by heat and hopefully get a good result in the end."
Jesse Mendes (Guarujà SP, BRA) 17, charged through his opening heat to advance into Round Two with a strong backhand assault on the hollow right. Nailing an 8.00 out of 10 on his first scoring ride, Mendes has continued his form after a recent 9th placing in the ASP PRIME Lanzarote.
"The heat was hard for me because there were two locals and the positions were changing a lot during the heat. I got a good wave at the beginning and after this I calmed down and I was just showing what I am able to do. It was the first time I surfed here during the heat because I arrived last night from another contest so I´m pretty happy to make it."
Mendes knows the importance of this event in relation to his 2011 campaign where he will need as many points as possible to enter the ASP PRIME events next season. His mature approach to how he will achieve his goals is commendable.
"We are just in the first round and there is still a long way to go to get the big points that I want. I´m trying to get points to be able to do the prime events next year so let's see what happens here"
Marc Lacomare (Capbreton, FRA) 20, placed first in his Round One appearance to claim the ASP European Open title. With an unassailable lead now over his nearest rival Tim Boal (FRA), Lacomare makes it back to back European titles after last year's Junior title.
"I didn't expect it to happen so early in the contest and I am really happy with the European title. It has been a good year for me for sure and I hope I can continue my good momentum.
Lacomare claimed his title in the best possible way with a long, deep backhand barrel to score a near perfect 9.8 out of 10. Unable to keep the smile of his face as he exited the water, Lacomare capped off a great year which included a victory in the Star Series event in Newquay in early August.
"I was so stoked with this wave. I fell off on the wave before and as I paddled back out the wave just stood up in front of me. I didn't know if I was going to come out and in the end I made it. It is perfect to win the title with a 9.8 barrel."
On a day marked by the sudden death of 3-times ASP World Champion Andy Irons (Kauai, HAW) a minute silence was observed at 12 noon in remembrance of one of the all time great surfers ever seen.
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Upcoming Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro Round One Match-Ups
Heat 15: Heath Joske (AUS), Andre Teixeira (BRA), Ladislaus Ruedegger (AUT), Armando Navarro (CNY)
Heat 16: Brandon Jackson (ZAF), Thiago Guimaraes (BRA), Tristan Guilbaud (FRA), Lenny Perdomo (CNY)
Heat 17: Tim Boal (FRA), Stephen Walsh (AUS), Antonin De Soultrait (FRA), Raul Garcia (ESP)
Heat 18: Davey Cathels (AUS), Joao Guedes (PRT), Gary Gonzalez (CNY), Ivan Monagas (CNY)
Heat 19: Marco Fernandez (BRA), Nic von Rupp (DEU), Felix Ortega (CNY), Samuel Lopez del Pino (CNY)
Heat 20: Gony Zubizarreta (ESP), Oli Adams (GBR), Anderson Santos (BRA), Juan Pedro Gonzalez (CNY)
Heat 21: Masatoshi Ohno (JPN), Omer Bar (ISR), Damian Moro (CNY), Juan Carlos Garcia (CNY)
Heat 22: Charlie Brown (BRA), Chris Salisbury (AUS), Javier Medina (CNY), Luca Dioguardi (CYN)
Heat 23: Adrien Toyon (REU), Nick Riley (AUS), Kai Garcia (CNY), Rafael Moreno (CNY)
Heat 24: Joan Duru (FRA), Freddie Meadows (SWE), Robertson Goncalves (PRT)
Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro Round One Results
Heat 1: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 14.83, Adrien Valero (FRA) 8.33, Alexander El Naib (DEU) 1.34
Heat 2: Brendon Gibbens (ZAF) 10.06, Hugo Savalli (REU) 5.70, Blas Hernandez (CNY) 3.53, Mario Gonzalez (CNY) ts
Heat 3: Patrick Beven (FRA) 11.00, Ryah Arthur (USA) 9.03, Romain Cloitre (FRA) 8.63, David Echague (ESP) 2.50
Heat 4: Jose Maria Cabrera (CNY) 8.13, Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) 6.74, Luis Eyre (GBR) 5.80, Alejandro Diaz (CNY) 3.50
Heat 5: Glen Hall (IRL) 10.94, Norman Landa (EUK) 10.50, Julian Cuello (CNY) 7.36
Heat 6: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 13.10, Manuel Lezcano (CNY) 7.83, Ian Gouveia (BRA) 6.40, Jonathan Torres (CNY) 3.04
Heat 7: Charles Martin (GLP) 12.93, Eduardo Acosta (CNY) 9.93, Klee Strachan (ZAF) 7.24, Echedey Perez (CNY) 2.13
Heat 8: Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 12.34, Joackim Petersen Guichard (NOR) 8.40, Bentor Gonzalez (CNY) 8.24, Carlos Marques (ESP) 6.46
Heat 9: Nathan Hedge (AUS) 7.26, Karlos Filgueira (EUK) 5.87, Adrian Vega (CNY) 2.30, Dale Staples (ZAF) n/s
Heat 10: Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 17.17, Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 12.34, Javier Ascanio (CNY) 4.50, Aaron Romero (CNY) 3.64
Heat 11: Luciano Casillas (CNY) 11.10, Bruno Rodrigues (BRA) 10.60, Abdel El Harim (MAR) 8.27, Felipe Mendes (BRA) 2.03
Heat 12: Marc Lacomare (FRA) 15.30, Eric Rebiere (FRA) 9.27, Antonio Marques (CNY) 7.87
Heat 13: Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 7.70, Pierre-Valentin Laborde (FRA) 5.20, Igor Munian (EUK) 5.00
Heat 14: Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 13.73, Medi Veminardi (REU) 12.83, Alberto Garcia (CNY) 2.83, Hector Artiles (CNY) 2.73