ASP GRADE-2 OAKLEY PRO JUNIOR KICKS OFF THURSDAY, WORLD CLASS ACTION EXPECTED

Thursday, August 13, 2009

LACANAU OCEAN – France (Wednesday, August 12, 2009) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Grade-2 Oakley Pro Junior will kick-off tomorrow at Lacanau Ocean in France, with no less than 128 male and 32 female surfers ready to battle in the prestigious event. While the men’s event will be a crucial step towards the last part of this year’s tour, the ASP European Women’s Junior champion will be crowned at Lacanau by Sunday, current ratings’ leader Alizee Arnaud (Hossegor, FRA), 18, being considered a favorite for a second consecutive regional crown.

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From current leading international Under-21 surfers including Hawaii’s famous 15-year-old competitor John John Florence (Oahu, HAW) to Europe’s rising talents led by ratings’ top seeds Jatyr Berasaluce (Sopelana, EUK), 20, and Marc Lacomare (Hossegor, FRA), 18, the men’s event promises world class action with an exciting battle between nations. Current regional leader Berasaluce, who placed second in the last two events at San Sebastian and Sopelana, will be eager to clinch a first win this season when he starts competing in the event, the Basque leader targeting the continental title for his last year amongst the elite Under-21 division.

Much expected for his third event this year will be Marc Lacomare, the Hossegor resident being one of the favorites towards this year’s title after winning the opening contest of the 2009 season and making the final at San Sebastian. With consistency and unquestionable talent, Lacomare is one of Europe’s most solid surfers and will be much expected when he meets up with fellow top seeds and international representatives.

Being the final event of this year’s ASP European Women’s Junior tour, the Oakley Women’s Pro Junior will get all attention when it starts on August 15, the event and regional champions being crowned by Sunday. After showing impressive consistency throughout the year, Alizee Arnaud is already awaited for a second consecutive regional crown but will have to keep her close follower Johanne Defay (REU), 15, from clinching the event, a result that could see the season finish in dramatic fashion.

With local 17-year-old surfer and recent event winner in Sopelana Justine Dupont (FRA) remaining one of the serious threats for the crown, the field of female surfers entered in the Oakley Pro Junior will see defending champion Pauline Ado (Hendaye, FRA), 18, and current ASP WQS soldier Lee-Ann Curren (Anglet, FRA), 20, answer the challenge and aim at a win in Lacanau. As this year’s regional ratings’ Top 2 will get its ticket for the ASP World Junior Championships (WJC) to get a chance at competing against the world’s best Under-21 aged surfers at Narabeen, Australia, in January, the intensity of the show will rise as the reigning ASP Women’s World Junior champion Pauline Ado will be eager to climb up the ratings’ and take her chance to re-qualify for the ASP WJC.

WHAT: an ASP Grade-2 Men and Women’s Pro Junior event
WHERE: Lacanau Ocean, South West Coast – France
WHEN: August 13 to 16, 2009 for Men / August 15 to 16, 2009 for Women
WHO: Europe’s best Under-21 male and female surfers as well as some of the world’s leading rising surfers

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