The tension mounts at the MARTINIQUE SURF PRO
On Wednesday 22nd April, the final four series of the second round of the MARTINIQUE SURF PRO were held during the morning. To take advantage of the best waves, the organisers of the Caribbean leg of the World Surf League Qualification Series (QS) have decided to wait until tomorrow (Thursday) to get the third round underway, when the most highly ranked surfers in the QS will enter the competition. The surf spot at Basse-Pointe, in the north-east of Martinique, will see some of the world's leading surfers show us what they can do. And the conditions are forecast to be very good.
Out of the hundred or so competitors registered for the first MARTINIQUE SURF PRO, there are now only 64 left. On Wednesday, eight of them won their ticket for the third round: the Americans, Kilian Garland and Derek Peters, the Peruvian, Tomas Tudela, the New Zealander, Matt-Lewis Hewitt, the Hawaiian, Uluahoha Napeahi, the Barbadian, Josh Burke, the Frenchman, Nomme Mignot and the Brazilian, Rafael Teixeira. Because of the easing of the swell during the afternoon, the organisers thought it better to wait until tomorrow to get the third round underway. "If we look at what's going on, it is possible to complete this leg in just three days. But we prefer to spread it out over the week to make it more relaxed and to take advantage of the most interesting conditions," explained Nicolas Clémenté from Martinique Surfing, the event organiser.
64 surfers, 5 continents
The competition will therefore start up again tomorrow morning with the 64 surfers divided up into 16 pools of four for the third round, which will be of a very high standard, as it is now that the leading surfers in the Qualification Series, as well as those benefiting from wild card invitations enter the ring. There will be a lot of Brazilians present in the third round with fifteen representatives. As for the French, they will have six competitors from the mainland in the third round: Adrien Toyon, Tristan Guilbaud, Tom Cloarec, Andy Criere, Nomme Mignot and Paul César Distinguin. The Caribbean community will also be represented with two surfers from Martinique, who enter the competition at this point thanks to their wild cards (Jerry Schaefer and Louca Jourdan), as well as Dimitri Ouvre from St. Barts, Timothée Bisso from Guadeloupe and Josh Burke from Barbados. We will also be watching among others, some Americans, South Americans, Spaniards, one New Zealander, some Hawaiians, Peruvians and the Japanese... The third round may well be completed tomorrow evening with the top 32 competitors going through to the fourth round. On Thursday, a decent swell from the North should influence conditions at the surf spot at Basse-Pointe. And conditions should be even better on Friday with consistent waves forecast, so it's looking very good.
Jerry Schaefer (Martinique, 21 years old), directly qualified for the third round thanks to a wild card awarded by the organisers: "The MARTINIQUE SURF PRO is a fantastic opportunity for the locals from Martinique to represent their island. That's why it is important for me to take part in this competition. I know what the waves are like at Basse-Pointe. They are powerful and correspond to my way of surfing. The surfers have the opportunity to show their real level. I know who I will be up against in the third round and they are very good, but I'm ready!"
Josh Burke (Barbados, 18 years old), winner of his series in the second round with 13.53 points: "This is the first time I have taken part in a QS event. There is a high standard, as the MARTINIQUE SURF PRO is a QS 3000 event. In Martinique the weather is very similar to what we get in Barbados, and we have the same type of waves. So I feel at ease here. Tomorrow, I'll have to do even better to get through to the fourth round."
Tomas Tudela (Peru, 17 years old), second in his series in the second round with 12.64 points: "I have come to Martinique, as this is a QS 3000 event and a good opportunity to earn some points in the qualifying circuit. It's also an opportunity to show everyone how fantastic it is here and to surf on waves of a high quality at Basse-Pointe. I can really see myself coming back here in the coming years. I have come with my brother (Miguel Tudela) but also with surfers from Venezuela and Chile... It's nice to be with some other South Americans, as we encourage each other during the series. It seems to be working, as we're doing quite well for the moment."
Results of the second round
Heat 1: Dimitri Ouvre (BLM) 15.83, Manuel Selman (CHL) 13.63, Luan Wood (BRA) 13.30, Lucca Saldivar (PER) 10.70
Heat 2: Renato Galvao (BRA) 15.00, Noah Schweizer (USA) 13.27, Reubyn Ash (GBR) 7.00, Johnny Noris (USA) 4.00
Heat 3: Alan Donato (BRA) 17.37, Caina Barletta (BRA) 13.23, Jorgann Couzinet (REU) 12.40, Eala Stewart (HAW) 7.27
Heat 4: Tristan Guilbaud (FRA) 18.60, Tomas King (CRI) 12.14, Ricardo Delgado (PRI) 11.40, Cody Robinson (AUS) 9.93
Heat 5: Paulo Moura (BRA) 14.23, Taylor Clark (USA) 11.24, Gatien Delahaye (GLP) 10.40, Wesley Leite (BRA) 9.00
Heat 6: Reo Inaba (JPN) 10.17, Kona Oliveira (HAW) 9.23, William Aliotti (FRA) 8.56, Brandon Todd (USA) 5.77
Heat 7: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 14.33, Weslley Dantas (BRA) 13.40, Chris Foster (HAW) 9.47, Oney Anwar (IDN) 0.00
Heat 8: Thiago Guimaraes (BRA) 13.67, Yago Dora (BRA) 12.50, Bruce MacKie (USA) 10.04, Philippe Chagas (BRA) 8.50
Heat 9: Tom Cloarec (FRA) 15.40, Nelson Cloarec (FRA) 11.73, Tales Araujo (BRA) 7.94, Joao Marco Maffini (HAW) 7.50
Heat 10: Ian Gentil (HAW) 18.20, Andy Criere (FRA) 15.80, Luke Shepardson (HAW) 8.16, Balaram Stack (USA) 8.13
Heat 11: Nic Hdez (USA) 15.13, Timothee Bisso (GLP) 14.76, Enzo Cavallini (GLP) 7.67, Myles Laine-Toner (USA) 5.54
Heat 12: Slade Prestwich (ZAF) 12.67, Kaisa Kawamura (JPN) 11.57, Julen Egiguren (EUK) 9.80, Colt Ward (USA) 9.37
Heat 13: Kilian Garland (USA) 15.50, Tomas Tudela (PER) 12.64, Kekoa Cazimero (HAW) 9.80, Adam Auffay (MTQ) 6.26
Heat 14: Rafael Teixeira (BRA) 17.40, Ulualoha Napeahi (HAW) 10.34, Jacob Szekely (USA) 10.16, Charly Quivront (FRA) 9.76
Heat 15: Derek Peters (USA) 15.10, Matt Lewis Hewitt (NZL) 10.80, Ethan Egiguren (EUK) 7.67, Cam Richards (USA) 0.00
Heat 16: Joshua Burke (BRB) 13.53, Nomme Mignot (FRA) 12.23, Jake Davis (USA) 9.87, Makai McNamara (HAW) 9.16