On Saturday 25th April, the final day of the Martinique Surf Pro was certainly not lacking in suspense. As hoped for, the two semi-finals and the grand final were of a very high standard offering some thrilling contests at the surf spot at Basse-Pointe. In the end, the Hawaiian Joshua Moniz (18 years old) won the only Caribbean leg in the World Surf League Qualification Series (QS) in 2015. In magnificent conditions watched by an enthusiastic crowd, he won the final where ha was up against the South African, Michael February (21 years old). The Peruvian, Miguel Tudela (20 years old) and the Australian, Cooper Chapman (20 years old) shared third place. Thanks to their great performances in a QS3000 event, these four young surfers will leap up the rankings in the World Surf League Qualification Series.
Copyright:WSL_PoullenotDescription:Joshua Moniz (HAW)
Copyright:WSL_PoullenotDescription:Joshua Moniz (HAW)
As everyone had hoped, the Martinique Surf Pro offered us a remarkable final on the waves at Basse-Pointe, a surf spot that is now known by surfers all around the world. On Stauday morning, four surfers were still in contention at this brand new event on Martinique: Joshua Moniz, Michael February, Miguel Tudela and Cooper Chapman. These four young surfers aged between 18 and 21, made the most of the favourable conditions to please the many spectators, who had come to Basse-Pointe.
The first semi final was launched at 1030hrs local time and opposed the Peruvian, Miguel Tudela and the South African, Michael February in a heat lasting 35 minutes. With waves taking time to appear, both surfers had to show they knew how to remain patient. In these strategic conditions, Tudela and February still managed to achieve very decent scores. In the lead with just a few seconds to go in this first semi-final, Miguel Tudela thought he had it in the bag, but Michael February was not going to give in that easily. Showing determination, the South African, took the final wave that came his way staking all on this last chance. It paid off as he managed to do a very strong air reverse, a complicated move, which enabled him to overtake his rival by the smallest of margins. 14.80 points to 14.63 points for his opponent, Miguel Tudela, who was obviously very disappointed by this incredible ending.
The spectators hardly had the time to get over their excitement and the second semi-final was already underway. Once again, this would last 35 minutes and saw the Australian, Cooper Chapman up against the Hawaiian, Joshua Moniz. This was the third time these two had met in this Martinique Surf Pro, as they had already done battle in the series with four competitors in the third and fifth rounds (each scored one win). In this semi-final, Chapman and Moniz gave as good as they got, achieving some very good scores. Once again, it was all decided in the last few seconds. Cooper Chapman took the lead on the final wave, but Joshua Moniz who set off on the next wave overtook him with a score of 8.47 points. In the end, there was hardly anything between them: 17.80 points to 17.46 points. Eliminated before the final, Miguel Tudela and Cooper Chapman can console themselves knowing that they have both earned 1680 points in the Qualification Series.
A world class final
It was at 1230hrs that the Grand Final of the Martinique Surf Pro got underway between Michael February and Joshua Moniz. It was no surprise that these two excellent surfers achieved some remarkable performances with several waves of eight points or more. During the 40 minutes of the final, Moniz and February each took eight waves. With a 9.07 and an 8.87, Joshua Moniz set the bar very high. Michael February needed to achieve two incredible scores to move ahead. With an 8.57 and a 7.53, he did not manage to reach the 17.94 total set by his Hawiian rival. So it was Joshua Moniz who won this final series and the Martinique Surf Pro. By achieving this first win, he pockets 3000 points in the Qualification Series, which is far from being insignificant. Still a member of the Junior Tour and so a novice in the QS, Joshua Moniz was 160th in the QS before this event in Martinique. Thanks to this win, he will leap up the rankings, as will Michael February, who will be leaving Martinique with 2250 points. This will certainly see him jump up from his 77th place in the 2015 QS. These moves prove that there is a lot at stake in the Martinique Surf Pro, a QS 3000 event.
Joshua Moniz (Hawai, 18 years old), winner of the 2015 Martinique Surf Pro: "I feel so good, I came here and I really wanted to win. I was pretty nervous in the last final and I am so happy to come out with the win. This is my first QS win ever and first time really making hits man to man, and I am so happy. I'm shocked, I hope that this contest continues because the waves are such fun and you don't usually get waves like this in a contest. Everyday has been so much fun in the waves. Even with the smallest it's like a perfect little point, and I hope it continues. It's crazy because in every heat guys were losing like with 16 / 17 points and that's pretty rare to have in a contest. I know Michael is super experienced, I have watched a lot of his surfing and he surfs so well, so I was super nervous going into the heat and I knew he was capable of getting very high scores."
Michael February (South Africa, 21 years old), finalist at the 2015 Martinique Surf Pro: "I got some good scores in the final, but unfortunately they weren't enough. At this stage in the competition, you really need to surf well and Joshua Moniz was very consistent. This second place is a good result, the best I have got so far, so I'm pleased with that. I had said to myself that the quarter finals would be a good result in terms of the number of points, so getting to the final is fantastic. Yesterday, (Friday) I got a ten, and that was good for my confidence."
Facts and figures
- 106 surfers from five continents have competed in this first MARTINIQUE SURF PRO at the surf spot at Basse-Pointe in the north-east of the island. This brand new event on Martinique is the only Caribbean leg in the World Surf Qualifying Series in 2015. Joshua Moniz, the winner of the event earned 3000 points in the Qualification Series (QS).
- 4 surfers remained in the competition before the semi-finals and the Grand Final, which took place today (Saturday): the Hawiian, Joshua Moniz (18 years old), the South African, Michael February (21 years old), the Peruvian, Miguel Tudela (20 years old) and the Australian, Cooper Chapman (20 years old).
- 4 Frenchmen (from the mainland and the overseas territories) made it to the fourth round: Andy Crière from Hendaye, Timothée Bisso from Guadeloupe, Steven Pierson from Tahiti and Dimitri Ouvre from St. Barts. They were all eliminated on Friday.
Copyright:WSL_PoullenotDescription:Michael February (ZAF)
Copyright:WSL_PoullenotDescription:Cooper Chapman (AUSC)
Copyright:WSL_PoullenotDescription:Joshua Moniz (HAW