Description:Michael February (ZAF)
Exceptional waves, top class surfing, keen spectators, a professional organisation: the first Martinique Surf Pro lived up to indeed and went beyond expectations. For five days, some of the world's top surfers battled it out on the waves at Basse-Pointe, a spot the reputation of which is spreading throughout the world. The organisers are already looking forward to the second edition, which may take on even more importance next year in the World Surf League Qualification Series (QS) by becoming one of the big events in this circuit.
Copyright:Damien PoullenotDescription:Cooper Chapman (AUS)
"The result has been beyond expectations and quite exceptional." The organisers, Nicolas Clémenté and Nicolas Ursulet are certainly very pleased. And quite rightly so, as the Martinique Surf Pro was one of the finest events seen in the World Surf League Qualification Series (QS) in the past few years. As a maiden event, this brand new leg held on Martinique has certainly left its mark. "We got together a great line-up with many different countries represented," stressed Nicolas Clémenté. "The standard was really high out on the water and we were very lucky with the weather. The swell was with us throughout the week. The competition on Friday was exceptional with 1.5 to 2m high glassy waves." The WSL Europe Tour Manager, Rob Gunning also went away completely won over. "At Basse-Pointe the waves are long and powerful and therefore perfect for this competition. They enabled the surfers to show us their full potential. The judges handed out almost 100 excellent scores (between 8 and 10), which is huge for a QS event. This Martinique Surf Pro was clearly a truly successful event."
A showcase for surfing on Martinique
One of the main goals of the Martinique Surf Pro was to show off the quality of the surfing on the island. This aspect was also highly successful. Most of the surfers registered for this brand new event discovered Martinique and the right-handers at Basse-Pointe. They were all pleasantly surprised by the quality of this spot and promised to return next year. Once again, we can certainly talk about a positive result and we can count on even more surfers coming to try out the waves on the north-east of Martinique. Pleased to be able to watch professional surfers for the first time, the locals from the island also turned out in force to enjoy the friendly atmosphere.
A lot at stake during this event
If we look at the Qualification Series rankings today (Sunday), we can see that the surfers who got good results at the Martinique Surf Pro have done extremely well. The four semi-finalists have leapt up the rankings. The winner, Joshua Moniz has gone from 160th to 14th, in other words a gain of 146 places. The other finalist, Michael February is now 16th (+ 61 places). The semi-finalists, Cooper Chapman and Miguel Tudela are respectively 18th and 19th. Other competitors eliminated earlier in the competition took advanatge of the Martinique Surf Pro to strengthen their position in the top ten in the world qualifying circuit: Ian Gouveia is 4th (+ 2 places) and Evan Geiselman 7th (+ 4 places).
Moving up a notch
The organisers are now feeling more ambitious for the second edition of the Martinique Surf Pro, which will be held in April 2016. "We did our utmost for this maiden edition with the means at our disposal," explained Nicolas Ursulet. "For next year, we hope to find private partners very soon to ensure we have a bigger budget to deal with." After the success of this first edition, the Martinique Surf Pro may well take on more importance next year by becoming a major leg in the QS circuit, which would enable the organisers to attract surfers from the top twenty in the circuit. They are also looking at some other ideas, such as hosting an event in the women's qualifying circuit. One thing is certain, this is just the beginning...
The 2015 Martinique Surf Pro in numbers:
59 series took place
1289 waves were surfed by the competitors and awarded marks by the judges
98 excellent waves (noted between 8 and 10)
146 places gained in the QS by Joshua Moniz, thanks to his win in the Martinique Surf Pro
On Saturday 25th April, the Hawaiian, Joshua Moniz (18 years of age) won the only Caribbean leg in the World Surf League Qualification Series (QS) in 2015. In some magnificent conditions and in front of an enthusiastic crowd, he won the final beating the South African, Michael February (21 years old). The Peruvian, Miguel Tudela (20 years old) and the Australian, Cooper Chapman (20 years old) took joint third place.
The 2015 Martinique Surf Pro was supported by: the Martinique Regional Council, the Town of Basse-Pointe, Crédit Mutuel de Martinique, Canal+, CMT, Trace TV, Buzzmag, Jacques Olivier, Madipass, SNEMBG, Hôtel Karibea, Brasserie Lorraine, Reezom, CROSMA, Surf Session, Eys Magazine, Santé des Îles, Levert Emballage, Riders Match, Yamaha Assoc., Auto GM, Avis, HSE, Pardon, Cap Nord, Conseil Général, DJSCS, Politiques Publiques, People bo kay, Odysse Sport Sante, FCDDM, SurfCaribbeanMag and SurfTotal.
Description:Miguel Tudela (PER)