After a maiden edition last year that was a huge success from every point of view, the Martinique Surf Pro is once again on the 2016 World Surf League Qualification Series (QS) calendar, the top-class world qualifying series. Some of the world’s top surfers will be able to show what they can do on the long, powerful waves at Basse-Pointe, in the NE of Martinique, as they attempt to follow in the footsteps of the young Hawaiian Joshua Moniz, the current title-holder. To welcome even more people to this event, the organisers are planning new infrastructures and a longer list of special features. The Martinique Surf Pro will therefore be even bigger and better.
At the end of the maiden edition, everyone involved in the Martinique Surf Pro agreed that they had to do it all over again in 2016. The date for this must-attend event in the World Surf League Qualification Series (QS) in the Caribbean is set for the 17th to 24th April. Last year, no fewer than 106 surfers representing 20 different nationalities were able to enjoy the long and powerful right-handers (waves breaking to the right when surfing) at Basse-Pointe. That’s why many will be back again this year, including probably the title-holder, the Hawaiian Joshua Moniz. But it is going to be hard for him to repeat his success, as this second edition of the Martinique Surf Pro is expected to bring together an even stronger line-up with 126 competitors coming from all four corners of the world. As in 2015, we will see the leading figures from the QS and some of the most talented youngsters. Some great surfing lies ahead, particularly as at this time of year, as the easterly trade winds are generally not as strong and the waves tend to be smoother (glassy). The 2016 Martinique Surf Pro is ranked for the moment as a QS 3000 event, which places it at the third level in the qualifying circuit, after the QS 10,000 and 6000, and ahead of the QS 1500 and 1000. But this year the event may be raised to QS 6000. If that happens, the standard will be even higher. One to watch...
A bigger and better Martinique Surf Pro
With their first opportunity to watch top class international surfers, the locals from Martinique turned out in force, and the media gave the maiden edition a lot of coverage. The winning formula remains, but this time it should be even better. While the basic elements will be the same (the same spot, the same format, the same dates), the Martinique Surfing team, led by Nicolas Clemente and Nicolas Ursulet, want to offer an even better welcome to the spectators, who they hope will turn out in even greater numbers.
In spite of the limited space, the Basse-Pointe spot was well organised in 2015. The organisers were able to learn a lot from this maiden edition and plan on making improvements to the event village. Some new infrastructures to welcome spectators will be set up. As for the shopping village, it will be much livelier and will stress local know-how. There will be plenty to see ashore throughout the event and many special features will be scheduled during the day and in the evenings to ensure a festive and friendly atmosphere. There will, for example, be “floating log” demonstrations, tree trunks that are shaped to be used by fishermen to surf the waves, which is an age old tradition in Martinique, and particularly at Basse-Pointe. From Friday 15th April, an evening gala will open the festivities. And to ensure it ends in style, the organisers are planning a closing concert with an international line-up of artists, matching the top class sporting event, which attracts surfers from around the whole world.
Key figures concerning the 2015 Martinique Surf Pro
106 competitors representing 20 different nationalities from 5 continents
21 surfers from the Top 100 of the Qualification Series (QS)
5 days of sport
59 series were organised
1289 waves surfed by the competitors and scored by the judges
98 excellent waves (note between 8 and 10)
146 places gained in the QS by Joshua Moniz thanks to his win in the Martinique Surf Pro