Cooper Chapman (AUS)
It is on Sunday 17th April that the second edition of the Martinique Surf Pro begins. It is the only Caribbean leg in the 2016 calendar for the World Surf League Qualifying Series (QS). Everything is being done at the Basse-Pointe site in the North East of the island to host this event in Martinique that is already a must, bringing together until 24th April 144 of the most talented international surfers. It all begins with an opening night on Friday 15th April.
The figures reveal how attractive the Martinique Surf Pro is. No fewer than 144 competitors will be doing battle from 17th to 24th April on the long powerful waves at Basse-Pointe. In order to establish some sort of comparison, there were 106 last year. The excitement is such that 25 surfers have been placed on the waiting list, ready to take up position, if anyone pulls out at the last moment.
A fine melting pot
The nations that are most represented in this official list are the United States (27 registered), France (26 participants from Europe or French islands) and Brazil (20 registered). Between the three of them, these countries make up around half of the number registered. There will also be 17 surfers attending from Hawaii, including the title-holder, Joshua Moniz, 11 Australians, 7 Japanese and seven from Portugal. We will also be seeing some Spaniards, Peruvians, South Africans, Argentineans and Chileans among others. The Martinique Surf Pro will offer an eclectic line-up like last year with surfers from five continents.
We shall be keeping a close eye on the four entrants from Martinique, who are benefiting from wild cards offered by the organizers. Nicolas Chalonec and Adam Auffay will attempt to do better than last year, when they were eliminated in the first and second round respectively. Titouan Dubos, who trains in Biarritz and Arthur Lassee, the 2015 French champion, will be competing in their first Martinique Surf Pro. For these four promising youngsters, coming up against the top names in world surfing will be an unforgettable and rewarding experience. Other surfers from nearby will alo be taking part, including from Guadeloupe, Timothée Bisso, Gatien Delahaye and Charles Martin. From St Barth, Dimitri Ouvré made it to the fourth round last year (bringing together the top 32 surfers), and only just missed out on qualifying for the next round. He is back determined to do well this year. We should add that there are two representatives from the neighboring island of Barbados, Joshua Burke and Dane MacKie.
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
Evan Geiselman (USA)
Francisco Bellorin( VEN)
Jake Davis (USA)