O'Neill Pro - WQS

12 Aug 2005 0 Share

O'Neill Pro: Kai Otten impressed many on his way to a round 4 (round of 48) birth

O'Neill Pro: Kai Otten impressed many on his way to a round 4 (round of 48) birth

In what could be a record number of ASP heats to be completed in one day, the O’Neill Pro, 5 Star WQS surfing event in Anglet continued to charge onwards, screaming through the rounds of 144 and 96 before dusting off the first 6 heats of the round of 48. The culling of surfers was fast and from the 112 competitors that started the day, by sunset only 36 had managed to keep their O’Neill Pro dream alive. In total 46 heats were completed by sunset in a marathon 12 hour surf session.

The thunderstorm, that forced organizers to prematurely abandon the event yesterday had thankfully passed and the Plage des Cavaliers was once again drenched in sunshine for the duration of the day. A testing, mushy 2.5 ft wave graced the banks. Contest organizers again opted to use the double bank strategy to ensure the competition would reach fruition in the allotted contest window (14th August 2005).

It was a long day at Les Plage des Cavaliers, starting with the concluding heats of the round of 144 hitting the water shortly after sunrise. Around midday the arrival of the higher ranked WQS surfers as well as a handful of surfing’s elite WCT chargers saw the performance levels soar as the contest went full speed ahead towards the critical rounds.

As the first heat of the round of 48 hit the water in the late afternoon, Jeremy Flores from Reunion Island – France was the first to book his spot in tomorrows round of 24. The 18-year-old, who spreads most of his time between Australia and Hossegor, was quite comfortable in the testing Basque conditions and dusted off threats from Eric Rebiere (FRA) and Dunga Neto (Brz) to proceed to tomorrows contest along with South African Jordi Smith.

“It’s been a long day, I’ve surfed 2 heats and there has been a lot of waiting around so I’m stoked to get through.” Began Flores. “I just want to do my best in this contest, take it as far as I can but I’m not putting too much pressure on myself as I’m still young. I have really good board for these kind of waves and I spend a lot of time on this coast so I’m pretty comfortable out there and looking forward to tomorrow” He added.

In heat 2 of the round of 48 Drew Courtney (AUS) and WCT charger Peterson Rosa stamped their authority on the event to put an end to Josh Kerr and Alain Riou’s (PYF) campaign. Heat 3 saw Japans Izuki Tanaki and Australia Daniel Ross also made the transition to the next round.

Germany’s Marlon Lipke bolstered the European presence in tomorrows round of 24 when he paddled into one of the rarer walling mush burgers and locked in a score to take out the heat 4 ahead of Armando Daltro (BRZ).

“I guess I was quite lucky out there.’ Began Lipke. “It’s getting so mushy out there and there aren’t so many waves with any wall to hit, but just at the end there I managed to find a good one and get the score to get through to the next round. It’s really important to get a good result at this event as it’s the first one on this leg of the tour. A good start can set you up for the other two events.” He added.

In heat 5 Adriano de Souza (BRZ) displayed a snap shot of the form that has seen him climb to the top of the WQS ratings this year when he locked in the highest individual wave score of the day (a 9.6 out of a possible 10). Adriano’s performance in the marginal conditions left the rest of the heat’s surfers looking for a combination of scores to topple his staunch lead. The legendary Tom Curren (USA) took the second spot to progress when he busted a rare frontside reverse in the heats dying seconds.

Roy Powers (HAW) and Luke Stedman (AUS) were the last surfers of the day to engage spots in tomorrow’s competition.

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