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Surfing - 20. May 2007.




Some thick clouds had come during the night, but the waves were still very clean, and the remaining girls of the event were happy to paddle out and get on with their contest. The high tide seemed just perfect for the longboarders and they were the first to hit the water and enjoy the peak, only four of them outside.

Claire Karabatsos (Fra), local and longtime Kana Miss champion, was again the favourite in her first semifinal battle. Knowing the spot, the french basque surfer repeated her efforts to link some classic nose riding with nice carving cutbacks. Outsider Justine Dupont (Fra) made her best to keep up with the experienced girls and just made it with an excellent first place for a spot in the ultimate four-women heat. Eliminating one of the best european surfers running in both categories and current longboard ratings’ leader Estitxu Estremo (Euk), the young girl from Lacanau, France, left the water pretty satisfied with both waves and performance. The second WLT semifinal followed straight out, current ratings’ #2 Claire Dereux (Fra) facing british Candice O’Donnell (Gbr), brazilian Cristiana Pires (Bra) and european well-known suref Myriam Imaz (Euk). With the sets getting more consistent as the tide was going out, it got tough for the girls to handle their nine-footers but some great comitment was shown however. The two last spots available in the final brought some good action and the french surfer Claire Dereux eventually found a convincing ride to go from fourth to second, and get back in the race. She backed up her ride directly to take the lead and eventually win the heat.

The 1 Star WQS event could start with the last quarterfinal before going on with the semis. The first semifinal was another generation clash when former WCT surfer Marie-Pierre Abgrall (Fra) faced defending Asp Europe junior champion Lee-Ann Curren (Fra) and 2006 ISA junior World champion Pauline Ado (Fra). The outsider of the battle was kiwi surfer Paige Hareb (Nzl), looking under pressure. Experience prevailed until the young guns found their rythm, and kept on pushing looking for some cover ups and radical turns. Hareb then got back into it, and overtook Ado to finish third and leave Curren with another win in front of Abgrall. The other semifinal was a full european heat, young Marie Dejean (Fra) facing three solid women Charlotte Caton (Fra), Estitxu Estremo (Euk) and longtime WQS contender Emmanuelle Joly-Thomas (Fra). Joly-Thomas was the standout of the heat when she scored the highest total so far with 15.77 pts, sending the young guard to the beach while Charlotte Caton (Fra) was the last one to fill the final four.

After a short break, the ultimate thirty minute decider could start, in perfect waves. Fighting for both european and interntaional ratings, the four best surfers of the WQS 1 STAR event were ready to offer the weekend crowds some good action. With two representatives of each generation, the clash seemed invetible, Lee Ann Curren and Charlotte Caton looking to confirm their rise in the regional hierarchy. Abgrall opened the show, to put pressure straight away and get a direct chance to defend her title. But Curren just ripped her first righthander, getting a cover up before going for two big carves on the 4 ft glassy face. The reward was a 9 pointer out of possible 10, best single ride of the event, to take a serious lead minutes after the start. Joly-Thomas was the next girl to show an amazing level, surfing a solid 5 ft wall to throw a big spray of water in the air, and finish with a big re-entrie to get a 7+ score and get second. With a break in the swell, the pressure rose, everyone knwoing the last exchanges would be crucial. Joly-Thomas was the only one to overtake the young leader with a nice backside comitted re-entrie, bringing the final to its climax. The 2006 Asp Europe champion Lee Ann Curren from Biarritz eventually caught an average ride to back up her opening amazing wave and steal the crown from her models.

In building conditions, the last four girls of the event paddled out for an ultimate fight for dollars and points. The two young girls from Lacanau Justine Dupont and Claire Dereux had been showing some serious potential through the contest and both of them jumped in first and second until defending champion Claire Karabatsos got in the game to steal the show and get second. The exchange got on fire as some perfect 4 ft sets were coming in during the heat, and Dupont eventually killed the heat with two 7 pointers leaving Dereux and Pires in the need of a combination. Karabatsos was the only one to still have a chance as ten minutes were remaining, but the rising longboarder Justine Dupont seemed unstoppable, winning her first ever Kana Miss Cup title, to secure $2000 prize. For her first try in the event, Justine Dupont takes this legendary title home, beating the best longboarding european females of the moment, and jumps to Asp Europe’s ratings top 5.


On site media contact: greg@aspeurope.com / +33 615 439 732

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