Day 6 of the La Torche Pro France presented by Naish and Twenty-Nine
A full day of action today at the La Torche Pro France 2013 presented by Naish and Twenty-Nine, starting with the women’s repechage and ending with the first round of the Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge, with Round 3 & 4 of the women and Rounds 4 & 5 of the Men in between.
Title Race intensifies as Kai Lenny and Caio Vaz stay on course here in France
As expected, the action was intense, with some high performance conditions on offer providing really technical surf for the world’s best to show what they are made of, with Title hopes being kept alive in the men’s fleet, as both Kai Lenny (Naish) from Maui and Caio Vaz (Art in Surf) from Brazil continue their journey to towards the business end of the draw. Kai will need to get a 3rd or better to secure the World Title, regardless of Caio’s result and Caio will need to win the event and Kai get 4th or worse in order for him to win the Title, so it will all come down to this final day of competition to decide who has what it takes to be 2013 World Champion here on the 2013 Stand Up World Tour.
Support crews and spectators are kept on the edge of their seats today
It was not a day without its fair share of triumphs and upsets as well as a string of nail biting moments. After being relegated to the Repechage, Caio Vaz (Art in SUrf) from Brazil kept us on the edge of our seats again in Round 4 today, as a last minute flurry allowed him to secure his place in Round 5, knocking out an on form Sean Poynter (Starboard) from the US.
Stand outs on the second day of the Main event of the Men’s division
Despite going out by the narrowest of margins in Round 5 to fellow and on form Aussie Kai Bates (Fanatic), who made it all the way to the quarterfinals and is still in contention when contest resumes, Keahi de Aboitiz (JP Australia) from Australia put together some of the most dynamic surfing of the day, taking to the air and stringing together critical but at the same time controlled turns to win his Round 4 heat.
Wildcards and dark horses excel here at the La Torche Pro France
The dark horse was without doubt Lucas Medeiros from Brazil, who is still in the competition, as one of the wildcards for this event, while Antoine Delpero has made his surge as expected, looking sharper and sharper as the rounds progress here, now in the quarterfinals.
The situation room here at the final stop on the 2013 Women’s World Tour
In the women’s division, the two favorites coming into this event, Ratings leader Nicole Pacelli from Brazil and Candice Appleby from the US went down early, leaving the door open for current number 2 Aline Adisaka from Brazil and the young lady from Hawaii, Vanina Walsh (Starboard), the latter who perhaps stands in the best position to take the World Title here in France. Both these impressive athletes are still in the competition, as when competition resumes, they will compete in their semi finals.
We are now down to the final 4, and if Vanina Walsh can get 2nd or better, she will be 2013 World Champion, while Aline needs to win the event in order for her to clinch the 2013 World Title. If Aline finishes in 2nd or worse and Vanina finishes in 4th, then Nicole Pacelli, current ratings leader will seal the deal. So it is down to the wire here in the women’s division as we witness history in the making as the World”s first ever Women’s World Champion will be crowned right here at the La Torche Pro France presented by Naish and Twenty-Nine
Stand outs in the Women’s division here at the La Torche Pro France 2013
Standouts at this event however have been France’s Caroline Angibaud and Florida’s Izzy Gomez (Starboard), who have been posting the highest scores amongst the girls heats so far in this final and climactic stop on the 2013 Stand Up World Women’s Tour. At just 13 yeas old, Izzy has momentum coming off her win at the last stop on Tour in Huntington Beach, while Caroline is right at home here in France, so make sure to tune in live to watch it all go down here at the La Torche Pro France presented by Naish and Twenty-Nine.
Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge: youth athletes do not disappoint
In one of the most competitive fields yet for the Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge that looked more like a main event heat draw, we saw stand out performances as expected from the likes of Mo Freitas (Focus SUP/Body Glove), Poenaiki Raioha (Naish) and Yuri Daberkow (Art in Surf), the youth of the event so far has to be the 14 year old Leo Etienne, who has been tuning heads all week with his phenomenal talent and performance level in both the Main Event, but also the opening rounds of the Na Kama Kai. Leo’s committed and radical approach to stand up surfing has impressed judges and athletes alike and he is certainly a major talent to watch out for in the future here on the Stand up World Tour.
Last day preview and developed forecast
We still have until Sunday to complete the main event, with a series of low pressure systems lining up to unleash on this exposed North West corner of France. At the moment, a significant 4m swell with a massive period of 17 seconds is already building at La Torche, as we await to see what the conditions will have in store for us in the morning, as the swell will carry through the weekend, with a new pulse coming through on Saturday. So while it looks as though competition will resume in the morning, it is not 100% that we will conclude these final and all important heats yet, so stay tuned for the next call which will take place at 8am tomorrow morning.
One thing La Torche has taught us this week: be prepared for the unexpected, so make sure to stay tuned right here at www.watermanleague.com as we come to the closing stages of the 2013 La Torche Pro France presented by Naish and Twenty-Nine.