Day 3 of the La Torche Pro France sees spectacular action in Main event, Round 1[lightbox full=”http://standupjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Day-3-of-the-La-Torche-Pro-France-sees-spectacular-action-in-Main-event-Round-1.jpg”][/lightbox]
A beautiful day here in Finistere as the Men’s Main Event of the 2014 La Torche Pro France got underway in nothing short of epic conditions. A solid, long period swell, light offshore winds and bright blue skies provided the perfect backdrop to a full day of competition that saw us wrap Round 1 and the Repechage of the Main Event, as well as Round 1 of the Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge.
The day saw epic rides through the opening heats before conditions started to become more difficult around the low tide mark, with stiffening offshore winds and walls of whitewater making for some challenging surfing.
However, within an hour of the tide change, conditions turned around, the wind backed off and we were blessed with great conditions for the Repechage Round as well as a dramatic first round of action for the Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge.
Check out the highlights from today’s action by going to:
The battle goes on for the World Title between Kai Lenny & Caio Vaz[lightbox full=”http://standupjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/The-battle-goes-on-for-the-World-Title-between-Kai-Lenny-Caio-Vaz.jpg”][/lightbox]
The battle intensifies here in La Torche as we see World #1 Kai Lenny (Naish) from Hawaii and #2 Caio Vaz (Art in Surf) from Brazil go blow for blow from the outset at this final rankings event of the 2014 season. At opposite ends of the draw, if they both continue to progress, they will meet in the Final and it is clear from their respective performances today, that they are both in it for one thing, and one thing alone: to win.
Kai kicked off the day with a solid first round heat, posting the highest heat score total of the day to get his campaign going, but then Caio answered back at the end of Round 1 with the single highest wave score of the day, clearly echoing that the battle is on.
Whatever happens, it will be a battle for the ages here in La Torche for this prestigious Final Rankings stop on the 2014 Stand Up World Championship Tour. Remember, you can make your own prediction and be a part of the equation as it develops by hashtagging one of the following:
#kai2014suwt • #caio2014suwt
Maui Boys put on a solid showing today in La Torche, as they headline Round 1 results[lightbox full=”http://standupjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Maui-Boys-put-on-a-solid-showing-today-in-La-Torche-as-they-headline-Round-1-results.jpg”][/lightbox]
Zane Schweitzer (Starboard) and Kody Kerbox (Naish) put on stellar performances today in Round 1 of the Main Event posting amongst the highest heat score totals of the day, linking together radical turns to make their way directly into Round 3.
Also making it through with a strong performance today, Racing World Champion Connor Baxter (Starboard), looking right at home here in La Torche.
Brazilians stand strong: solid performances see them all advance through to Round 3[lightbox full=”http://standupjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Brazilians-stand-strong-solid-performances-see-them-all-advance-through-to-Round-3.jpg”][/lightbox]
Caio Vaz (Art in Surf) led an all star Brazilian cast today that dominated their first round heats, all advancing through to Round 3. 2012 World Champion Leco Salazar (New Advance), his brother Mattheus, Ian Vaz (Art in Surf) and Lucas Medeiros all surfed solidly today as they have their eyes set on a strong Brazilian finish to the 2014 season.
The Repechage Round sees some valiant comebacks and heroics for the crowds[lightbox full=”http://standupjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/The-Repechage-Round-sees-some-valiant-comebacks-and-heroics-for-the-crowds.jpg”][/lightbox]
After a disappointing 1st round for Beau Nixon (Naish) and Poenaiki Raioha (F-One), they both came back strong in the repechage to dominate their respective heats and make it back into the running for Round 3. After his impressive performance in Huntington, Poenaiki has been touted for greatness here in France, so the comeback was a relief for the Tahitian contingent on the beach after failing to find a back up wave in Round 1.
The other dramatic comeback of the day came from the Viking, Casper Steinfath, who missed his 1st round heat due to his arrival this morning from Peru. After a stressful car ride, Casper made it to the beach to hear the starting horn sound for his heat, and proceeded to go out and put on a solid performance to make it through to Round 3. A great performance from the Dane who will be looking for a strong finish to the year here in France.
Na Kama Kai Challenge showcases the stand up paddling’s future Champions[lightbox full=”http://standupjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Na-Kama-Kai-Challenge-showcases-the-stand-up-paddlings-future-Champions.jpg”][/lightbox]
The Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge has become a major component of the La Torche Pro France over the last 4 years, and this year only more so, as we see an impressive showing of talented U16 athletes stepping up to do battle.
Twenty-one U16 athletes from as close as Plomeur to as far away as Australia took part in today’s Round 1, with stand outs being the young Christian Andersen from Denmark, Camille Bouyer (Naish) from France and Leo-Paul Etienne from Guadeloupe in the Caribbean.
Camille Bouyer in particular put on a standout performance in his Round 1 heat (having already advanced directly through to Round 3 of the Main Event!) as did Leo Paul Etienne, both posting multiple scores in the excellent range to win their respective heats.
Forecast predicts continued long period swell to hit Pointe de La Torche this week[lightbox full=”http://standupjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Forecast-predicts-continued-long-period-swell-to-hit-Pointe-de-La-Torche-this-week.jpg”][/lightbox]
With an epic opening day of action now under our belts, we are looking forward to another full day of action tomorrow, with the long period swell predicted to stick around through at least Wednesday providing ideal conditions for tomorrow’s action.
We will be getting underway with Men’s Round 3, Women’s Round 1 and possibly the continuation of the Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge, so make sure to join us for the action as it unfolds LIVE at www.watermanleague.com.