ESTORIL, Guincho, Portugal - Marc Lacomare (Hossegor, FRA), 18, claimed the ASP Grade-2 Estoril B! Pro Junior at Guincho, back-up venue of the 2009 edition where consistent wind-blown three to five foot (1 to 1.5 meter) waves were breaking for the final day of competition. Lacomare, who came out on top of four consecutive battles to take top honours on the final day, defeated Joachim Guichard (DNK), 18, in a thirty-minute decider to clinch 1500 ratings’ points and take the lead of the 2009 ASP European Junior ratings.
Marc Lacomare, who was coming straight from an equal 3rd finish in the ASP WQS 4-Star event in France, used his building confidence with great tactics throughout the three-day competition, the French wunderkind finishing his victorious run with the highest wave score of the event, an impressive 9.67 point ride during his Semifinal, a good indicator of Lacomare’s current form.
"To win that event is another great step and I am really happy to take the win today," Lacomare said. "The waves were hard, the wind was so strong and it wasn’t easy out there so I am definitely happy with that 8.17 ride I got. I injured one of my ankles a bit before coming here and I felt a small pain during the event but I was able to push my surfing and get big scores."
Lacomare, who confirms his excellent form with this win, will now compete in the ASP WQS 6-Star Estoril Quiksilver Pro event starting Tuesday, April 21, on Estoril’s surf coast.
"I’ve been on a good roll for the last couple of weeks and I feel really good before starting in the WQS event coming-up," Lacomare said. "Getting two results in a row definitely helps my confidence and I hope I can keep that good karma going next week. I am so stoked right now and enjoying the surf a lot."
Estoril B! Pro Junior runner-up Joachim Guichard (DNK), 18, was left in need of an 8.67 ride to catch-up with Lacomare’s 13.50 point overall heat score and could not find any good scoring potential wave to reach his target and win the event. Guichard, who had to defeat his twin brother Luka in Semifinal No. 1 to advance through to his first ever ASP Pro Junior final, goes home with 1290 ratings’ points giving him a solid base to start with for his 2009 ASP European Junior Top 10 campaign.
"Marc (Lacomare) got that 8.17 right at the start and kept the lead all the way through to the end of the final," Guichard said. "It is an excellent result for me, my best ever, and I am happy with that runner-up finish. I will now build on this to try and reach the Top 10 at the end of the year before going on the ASP WQS and take my chance."
Guichard, whose finish rockets him to No. 2 on the regional ratings, will take part in the upcoming Estoril Quiksilver Pro as well where he will be an outsider to count with when he paddles out against some the world’s best surfers.
French young gun from Bidart David Leboulsh (FRA), 18, suffered Lacomare’s unstoppable form and finished equal 3rd in Semifinal No. 2, still his best result to date and very promising towards his comeback on tour. Leboulsh, despite an average 7.26 point heat score due to his lefthanders’ choice, will definitely be much awaited when the tour recommences next July.
"I am a bit disappointed because I did not show any good surf during that heat against Marc (Lacomare)," Leboulsh said. "I thought the lefthanders would give me some good potential to score but it kept closing out while Marc was ripping and I could not answer back."
Leboulsh, who started his career when he was fifteen, pulled back from the tour for the last couple of years focusing on school but the young man secures a strong result in the Estoril B! Pro Junior showing he is ready to get back with serious intentions.
"I had a couple of good results when I was younger on tour and I am definitely coming back in 2009," Leboulsh said. "It is one of my last years as a junior so I am aiming at the Top 5 on the ratings. That result is definitely a keeper so I’ll go with it and I am looking forward to surfing again this summer."
Joachim Guichard’s twin Luka (DNK) was stopped by his brother on his way to the final, Luka needing a second good wave to keep any hopes alive towards his first ASP Pro Junior final. Luka, who has been following closely his brother’s progression in the last couple of years, was not able to find the better waves during the encounter and takes an equal 3rd finish for his 2009 ASP European Pro Junior campaign.
"The lefthanders were definitely harder with the strong wind blowing side-shore and I was not really in reach of the win," Luka Guichard said. "Joachim is more powerful surfer and that made the difference on the set waves when pushing the turns hard. I am stoked for him and that equal 3rd is a great start to the year."
Luka, whose best result before today was an equal 5th in the ASP Grade-1 Pro Junior event in Amado, Portugal last year, bettered his career best and secures a serious confidence boost before the 2009 tour gets back into business in July.
"This is my best finish ever and it is an excellent start for my last year as a junior," Luka Guichard said. "My brother and I are aiming at a Top 10 finish this year then take our chance on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) and see how things go."
ESTORIL B! PRO JUNIOR RESULTS
1 - Marc Lacomare (FRA) 13.50 pts
2 - Joachim Guichard (DNK) 9.10 pts
Heat 1: Joachim Guichard (DNK) 12.67 pts Def. Luka Guichard (DNK) 8.70 pts
Heat 2: Marc Lacomare (FRA) 16.84 pts Def. David Leboulsh (FRA) 7.26 pts
009 ASP EUROPEAN JUNIOR TOP 5
No. 1: Marc Lacomare (FRA)
No. 2: Joachim Guichard (DNK)
No. 3: Luka Guichard (DNK)
No. 3: David Leboulsh (FRA)
No. 5: Medi Veminardi (REU)