GRANDE PLAGE, Lacanau Ocean/France (Sunday, August 21, 2011) – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17, defeated Mitch Crews (Gold Coast, AUS) 21, 19.23 to 15.36 out of 20, with an amazing final day display to win the ASP 6-Star Sooruz Lacanau Pro making history by becoming the first surfer in the 32-year history of the Sooruz Lacanau Pro to win both the 6-Star main event and Pro Junior event in the same year.
Medina, who has stunned the huge beach crowds the entire week, was unstoppable in the final with several high scoring excellent waves to eventually cap off an amazing week with a perfect 10-point wave. Taking the drop and pulling off a massive aerial-reverse followed by carving turns through to the shore break and landing yet another incredible aerial maneuver, a unanimous 10 was given by the entire International judging panel.
“I feel so good, best feeling ever ! I’m so happy to win one more time here and I want to thank my dad and all my family. It was a 40 minute heat so I was very comfortable out there. I was just trying to have fun and I got two good waves. I am stoked right now.”
“That was my first win in the Pro Junior and now I just won the Star Series so I’m really stoked,” continued Medina. “I’ve been training a lot since last year. I’m getting older, I have more experience and more training now than last year so that’s probably why I did better this time. I just like to go big. I’ve got nothing to lose out there so I’m trying the hardest moves to get big scores. Mitch got some good rights and got an 8 and a 7 so I’m just lucky I got those good lefts and got the opportunity to do my thing.”
Medina will now move on to the upcoming ASP 6-Star event in Zarautz, Basque Country where he finished in 3rd place last year and will be focusing on going through to the final and possibly make back-to-back ASP Star tour victories.
“Now I’m going to Zarautz and I’m going to train a little more so I hope I can do good over there. I love the waves there and it is a great spot for Surfing. I can’t wait to get there.”
Crews, who went one better from his 3rd placing last week in Newquay, was unable to do anything to stop the roll Medina was on. After a strong semi-final win over fellow Australian Ryan Callinan (Newcastle) 19, Crews gave it his best shot and felt shell shocked by Medina’s performance.
“I’m really stoked and at the same time I’m shocked. I just got the Medina ‘snake bite’ I guess. He just embarassed me out there. I had fun surfing out there, he’s an unbelievable surfer and you can pretty much learn from him with how talented he is. I’m stoked to get second. I’ve had an awesome time here in Europe.”
Crews, despite finishing in a ‘combo’ situation, surfed well in the final claiming two excellent waves. Predominant tricky left-handers during the final made it an even more difficult task for Crews to make a show of the final.
“There’s not much really I could do. He’s a goofy footer and the waves and wind favour the goofies today. He was going into big ramps and throwing big airs and spins. Basically I just needed to hope for a miracle, it was very hard for a natural footer to do big airs on a left like this and generate speed. I’m stoked I still got an 8 and a 7 so any other heat I could have won probably.”
Kolohe Andino (USA) 17, finished equal 3rd losing out to Medina after receiving an interference call in the opening exchange of the heat. The long awaited show down between the two ‘wunderkids’ ended up in a one sided affair with Andino being unable to make up the difference against his opponent.
“I don’t know what happened out there,” said a dejected Andino. “I was clearly up first but they gave me an interference. In conditions like that two ten’s are impossible to get. I just wanted to come in earlier. I couldn’t surf anymore. I didn’t want to make a fool of myself. The waves are fun, I was amped to surf but then I got an interference in the first two minutes of the heat.”
Andino, on his debut appearance at the ASP Sooruz Lacanau Pro, was a clear crowd favourite during the entire week with his fast, clean progressive surf in the tricky conditions which were experienced the entire event.
“It’s a great event you know, France is great. I’m stoked to make the Semis. Nike 6.0 set us up in a really nice house. I can’t thank them enough. I’ve been staying with Luke Davies so I’ve just been having a great time, and it’s hard to end it like that.”
Ryan Callinan (Newcastle, Australia) 19, obtained his best result on the ASP Star tour with his equal 3rd placing falling to Crews in an encounter that Callinan found difficult to get his momentum going to place pressure on his opponent.
“I was really struggling out there. It’s really hard it was like in between tides again, breaking way out back and then in the inside sometimes. I just couldn’t find any good insiders. Mitch (Crews) surfed well and he got the best waves so he deserved to get through.”
Callinan, current nº495 on the ASP World rankings, will rocket up the ranking list with the 2080 crucial points gained for his 3rd place which will remain in his seeding for the following 52 weeks.
“It’s definitely one of my best results so I’m really stoked. Surfing heats gives you experience and I’m having a good time! I’ve been surfing against him (Crews) for the last couple years in the junior series and other events at home and he’s a really good friend! I think he’s beat me every time so I’d love to get one up on him!”
The ASP 6-Star Sooruz Lacanau Pro was scheduled from August 16-21, 2011 and was LIVE web cast. For more information, and all results, photos, video highlights, press releases log-on to www.aspeurope.com
ASP 6-Star Sooruz Lacanau Pro Final:
1 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 19.23
2 – Mitch Crews (AUS) 15.36
ASP 6-Star Sooruz Lacanau Pro Semi-Final Results
SF 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.77 Def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 8.65
SF 2: Mitch Crews (AUS) 14.10 Def. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 8.67