GRANDE PLAGE, Lacanau Ocean - France (Thursday, August 18, 2011) - Semi-finalists were decided today at the ASP 6-Star Sooruz Lacanau Pro in clean 3ft (1m) peaks with the spectacular small wave surfing exhibition stepping up to intense levels. Following two days of running double bank format, the focus returned to the main event site where the swell pulsed during the afternoon for the quarter-final matchups.
Kolohe Andino (USA) 17, posted two solid scores in his quarter final heat to defeat Sebastien Zietz (HAW) with a total of 16.00 out of 20. Andino, who placed 3rd in the US Open of Surfing earlier this month will be facing Gabriel Medina in the first Semi-final when competition resumes.
"Gabriel (Medina) is one of my favourite surfers so I'm super excited. Hopefully we get equal opportunities to showcase our surfing. I've surfed against him before but never in a man-on-man format so this should be good."
Andino, sitting in 50th position on the ASP World Rankings, who has had a great year so far and will see his performance in Lacanau enter his top 3 results and climb a few spots towards the coveted ASP Top32.
"My goal in the beginning of the season was to finish in the Top 80 or so on the ASP World Rankings and I've already reached that goal so I'm stoked now I'm just after extra points!"
Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17, overcame an inform Kiron Jabour (HAW) with his continuing aerial expertise to take the win. After being on hold during the low tide mark, the beach crowd rallied to watch the 'Medina Show' which lived up to expectations.
"It was a tough heat out there against Kiron. Waves are pretty small and I think there's nothing for the next three days so it was good to run the quarters today. Yesterday was really difficult to surf because of the low tide but I made my heats and I'm really stoked."
Medina, winner of the ASP Pro Junior event three days earlier, showed once again his technical abilities in small waves. Taking advantage of his lightweight, Medina combined radical turns with front and backside airs to score a two-wave combined total of 16.93 out of 20, the highest two-wave heat total of the day.
"I feel good, I feel confident and I'm just trying to make heats one by one. I won the Pro Junior and was so stoked for that, I really hope I can do well now in the Star event."
Medina has now accumulated more crucial points on his ASP World Rankings to add to his already massive points total for the year. To help his finals campaign Medina is now feeling completely comfortable with the Lacanau beach breaks.
"That's my third time here in Lacanau and it's great. I got here two days before the Junior and it was so crowded, just too many people at the beach and in the water."
Ryan Callinan (AUS) 19, finished 4th in the Airwalk Pro Junior on Monday and is now qualified for the Semi-finals after defeating the last Frenchman in the draw, Vincent Duvignac using aerial manoeuvres to score a 7.17 out of 10, one of today's highest single wave scores.
"I'm feeling good. I've done better here than I did in the Pro Junior. It's pretty crazy specially going in a 6 star event that's probably one of the best events of my life so I'm stoked! Waves aren't really great at the moment but it's really fun for how small it is and I'm just having a great time."
Callinan, who just started competing in the ASP Star Series in 2011, will stay in Europe for a few weeks in hopes of getting a couple more good results, and visit other regions of the old continent.
"I'm going to Zarautz and Pantin next. I didn't really have a goal rankings wise coming here, I guess I'm just trying to get a better seeding for next year maybe, get some experience and a little bit of fun over here."
Callinan, coming all the way from Australia and travelling across Europe, is enjoying his Lacanau run and having support from home through the internet and the Live webcast.
"My family and friends have been getting up really early and watching the Live. Normally they don't know how you're going in a contest until they look it up but now they can watch so it's great!"
After assessing the conditions and with the forecast showing a no swell period of two days, event officials have decided to reconvene on Sunday morning at 10am to finish the event and crown the 2011 ASP Sooruz Lacanau Pro Champion!
The ASP 6-Star Sooruz Lacanau Pro is scheduled from August 16 -21, 2011 and will be LIVE web cast. For more information, and all upcoming results, photos, video highlights, press releases and LIVE webcast log-on to; www.aspeurope.com
Upcoming ASP 6-Star Sooruz Lacanau Pro Semi-Final Matchups
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) Vs Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 2: Ryan Callinan (AUS) Vs Mitch Crews (AUS)
ASP 6-Star Sooruz Lacanau Pro Quarter-Finals Results
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.93 Def. Kiron Jabour (HAW) 12.57
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 16.00 Def. Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 11.47
Heat 3: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 14.10 Def. Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 10.20
Heat 4: Mitch Crews (AUS) 13.16 Def. Garret Parkes (AUS) 12.44
ASP 6-Star Sooruz Lacanau Pro Round Five Results
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.03 Def. Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 8.50
Heat 2: Kiron Jabour (HAW) 12.60 Def. Heath Joske (AUS) 10.20
Heat 3: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.84 Def. Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 12.33
Heat 4: Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 14.26 Def. David do Carmo (BRA) 6.83
Heat 5: Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 14.70 Def. Mitch Coleborn (AUS) 14.13
Heat 6: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 11.77 Def. Evan Geiselman (USA) 10.37
Heat 7: Garret Parkes (AUS) 13.67 Def. Nate Yeomans (USA) 10.86
Heat 8: Mitch Crews (AUS) 14.04 Def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 10.50