Brazilís Peterson and Franceís Arnaud are the 2009 Buondi Pro Junior Champions
Thomaz Peterson (BRA), 19, and reigning ASP European Womenís Junior champion Alizee Arnaud (FRA), 18, clinched the ASP Grade-1 Buondi Pro Junior at Cordoama in Portugal respectively in the menís and womenís divisions.
In three foot (one meter) consistent although wind-blown conditions, both champions carved their way up to the final where they left their opponents away from any title hopes, Reunion Island representatives Damien Chaudoy (REU) and Johanne Defay (REU) placing second of the 2009 edition.
Peterson, who had to battle through a close semifinal against Basque surfer Mario Azurza (Zarautz, EUK), ended up winning his first ASP Pro Junior event with an excellent 15.50 point score out of a possible 20, the Brazilian surfer finishing his run with the event’s fourth best heat total.
“I am very happy with that win and I am sure my whole family is watching in Brazil,” Peterson said. “It was a very hard day and the conditions were difficult to read and surf. My semifinal against Mario (Azurza) was pretty close and very demanding so I quite relieved to take that title. I couldn’t expect much more.”
Peterson, who had left a first strong impression last April at the first ASP European Pro Junior event of the year in Carcavelos, Portugal, confirmed his promising talent, defeating regional favorites Pierre-Valentin Laborde (FRA), Joachim Guichard (DEN) and Damien Chaudoy (REU) en route to the title.
“I want to win as much events as possible this summer in Europe,” Peterson said. “I am going to stay around and travel across Europe to take my chance, surf in some of the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) main events as well and see how things go.”
Damien Chaudoy, whose runner-up finish in Portugal is a career best to date, came short of 1.24 points only, posting a good 14.26 point heat tally in the final encounter but not enough to catch-up with Peterson’s result. The 19-year-old competitor, who has been training and living in Australia for a couple of years now, came up with solid surfing and progressive style to get through two rounds, his result giving the man a significant confidence boost.
“I almost missed the event due to car problems and to finish second is more than enough,” Chaudoy said. “I am pretty happy I made it to Portugal and surfed up to the final where I lacked one second good wave only. I am still happy with that result and I will be aiming at a Top 5 end-of-the-year spot this summer so it’s a good way to get things rolling.”
Chaudoy, who has been part of Europe’s most promising Under-21 crew for a couple of years now, will be looking to build momentum on his first big result this year and keep his good form at the next event in San Sebastian, Basque Country.
Alizee Arnaud (Hossegor, FRA), 18, reigning ASP European Women’s junior champion, opened her 2009 campaign with a the perfect start, the young woman clinching the first event of the year ahead of rising surfer Johanne Defay (REu), to take the regional ratings’ lead. Despite many of the ratings’ favorites not attending the event, Arnaud managed to get rid of event defending champion Cannelle Bulard (REU) who placed fourth in the final and Basque competitor Garazi Sanchez (EUK).
“The conditions were pretty hard for me as there only lefthanders and I usually feel better on rights,” Arnaud said. “The current was strong as well and it was a struggle to get that win but I am very happy. It means a lot to me after losing my main sponsor and coming back from an injury. I am looking at a ratings’ Top 2 this year so I’ll take this one win here and build my plan from that.”
Arnaud’s win rockets her to No. 1 on the ASP European Women’s junior ratings, a promising start towards a second consecutive regional title that would give her a berth into the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships (WJC) next year in Narabeen, Australia.