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Dolphin steals show as O’Neill Pro Rnd 1 hits the water


Dolphin steals the show on Day 2 : photo courtesy O'Neill

O’Neill Pro

ASP 5 Star WQS Mens Event
Cavaliers, Anglet, France
8 - 14 August 2005

Scores/Results/Photos/Video etc

Day 2 : Dolphin Steals The Show As Round 1 Of The O’Neill Pro Hits The Water

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 9 August, 2005 : - - 9th August 2005 – The 11th O’Neill Pro made a slow start today with the completion of heat 8 of the round of 192 before the ocean turned flat. Despite perfect weather conditions on the golden sands of the Cote Basque, the waves at Les Plage des Cavaliers were very small, with a weak 1.5 ft pulse making the going tough for the first round competitors.   

The tiny conditions favored the light footed and nimble WQS campaigners and by the close of the day 16 competitors were cruelly eliminated from the competition with a further 16 making the transition to the next round. (see attached results) Highlight performances were delivered by: Jeremy Flores (FR), Izuki Tanaka (JPN), Daniel Jones (HAW) and Patrick Gudauskas. USA.

"They were some of the smallest waves I’ve surfed in a long while.” Began Gudauskas who snatched the top spot in the final heat of the day. “It was really hard, a lot of pumping to get speed. I was in the last heat, so we waited a long time to get in the water and I guess I was just lucky to got that last one and make it through to the next round."


Andre Silva : photo courtesy O'Neill


The promising swell, which appeared on the charts yesterday, turned out to be something of a phantom, disappearing as the day progressed and leaving the contest organizers and surfers facing a week of small wave conditions. ASP Europe and O’Neill event officials are now assessing the options of splitting the banks in order to speed the event forwards

“We are getting a bit pushed for time now.” Began O’Neill’s contest director Matt Wilson. “If we are to complete the event now we are seriously looking at the option of going to a double bank format where two heats will be run simultaneously. Logistically we have everything in place for this we’re just hoping that the ocean will cooperate a little bit so we can take the event forward. Unfortunately we’re are not looking at anything significant in the swell dept and the charts aren’t looking as favorable as they were yesterday so all we can hope for at the moment is a change in swell direction.” He added.

In a day of chop-hopping, pumping and simple groveling in the tiny conditions, it was a local dolphin that threw down the most memorable performance of the day in heat 2. Boosting a few airs and offering its dorsal fin to Josh Kerr (AUS), Matt Bemrose (AUS), Hank Gaskell (HAW) and Sean Hayes (USA) for tow assistance, the 6ft cruised the contest line up, caught a few waves and appeared to be offering strategy advice to Hank Gaskell.


Cute Cavaliers spactator : photo courtesy O'Neill


“I’ve never seen anything like it, it was like being at Seaworld out there” Began Josh Kerr. “ It just kind of hung out with us for the whole heat. When I first saw the fin I thought it was a shark, it was huge. Then it just started nudging us and joining us on the waves. It was quite a strange experience. It really liked Hank, couldn’t leave him alone. That experience made up for the bad waves. He added.

The next call for competition will be at 10:00 tomorrow morning. (10/08/05) 


Official event website - live webcasts


French Version:

Le O'Neill Pro a Débuté Aujourd'hui :
Dauphin et Petites Vagues au Programme 

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 9 Août 2005 – Plage des Cavaliers, Anglet. La 11ème édition du O'Neill Pro, compétition 5-étoiles du circuit WQS, a débuté aujourd'hui en fin de matinée, avec une jolie – bien que petite – houle et un léger vent offshore.  
Les huit premières séries du round 192 ont pu être lancées dans des vagues de 50 cm bien propres. Les petits gabarits ont clairement tiré profit de la situation, à l'instar de Jérémy Florès (FR), d'Izuki Tanaka (JPN), ou de Daniel Jones (HAW). 
"C'était très petit, il fallait vraiment pomper sur la vague pour gagner de la vitesse," explique Patrick Gudauskas, surfeur californien du team O'Neill. "J'étais dans la dernière série, et les vagues commençaient à se faire attendre. J'ai eu beaucoup de chance d'avoir cette dernière vague et de finir premier," ajoute-t-il.
Les organisateurs de la compétition et les surfeurs attendent toujours l'arrivée d'une houle plus consistante. "Nous sommes un peu pressés par le temps," déclare Matt Wilson, directeur de la compétition, "Nous envisageons maintenant de poursuivre la compétition sur deux bancs de sable, afin de lancer deux séries simultanément. Nous en avons les moyens logistiques, mais nous espérons juste que l'océan va coopérer, qu'on puisse faire avancer la compétition. Malheureusement, les prévisions de houle sont assez pessimistes, il faudrait que la houle change d'orientation."
Tandis que les surfeurs nous dévoilaient un concentré de leur talent dans des vagues miniatures, un dauphin de 2 mètres leur vola momentanément la vedette lors de la série 2, avec Josh Kerr (AUS), Matt Bemrose (AUS), Hank Gaskell (HAW) et Sean Hayes (USA). Devant un public médusé, le dauphin fit un salto arrière et prit quelques vagues, avant d'aller offrir ses conseils à Hank.
"Je n'avais jamais vu ça, on se croyait au parc aquatique Seaworld," s'exclama Josh Kerr. "Il est resté avec nous jusqu'à la fin de la série. En voyant l'énorme aileron, j'ai d'abord pensé qu'il s'agissait d'un requin. Puis il nous a rejoint dans les vagues. C'était vraiment une drôle d'expérience. Il s'est attaché à Hank et ne l'a plus quitté. Du coup, malgré les conditions de surf difficiles, on était content," conclut-il.
La compétition reprendra demain matin, à 10 heures.


Official event website - live webcasts


The O'Neil Pro Minisite is online. check it out. 

Previous reports:
# 1 :
Live Webcasts from the 11th O'Neill Pro in Anglet France 
# 2 :
Small / flat conditions puts O'Neill Pro on hold for Day 1
# 3 : Coming soon
# 4 :
Coming soon

Updated & Revised European Surforecasts

More European surfing news available here

O’Neill European Headquarters
Julian Howkins

WQS Contests - Surfersvillage


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