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How has Martinique fared following its first WSL QS event?

Josh Moniz © Martinique Surf Pro



Martinique Surf Pro

WSL QS men's event
Basse-Pointe, Martinique

22 - 26 April 2015

By the numbers: What the QS event brought to Martinique

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 24 July, 2015 - Three months ago from 22nd to 26th April, more than a hundred top class international surfers battled it out on the waves at Basse-Pointe, which is now recognised around the world.

The young Hawaiian, Joshua Moniz came out on top after five days of a well organised event, which lived up to its promise, attracting crowds and a lot of coverage in the media, both in France and abroad, which certainly pleased the organisers, Nicolas Clemente and Nicolas Ursulet of Martinique Surfing. A must-attend event on the calendar of the World Surf League Qualification Series (QS) in the Caribbean, the Martinique Surf Pro will be back next year for a second edition in April 2016.

A high standard and dream conditions No fewer than 106 surfers took part in the maiden edition of the Martinique Surf Pro. Five continents were represented with twenty different nationalities attending. The largest numbers included 21 Americans, 20 Brazilians, 12 Hawaiians, 5 South Africans and 3 Japanese competitors… Among those registered, 21 surfers are currently in the Top 100 of the Qualification Series (QS), the world surf qualifying circuit.

In other words, there was a very high standard at the spot at Basse-Pointe, in the north-east of Martinique. In all, 1289 waves were surfed. One wave out of every four was judged to be good or excellent, noted between 8 and 10 by the Word Surf League (WSL) – a remarkable number. In terms of the points, the Martinique Surf Pro was in fact ranked as the best QS event of the past five years. Most of the competitors discovered for the first time the long, powerful right-handers at Basse-Pointe, and they were certainly not disappointed.

Everyone was surprised by the quality of this surfing spot. “The surfers took advantage of world-class waves and conditions, which really highlighted the superb waves at Basse-Pointe and Martinique in general,” explained Rob Gunning, tour manager for the WSL Europe. With their first opportunity to watch pro surfers competing, the locals on Martinique turned out in force. Hundreds of spectators attended the event and visited the event village throughout the week.

Among those attending, there were school parties, families, amateur surfers, photographers, local and national journalists, official partners, as well as passing tourists. They all appreciated the friendly atmosphere which engulfed the area. 

A solid organising team Welcoming a world class surfing event to Martinique was a huge challenge for the organisers, but they really shone. “Some excellent work was done to prepare the event site, which in spite of the limited space available, was set up efficiently.

We have already talked about improvements to be made to the event village to make it even better next year,” stressed Rob Gunning. “We were well received and the whole team at Martinique Surf Pro worked hard. Everyone understood what they had to do and the Martinique Surf Pro ran like a well-oiled machine.” The organisers wanted this event to be a popular one for the general public and the event village enabled firms and local restaurants to showcase their products and services for visitors. Special events were set up with in particular a stand dedicated to environmental concerns. 

Media: a huge amount of coverage Newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, Internet… For this maiden edition, the Martinique Surf Pro achieved a huge amount of useful coverage and not just locally. Far from it. No fewer than 750 publications covered the event in eight languages: French, English, Spanish, Polish, Japanese, Portuguese, German, Italian. On television, reports on the event featured in programmes watched by several million viewers such as the main sports programme on France 3), breakfast news on France 2, the 24 hour news channel I-Télé, ... as well as in popular shows in South Africa and Spain, for example.

Social networks also proved to be very successful with millions of pages viewed around the world and 588,000 page views on the WSL website. We should also mention the Surf + feature set up especially for the event. Available on Canal + and CanalSat as well as on a special website, Surf + brought the Martinique Surf Pro to the viewer. Thanks to the technical expertise of Canal +, the whole of the competition was filmed as it happened.

Sport + also covered everything else going on in the wings of the Martinique Surf Pro: portraits, interviews, entertaining extracts from the beach and the event village, expert commentaries, backstage reports… Among the consultants, there was a certain Robert Teritehau, a legendary figure in windsurfing from the 80s and 90s. All the work done by the Surf + teams was rewarded with some great viewing figures: 45,000 views on YouTube, 133,000 views on Facebook, 318,000 people reached on Facebook (5.7 million total views), 21,000 individuals visited the website, 48,000 pages were viewed on the Surf + website.

Blanca López Handrich

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