LACANAU, France (Saturday, August 9, 2008) - Miguel Pupo (Sao Paulo, BRA), 17, claimed the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Grade-1 Oakley Pro, his maiden title in front of a massive French crowd at Lacanau today. Pupo, who came all the way from Round 1, put on a show in the 30-minute final, taking the best out of the clean three to four foot (1 to 1.2 meter) waves to defeat Marc Lacomare (FRA), Thomas Fok Cheong (REU) and Charles Martin (GLP).
Pupo, who advanced through seven heats during three days of intense action to reach the final encounter, won with a solid 17.16 point score tally (out of a possible 20) after getting through three rounds today. Posting an excellent 9.43 point ride (out of a possible 10) en route to victory, Pupo led the final all the way to the end.
"I am super stoked," Pupo said. "The final was very hard to win and I never expected to finish ahead of such good surfers. I was lucky to get a bomb and make this big air. I am very happy to win the wildcard to compete in the ASP WQS 6-Star Sooruz Lacanau Pro next week."
Pupo, who placed equal 3rd in the ASP Grade-1 Oakley Pro Junior in Ubatuba, Brazil, last May, qualifies for the Oakley Global Challenge Final which will take place from October 7 to17 in Bali, Indonesia.
"I am looking forward to take part in the Oakley Global Challenge," Pupo said. "Until then, I will do my best without pressure and try to keep surfing well and have fun in Europe. So stoked to get this win."
Runner-up Marc Lacomare (FRA), 18, current No.2 on the ASP European Pro Junior rating, was confident during the event and reached his goal as his 2nd place gives him a wildcard in the Oakley Global Challenge as well.
"I am very happy because I aimed at qualifying for Bali and it is done," Lacomare said. "This competition was very tough. The surfing conditions changed a lot and I tried to adapt every day so I am stoked to get back home with this runner-up finish."
Lacomare has been very consistent this year with two victories thus far including the ASP Grade-3 Rip Curl Pro Junior in Portugal and the ASP Grade-1 Vans Pro Junior in San Sebastian and placing equal 5th in the ASP Grade-2 Island Pro Junior in Sopelana last week.
"There are two Pro Junior events remaining," Lacomare said. "Last year I missed my ASP World Junior Championships (WJC) ticket so I will do my best to stay in the Top 5 to win it and make sure i make it to Narrabeen."
Lacomare will still have to secure at least one big result if he wants to keep any ASP European Junior crown hopes alive as Maxime Huscenot (REU) remains ahead after Lacanau.
Thomas Fok Cheong (REU), 19, got a second consecutive excellent result reaching the semifinals to grab a 3rd place in the final. Fok Cheong got through six rounds but was unable to find any good enough scores to grab the crown.
"Miguel (Pupo) and Marc (Lacomare) were amazing," Fok Cheong said. "I had some bombs in the heat but I did not make the best out of it and I could not catch up with any of them."
Charles Martin (GLP), ASP World Pro Junior No. 3 and competing in his first event this summer due to school obligations and a recent injury, finished 4th in the final after displaying solid surfing in Quarterfinals and Semifinals. Martin, who knows he cannot hope for any Top 5 finish this year, entered the event to have fun and get back to competition.
Europe's best under-21 competitors will meet next in Portugal from August 21 to 24 for the Billabong Pro Junior, Stop No. 7 of 8 on the ASP European Pro Junior tour.
Women will meet Monday, August 11 for the ASP Grade-1 Oakley Women's Pro Junior at Lacanau.
All results, news and photos available at www.aspeurope.com
Miguel Pupo (BRA) 17.16 pts, Marc Lacomare (FRA) 14.50 pts, Thomas Fok Cheong (REU) 11.00 pts, Charles Martin (GLP) 8.60 pts
Heat 1: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 16.87 pts, Marc Lacomare (FRA) 11.67 pts, Mario Azurza (EUK) 9.34 pts, Adrien Toyon (REU) 8.86 pts
Heat 2: Charles Martin (GLP) 16.50 pts, Thomas Fok Cheong (REU) 13.17 pts, Dimitri Ouvre (FRA) 8.24 pts, Kieren Bulard (REU) 8.00 pts
Heat 1: Marc Lacomare (FRA) 11.14 pts, Adrien Toyon (REU) 9.83 pts, Ormand Rangi (NZL) 9.67 pts, Felix Delanne (FRA) 7.77 pts
Heat 2: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 14.50 pts, Mario Azurza (EUK) 12.73 pts, Maxime Huscenot (REU) 12.43 pts, Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 11.57 pts
Heat 3: Dimitri Ouvre (FRA) 10.43 pts, Kieren Bulard (REU) 9.97 pts, Joachim Guichard (DEN) 9.27 pts, Jules Thomet (FRA) 8.80 pts
Heat 4: Charles Martin (GLP) 15.73 pts, Thomas Fok Cheong (REU) 12.10 pts, Medi Veminardi (REU) 10.57 pts, Vincente Romero (ESP) 7.50|