The annual contest migration to South West France is well under way, with the elite of women's surfing all waiting eagerly for the Swatch Girls Pro.
The official press conference of the 6-Star rated ASP Women's event was held on Monday, with the top female surfers in the world expressing their relish for the upcoming competition. Buoyed by a highly-promising short term surf forecast, organisers anticipate getting under way on Day 1 of the waiting period. The first official call for both 6-Star and Pro Junior events will be 7am Wednesday 21 August.
"I really love France and am looking forward to spending a couple of months here in Europe," said world no.3 Courtney Conlogue. "I can't wait to have the opportunity to get going in the event, I really look forward to it and its a great way to get started with the European leg with such a good event. This event is a great building block (for the climax of the ASP Women's World Title race), with great athletes stepping up the level and I relish being a part of that mix. You always need to be on your A-game."
The young Hawaiian surfer, Coco Ho, also admitted her fondness for the event, and offered some insight into her unique competitive outlook. "Swatch does a great job at putting us where the best peak is and that's what makes this event so special is that the waves and the surfing takes priority. I just arrived here in France all the way from Hawaii, I feel really relaxed here. Obviously I'm very competitive, I want to do well, and I realize that my best results come when I'm relaxed and having fun."
Meanwhile, local favourite Pauline Ado, fellow ASP Women's World Championship Tour surfer and Swatch Proteam athlete comes into the event off the back of two great results in the USA. "I've had a couple of good results lately so I'm feeling good and confident," Ado said. "But each event is a new event, you always start from scratch and there's fierce competition here so you have to be focused. Here in France I can count on great local support, but it does add a little more pressure at the same time. I've surfed the competition peak last week and I think we're in for a real treat."