After two great events held in Europe, the International Ocean Spirit -in Portugal- and our INTrafalgar Dogflut -in Spain-, on September 23-24 was the perfect moment to the French European Open, held in La Tranche-sur Mer; an spot with awesome waves potential where you can enjoy very, very long liners.
Location and communications made it a bit difficult for some of the best Portuguese or Spanish skimers to attend, but our Juanlu González did attend, along with a few friends from Malaga –Javi, Salva y Truji-,
wanting to redeem himself from a result which he wasn’t much satisfied at the Intrafalgar, which counts towards the 2022 UST circuit.
Although there was only one category and all the participants were grouped in the same box, it can be said that the participation was not bad at all, reaching 41 competitors.
First day was not held at the liner spot, but competitors were able to enjoy good conditions and frontal waves during the first round. A well-balanced seeding field in which the main favorites advanced smoothly.
For the second round was something different; the wind jumped and the rain came, which with intermittence and different intensities (was present throughout the weekend). With complicated and windy conditions, was a tougher round… Javi Sola and our Juanlu maintained their top-seeded position but the French champion Béryl Besseau perdió su puesto de privilegio, lo que conllevaría que él y Juanlu cruzaran sus caminos antes de lo previsto.
lost his privileged position, which would mean that he and Juanlu would cross theis ways ahead of Schedule.
On Saturday, the event was moved to the liners spot and there the final rounds began with 1vs1 heats. With really opened liners but with no much power, Frenchman Mathieu Leguen excelled, leaving Javi Sola on his way to the final; after a beautiful and disputed battle in the semifinals. Juanlu, on his side of the draw, beat Beryl in the quarterfinals -in what could have been an early final- and reached the final with a good set in the semis.
In the final, our champion made his objective clear from the beginning and with solid scores in almost every wave, he showed that in a long final where the best five scores of each competitor count, it was going to be very difficult to beat him. So it was! Juanlu González was proclaimed champion –again- of a European Open. This time in France, to add it to his list of victories in the internationals of Portugal and Spain. He was missing that little badge, because in Cap Ferret years ago he “only” got a runner-up -which he tasted like glory-; but now fianlly, he already has the triplet!
Proud and happy for Juanlu. Of course he deserves it.
*Photos: Groovy Baby