Bianca Buitendag has won the Pro Junior division of the event, making it two from two since the beginning of the European season after her win earlier this year in Vendee. Buitendag ends her Swatch Girls Pro France campaign with a bang and is rewarded for her consistency this week.
“It was a long final of 25 minutes,” said Buitendag. “I got my two good scores in the first few minutes so I kind of relaxed a bit but I had to keep an eye on Cannelle during the whole final! She only needed a small score in the end so she could have got it easily.”
Buitendag had a difficult road to victory facing Leila Hurst (HAW) in the semis, and Johanne Defay (FRA) in the quarters but managed to always step it up and take a little advantage over her opponents. With the second best scoring wave of the event and some of the highest heat totals of the week, Buitendag proved once again to be one of the strongest Junior surfers in the World and will leave France satisfied with her performance.
“It took so long to get a visa I don’t know how long it’ll take to have the french passport but yeah I do love France, it’s been good to me so far! I plan on doing the full tour here in Europe and I’m also going to Peru soon for a Star event.”
In the final the last European standing Cannelle Bulard from Reunion Island stuck to her plan of selecting waves carefully despite difficult conditions brought by a strong onshore wind, and surfed a strong wave scored 6.60 but was unable to find a second high scoring wave for the remainder of the heat.
“When you’re in a final the goal is always to win so I’m a little disappointed of course” stated Bulard. “But I’m just starting to surf again so it’s really cool to get that second place here, and Bianca isn’t European so overall it’s a great result towards the regional rankings race and we’ll see how it goes at the next events.”
With this result, Bulard climbs up to the third rank on both the European Open and Junior rankings despite having had a difficult start this year due to an knee injury that made her miss the first events in 2012. Bulard has shone all week with her performance and her smile and seemed really relaxed and calm during the whole event.
“I’m not really into physical and preparation too much” Bulard admitted. “During events I know that if I’m too focused I get stressed out and it doesn’t work for me so I like to chat with my friends all the time. This time Jean-Seb Estienne was here really pushing me and with two coaches behind it felt good.”
With the summer leg of the European Tour coming up soon and international events as well, Bulard will try to take the confidence from this result and build momentum for the rest of the year. The 18 year-old continues to progress every season and becomes one of the favourite for the future of European surfing.
“Right now I’ve got to figure out my priorities because there are Star events and Pro Juniors at the same time so I want to sit down and think with my Dand my entourage about what to do. I’ve been injured and missed a few events already and I really don’t know what my plan is for this year.”
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