Pierre-Valentin Laborde (FRA) has won his spot in the prestigious Rip Curl Pro Portugal today. Credit: © RIP CURL
SUPERTUBOS, Peniche/Portugal – Pierre-Valentin Laborde (FRA) 21, has won the Moche Wildcard trials today at Supertubos clinching the last remaining slot in the prestigious Portuguese stop of the ASP World Championship Tour. Laborde will join the ASP Top 34 surfers in the hunt for a result in Peniche.
In a bumpy line-up, the local Hossegor surfer managed to find the scoring opportunities to place first ahead of a trio of Portuguese young up-and-comers in the names of Francisco Alves, José Ferreira and German born Nico Von Rupp.
"This morning we really thought it was going to be pumping," Laborde stated. "But the conditions didn't show up like expected, and instead it was pretty tough onshore conditions with 3-4Ft waves.. My first heat was pretty bad, but I managed to get through to the final, where I started really bad, and finally got a good wave in the last seconds on which I got the score I needed."
After Ramzi Boukhiam's exploits last year in the Quiksilver Pro France where the young Moroccan defeated Australia's Joel Parkinson, Laborde will have the difficult task to take on the event's top seed in his opening heat in Peniche.
"When competition commences I'll be against Parko (Joel Parkinson) and Kolohe (Andino), and it's great ! I'm more afraid of the conditions than the surfers themselves, I just hope I'll get to surf good waves. I don't feel too much pressure right now, but there's no doubt that when I have to put on the lycra next to Parko it'll be a different story. If I beat him like Ramzi did last year and Mick (Fanning) goes on to win the World Title, at least I'll be in good terms with my sponsor Rip Curl !"
The first call is set tomorrow morning at 7:30am to assess conditions for a possible 8am start.
The Rip Curl Pro Portugal will be webcast LIVE via http://live.ripcurl.com
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Brett Simpson (USA), Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS), Alejo Muniz (BRA), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW), Kai Otton (AUS), Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS), Kieren Perrow (AUS), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA), Damien Hobgood (USA), Dillon Perillo (USA)
Heat 6: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Kolohe Andino (USA), Pierre Valentin Laborde (FRA)
Heat 7: Owen Wright (AUS), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Yadin Nicol (AUS)
Heat 8: Josh Kerr (AUS), Heitor Alves (BRA), Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 9: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 10: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Michel Bourez (PYF), Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 11: Jordy Smith (ZAF), C.J. Hobgood (USA), Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 12: Julian Wilson (AUS), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Tiago Pires (PRT)