It’s only a matter of days now until we get to see 144 of the planet’s best surfers in action in the waves off Basse-Pointe, for the second Martinique Surf Pro that kicks off this Sunday 17 April. Since sports bets are all the fashion, it’s time to draw out the favourites for ultimate victory. It’s a tough ask given the high quality of the line-up and the similar standards, so inevitably it’s a long list… We get the low-down on who is most likely to succeed Joshua Moniz, winner of last year’s event.
Claiming that you can name the winner of the Martinique Surf Pro 2016 takes cunning. Those signed up for the competition all surf extremely well and clearly there will be very little to set the winners apart in each series. In order to excel, the surfers will have to be in good shape on the big day, select the right boards and also have a bit of luck on their side…
There are 32 surfers who have directly qualified for the 4th round so inevitably these are the favourites. Among the 144 entries, 32 will only enter the competition in that 4th round, which will gather together the last 64 competitors still standing. Theoretically, the 32 surfers who go straight through will be most likely to secure a win and there are two key reasons for this. Firstly, they’ll avoid the first three rounds so they should be at the peak of fitness when they line up for the 4th round. Furthermore, at least 28 of them are the best surfers on paper thanks to ranking well in the 2015 Qualifying Series (QS). The other four will benefit from wild cards. Two of these have been issued by the World Surf League (WSL) to Frenchman Andy Crière and American Brett Simpson. The other two have been awarded by the organisers of Martinique Surfing to local surfers Arthur Lassée and Titouan Dubos.
The five star surfers of the Martinique Surf Pro will be Hawaiian Ezekiel Lau (19th in the QS in 2015), Brazilian Deivid Silva (24th), Frenchman Maxime Huscenot (25th and former World Junior champion) and his compatriot Joan Duru (29th) and American Patrick Gudauskas (29th). Three of the four semi-finalists last year will be back for more: Hawaiian Joshua Moniz (93rd and reigning champion of the Martinique Surf Pro), South African Michael February (90th, last year’s finalist) and Peruvian Miguel Tudela (86th). Also going straight through to the 4th round after surfing at the top of their game in the World Championship Tour (CT) are the surfing elite, which groups together the top 34 of the planet’s surfers. In addition to the aforementioned Patrick Gudauskas and Brett Simpson, we find Spaniard Aritz Aranburu and Brazilian Willian Cardoso. Fellow Brazilians who have already secured their ticket for the 4th round are Jesse Mendes, Bino Lopes and Marco Fernandez. All the best French surfers will also be competing in this round so alongside Maxime Huscenot and Andy Crière, we’ll see Marc Lacomare, Nomme Mignot as well as Charles Martin and Timothée Bisso from Guadeloupe, Medi Veminardi from Reunion and Mateia Hiquily from Polynesia. Completing this provisional line-up for the 4th round will be two Americans (Evan Geiselman and Michael Dunphy), two Portuguese surfers (Frederico Morais and Vasco Ribeiro), two Costa Ricans (Carlos Munoz and Noe Mar McGonagle), one Hawaiian (Granger Larsen), an Argentinean (Santiago Muniz) and a Japanese surfer (Hiroto Ohhara).
From the winners of the 2016 QS, we have the reigning World Junior champion… The name of the future winner of the second Martinique Surf Pro may… or may not be among the aforementioned surfers! In fact, this list is far from exhaustive and it contains no obvious favourites. Those who complete the line-up then could create quite a stir. Among these is a surfer from the Canaries, Jonathan Gonzalez, who has just won a QS 1,000 (Pro Zarautz), and Portuguese rider Miguel Blanco (finalist in this same event). Six other entries in the Martinique Surf Pro have won the QS 1,000 this year: Australians Jacob Willcox and Ethan Ewing, Hawaiian Yan Keoni, American Taylor Clark, Brazilian Flavio Nakagima and Dimitri Ouvré, a native of Saint Barths. We’ll also be keeping a close eye on the performances of Hawaiian Kiron Jabour and Venezuelan Francisco Bellorin, both eliminated in the quarter finals of the Martinique Surf Pro last year. Equally, we cannot forget the very promising Lucas Silveira (20 yrs), who is none other than the reigning World Junior champion.
There is still some uncertainty as to how each of them will perform on the day itself but that’s precisely what gives the event its appeal. However, one thing for sure is that Basse-Pointe will play host to an absolute showstopper, particularly given that the waiting period amounts to eight days this year, from 17 to 24 April. In this way, the organisers will be able to launch the series in optimum surfing conditions.
Follow the Martinique Surf Pro live
Like last year, Surf +, available on the Canal + and CanalSat channels, will partner the Martinique Surf Pro, offering a live broadcast of the only Caribbean event to be registered on the 2016 Qualifying Series schedule from Wednesday 20 April.
Now the second Martinique Surf Pro will begin this Sunday 17 April at Basse-Pointe. To ensure the public doesn’t miss any of the series, the organisers were keen to offer a “Direct Live Web”, a live unscrambled monitoring device available on the event website (https://www.martiniquesurfpro.com), from 17 to 19 April. This live coverage will be accessible on all digital media: computers, tablets and mobiles. Stay connected as more information will follow shortly on the social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).
Key figures concerning the 2015 Martinique Surf Pro
106 competitors representing 20 different nationalities from 5 continents
21 surfers from the Top 100 of the Qualification Series (QS)
5 days of sport
59 series were organised
1289 waves surfed by the competitors and scored by the judges
98 excellent waves (note between 8 and 10)
146 places gained in the QS by Joshua Moniz thanks to his win in the Martinique Surf Pro