For eight days, from 17th to 24th April, the Martinique Surf Pro, the only Caribbean leg of the Qualifying Series (QS) in 2016, welcomed 140 of the world’s top surfers. In the end, it was the Portuguese surfer, Frederico Morais, who came out on top at the end of a breathtaking day. Whether they were knocked out in the first round or in the final, all the competitors set off home again won over by the waves at Basse-Pointe, which offered conditions that are rare in the QS. The organizers have already set the date for April 2017 for the third edition. With lots of new features planned.
People expected it before the competition began and their hopes were confirmed. A QS 3,000 event, the Martinique Surf Pro took on a particular interest at the start of this 2016 season. The surfers, who did well at Basse-Pointe were well and truly rewarded, leaping up the rankings in the Qualifying Series. By achieving his first win in the QS, Frederico Morais pocketed 3000 points, moving up from 170th to 13th place, or a gain of 147 places in the world surf qualifying circuit. The other finalist, Gonzalo Zubizarreta is now 16th (+73 places). The Brazilian semi-finalist, Deivid Silva moved up one spot and is now in 4th place, while the other semi-finalist, the Australian, Luke Hynd gained 131 places (39th in the rankings).
Four surfers from the Martinique Surf Pro in the Top 10 in the QS
In the Top 20 of the QS, we can see ten surfers, who attended the event at Basse-Pointe: Deivid Silva (4th), Patrick Gudauskas (5th), Joan Duru (6th), Joshua Moniz (7th), Jesse Mendes (12th), Frederico Morais (13th), Dimitri Ouvré (15th), Gonzalo Zubizarreta (16th), Ezekiel Lau (joint 17th) and Kalani Ball (joint 17th). To join the elite group of the Championship Tour (CT), which brings together the top 34 surfers in the world, the competitors take part in qualifying events in the QS circuit and need to finish in the top ten at the end of the season. The Martinique Surf Pro enabled some surfers to be well positioned for what lies ahead this year and it is highly likely that at least one competitor present at Basse-Pointe last week will join the CT in 2017…
Surfers won over by Martinique
Thanks to the success of the first edition of the Martinique Surf Pro in April 2015, the reputation of the event spread by word of mouth, which meant it attracted some top headline names, including former members of the Championship Tour: Aritz Aranburu and Patrick Gudauskas were eliminated in the sixth round, Willian Cardoso and Brett Simpson in the fifth. Last year’s stars found themselves in difficulty. The title-holder, Joshua Moniz was eliminated from his first heat in the fourth round. Last year’s other finalist, Michael February suffered the same fate, while the semi-finalist, Miguel Tudela. As for the French, the outcome is rather positive with the presence of three French representatives in the sixth round of the competition (Diego Mignot and from Guadeloupe, Timothée Bisso and Charly Martin), which brought together the final 16 surfers in the competition.. Sadly, none of them would manage to get any further.
“The standard at the Martinique Surf Pro was much higher than last year,” stressed Nicolas Clémenté, the organizer of the event with Nicolas Ursulet. “In each heat, qualifying was down to the smallest detail. At this level, there is no room for any mistakes.” The public, which turned out in force from Basse-Pointe and beyond, were certainly not left indifferent by the performance of the surfers. The locals were involved and the attendance figures were better than in 2015, on every level (opening night, the competition village and closing night).
The wave conditions offered at Basse-Pointe were also very pleasing. Nicolas Clémenté: “We took advantage of a great swell early on in the competitions. After a pause in the middle of the event, a big swell returned for the final days of the Martinique Surf Pro.” The surfers were not disappointed. After their heats, they all expressed their enthusiasm about the quality of the long and powerful waves at Basse-Pointe. The surfers were also able to discover some other great spots around the island. Many will be back again next year…
Ideas for 2017
The organizers are even more ambitious for the third edition of the Martinique Surf Pro, which will be held in April 2017. Among the new features they are working on, there is the desire to set up a women’s qualifying event. Other ideas are currently being studied to develop the event. We shall be watching closely…
Rankings in the 2016 Martinique Surf Pro (140 competitors):
Winner: Frederico Morais (Portugal)
2nd: Gonzalo Zubizarreta (Spain)
Joint third (eliminated in the semi final): Deivid Silva (Brazil) and Luke Hynd (Australia)
Joint fifth (eliminated in the quarter finals): Jesse Mendes (Brazil), Ian Gouveia (Brazil), Slade Prestwich (South Africa) and Vasco Ribeiro (Portugal)
Joint ninth (eliminated in the sixth round): Diego Mignot (France), Timothée Bisso (France), Alan Donato (Brazil), Charly Martin (France), Lucca Mesinas (Peru), Arizt Aranburu (Spain), Evan Geiselman (USA) and Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
– 140 surfers from five continents took part in the second Martinique Surf Pro, which took place from 17th to 24th April at the Basse-Pointe spot in the NE of the island. It was the only Caribbean leg in the world surf qualifying circuit in 2016. The winner, Frederico Morais pocketed 3000 points in the Qualifying Series (QS).
– 16 surfers remained in the competition before the finals, which took place on Sunday 24th April. The final three French surfers (Diego Mignot and from Guadeloupe, Timothée Bisso and Charly Martin) were eliminated in the sixth round. In the final, the Portuguese surfer, Frederico Morais came out on top against the Spaniard, Gonzalo Zubizarreta.
Official website for the event:
HD photos can be downloaded directly from the press release or from the media server on the Martinique Surf Pro website: http://martiniquesurfpro.com/index.php/media/
HD photos are available free of rights for press use only on the website.
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From Sunday 17th April, the organizers of the Martinique Surf Pro will make available to TV stations and photo agencies the Highlights and daily news reels as well as a clip lasting several minutes with the highlights of the competition on the final day of the event.
All of the video footage will be available after accreditation on the media download server: