It seems like our european crew remains fit and highly motivated once again! The Maldives 5 Star prime WQS event that ended today seems to be another step towards the emergance of european surfing.
It’s no big surprise as this new phenomenon started years ago, at the time when the Dream Tour was only a.... dream. Power surfer Russell Winter (Gbr) was the first to draw up the path in the late 90’s, spending several years amongst the elite, when Kelly Slater was opening the era of his domination.
The second stone was posted by Eric Rebière (Fra) when he qualified through the World Qualifying Series to spend a year with the top 44. Two years later in 2006, Miky Picon (Fra) was the thrid man to achieve this ultimate goal and confirm to the rising generation Europe was definitely ready to rumble.
And even if the surfer from Capbreton, France, couldn’t remain on the Foster’s ASP World Tour despite showing some potential, a new current had rose and you could feel that the limits were to disappear.
Europe’s wonderkid and most promissing surfer of the last decade Jérémy Flores (Fra), finished 2007 achieving what no europeans had ever done, becoming WQS champion, at eighteen years old only; becoming the youngest surfer ever to enter the famous Dream Tour, Jérémy’s exceptional path seemed to give the rest of the Euroforce the confidence that was missing in the group.
Since the beginning of the year, a whole bunch of europeans have contributed to the rising building, and as we are moving towards the crucial mid-year turning point, it seems like what could be seen as an illusion is definitely reality. Twenty-seven europeans made the trip to the Maldives present Sri Lankan Airlines Pro 5 Star Prime WQS event.
Amongst them, upcoming young guns Joan Duru (Fra) or Marc Lacomare (Fra) starting the WQS tour this year, more experienced surfers Hugo Savalli (Reu), Alain Riou (Pyf), Hodei Collazo (Euk), and eventually the ones who are ready to qualify and remain in the current top 25 Tiago Pires (Prt), Miky Picon (Fra), Aritz Aranburu (Euk), Tim Boal (Fra), Eneko Acero (Euk), Michel Bourez (Pyf)...
Former WCT surfer Miky Picon ended in the quarterfinals, securing the best result of the contingent but confirming as well his rise event after event, eliminating on his way O’Neill Highland Open winner Nathan Hedge (Aus). Targetting a requalification on the Dream Tour, Picon is taking advantage of his 7-year experience on the World Qualifying Series and will be one of the leaders of the euro-pack this summer at home.
With an increasing number of major events around the world, and a level that has never been so high on the international field, the race to the 2008 Foster’s ASP World Tour is going to be super tight until the last events in Hawaii. However, with one 5 Star, three 6 Star, one Super Series, and two 4 Star WQS events, Europe will host between August and October the best action pack ever, and hopes the Euroforce crew keeps holding high the colours of the Union.