PRAIA DE CARCAVELOS, Cascais – Portugal (Saturday, September 22, 2012) – Justine Dupont (FRA) 21, has won the ASP 6-Star Women’s EDP Surf Pro Estoril 2012 presented by Billabong today at Praia de Carcavelos over Nage Melamed (HAW) 18. The final day started this morning with the third Round of competition in windy 2-3Ft surf and culminated later on with an exciting final from which Dupont came out on top.
Justine Dupont’s inaugural ASP 6-Star event Win in Estoril confirms her recent found form after a 9th place in Pantin last week. The young French surfer from Lacanau, who has had a difficult year in her first season amongst the ASP Top 17 due to an injury before the first event, proved she’s back to her top level of performance to give another run to the qualification race.
“I’m just so happy,” Dupont said. “It’s the first time I’ve won a Star event and I think it’s the first time a European has won a 6-Star so I’m just over the moon right now! I’m so happy to have such a great team in France all the girls were rooting for me so I’m super happy to make that final and I want to thank everyone who helped me and gave me great advice. That’s what I needed.”
Unable to find confidence on the World Championship Tour events in 2012, Dupont couldn’t better a 9th place result and didn’t find any better luck before today in Estoril. With the 3500 points pocketed in the EDP Surf Pro Estoril 2012 presented by Billabong, Dupont now finds herself eyeing the Top 10 to punctuate a difficult season.
“After my injury I had a hard time getting back in the game, and even though it’s a bit late, we’ll see if I can make it back into the qualification zone, but either way it’s a great result and it will definitely help with confidence for the future. There’s one more event, and I’m not a quitter, last year I qualified super late so I still believe and we’ll see what happens in Azores.”
In the final against Melamed, Dupont started strong and quickly caught a nice righthander that let her perform two powerful turns to score a 7.17 and take the heat lead. In a difficult bumpy line-up and close to the shorebreak, she managed to find a couple of opportunities and made the most out of them with a lot of determination.
“I’m not sure I’m back at 100% form but I can surf for sure, so I’m happy and I want to thank the team at CERS who helped me get back into shape so quickly. I’ve had a great week here with the Billabong team, there was just a great athmosphere in the group with Nathalie my team manager and I really appreciated having somebody here dedicated to helping me.”
Nage Melamed (HAW) 18, finished runner-up after an incredible run through the EDP Surf Pro Estoril 2012 presented by Billabong. The ‘Giant Killer’ put an end to the hopes of an A-List of surfers including Sage Erickson, Jacqueline Silva, Bianca Buitendag and Sofia Mulanovich before finally coming up short in the final against France’s Dupont.
“I’m ecstatic right now,” Melamed stated. “I mean it would have been great to take the whole thing out but it’s my best result of the year, first time making a final in a 6-Star so I’m just really happy right now and it’s a great contest! It was really exciting to surf against such great surfers and be able to beat them, it definitely puts my confidence at a higher level and makes me think I can do it forever.”
Displaying a powerful and on-point backhand attack for the last two days, Melamed has proven she has what it takes to surf amongst the best women surfers in the World and will take her signature smiling attitude to the event in Sao Miguel next week for the last time in 2012 on the European and International calendar.
“At the beginning of the year I was just not doing very well and it kind of made be get negative so I’ve just been trying to stay positive, be happy, have fun and that’s the most important thing. It seems to be turning around, unfortunately it’s the end of the year but hopefully it keeps going to next year. I’m surfing in the Azores next week so I’m hoping for another great result there and I’m excited!”
Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 29, places third and unfortunately couldn’t keep up with the energy of runner-up Nage Melamed in their semi-final matchup this afternoon. An outstanding performer all-event, Mulanovich didn’t find the resources necessary to overcome the young Hawaiian but has showed excellent surfing nonetheless.
“I feel good,” Mulanovich started. “I needed the points and I made a few rounds and got the result here so I’m stoked. It’s been a long day with a lot of surfing, and I feel like I’ve had this bad knee all year so by the end my knee felt like it was going to explode and I couldn’t surf good that heat. Congrats to Nage, she was surfing amazing!”
In her 10th year on the World Championship Tour, Mulanovich didn’t manage to requalify directly and spent the back half of the year touring the Star events in the hunt for the precious ranking points synonym of another year within the ASP Top 17. With a third place in Peru, a second in Australia and another third here, she collects valuable points and will watch the last event in Azores next week where her future could be decided by her opponents.
“I hope these solid results will be enough, I was actually calculating after Pantin but I just stopped so I have no idea of what’s going on and I’ll just hope for the best and whatever happens, happens!”
Rebecca Woods (AUS) 28, placed equal third, defeated in the second semi-final of the event by event Champion Justine Dupont. Author of the highest heat total of the entire event, an incredible 16.50 out of 20, Woods has been a dominant force in Estoril and just didn’t find the waves she needed to let her power score the average 5.11 needed to advance in the final.
“It’s a little bittersweet but I’m very happy to go third,” Woods said. There’s so many scenarios going on in my head today I was trying not to think about it but yeah it’s a strong result and I’m happy to improve on my Round of 12. It was hard waves today and I think experience paid off for me.”
In seventh position before the EDP Surf Pro Estoril on the ASP Women’s World Tour rankings, Woods adds important points to solidify her position by moving ahead of France’s Pauline Ado and get one step closer to another season amongst the World’s Best.
“I’m exhausted, I have been competing since February so I’m very tired but still having fun. Yesterday was really good here, really punchy and different to a lot of contests, so yeah just happy to have gone that far but it would have been amazing to win it obviously. One more event to go, last year we had some good waves there.”
The ASP 6-Star EDP Surf Pro Estoril 2012 presented by Billabong was scheduled from September 21-23 at Praia de Carcavelos, Cascais – Portugal. For all results, photos, video highlights, press releases and LIVE webcast, log on to estoril.aspeurope.com.
For additional ASP information log on to www.aspeurope.com or www.aspworldtour.com
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The EDP Surf Pro Estoril 2012 presented by Billabong is made possible with the support of the following event sponsors: Tourism of Portugal, Estoril, Cascais City Hall, EDP, Billabong and Kia Motors; supported by MEO, CP, Ericeira Surf Shop, Paez, Santini, Vimeiro Waters, XCult, Sintra Gardens, CRCQL, Surf Academy and Surfsolutions; with the following media partners: Sic Radical, Mega Hits, Metro newspaper, Lux Woman, Sport Life, Up Magazine, That’s It, Surftotal, ONFIRE, Puro Feeling, Análise Global and Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Europe.
EDP SURF PRO ESTORIL 2012 FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Justine Dupont (FRA) 12.67
2 – Nage Melamed (HAW) 10.57
EDP SURF PRO ESTORIL 2012 SEMI-FINALS RESULTS:
Heat 1: Nage Melamed (HAW) 14.50 def. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 6.65
Heat 2: Justine Dupont (FRA) 10.60 def. Rebecca Woods (AUS)8.60
EDP SURF PRO ESTORIL 2012 QUARTER-FINALS RESULTS:
Heat 1: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 13.60 def. Georgia Fish (AUS) 7.80
Heat 2: Nage Melamed (HAW) 11.90 def. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 10.75
Heat 3: Rebecca Woods (AUS) 10.75 def. Pauline Ado (FRA) 10.25
Heat 4: Justine Dupont (FRA) 9.30 def. Alizé Arnaud (FRA) 8.25