Swatch Proteam surfer Courtney Conlogue celebrated her 21st birthday yesterday at Le Penon, Seignosse by winning the SWATCH GIRLS PRO FRANCE for the second consecutive year, picking up USD$8,000 for her efforts and a big confidence boost heading into a dramatic ASP Women’s World Title showdown. “I’m so thrilled to win this event again, it feels amazing,” said Courtney. “It’s been so, so tough out there today with lots of current and some crazy shifting lineups. It took a lot of hard work to get through heats so I’m super happy to have won. As always the crowd has been really good, giving us great support throughout. Even though I was up against a local French surfer Johanne in the final, I could feed off their energy and it helps when conditions are that tough.”
Courtney peaked in the final with a 9.60 and a 8.87 for a combined total of 18.47 out of 20, to leave her opponent Johanne Defay in a “combination” situation (requiring two waves to improve her position) with 14.00 out of 20.
Losing finalist Johanne Defay consoled herself with an emphatic win in the SWATCH GIRLS PRO FRANCE Pro Junior to become crowned the ASP Europe Pro Junior Champion 2013. Johanne endured a marathon morning of surfing in the toughest conditions of the event, surfing semis and finals in both divisions with barely a gap between them. “I’m really tired but really pleased to make the final and to win the Pro Junior. I’m actually over the moon,” admitted an emotional and exhausted Johanne. “This has been a great event for me, I can’t find the words to really describe it. I couldn’t have done it without all the support of the crowd and my friends and family. They’ve been incredible.”
An overnight storm blew in a fresh pulse of swell in the 5-6ft (overhead) range, which along with extreme high tides and a strong cross-shore current meant that physical fitness was paramount in being able to get the best out of any heat. Courtney’s famed work-out routine stood her in perfect stead to dominate a finals day that seemed tailor-made for her. Sunday, early in the morning, Courtney had to draw upon all her experience and fitness to get through a close-fought Semi with the in-form Malia Manuel, while Johanne’s Semi-final was a battle of the juniors, that saw her defeat Australia’s Keely Andrew.