The 2013 Swatch Girls Pro France wrapped up on Sunday in bumpy 4–6-foot surf in Seignosse Le Penon with the victories of Courtney Conlogue from the US in the 6-Star event and Johanne Defay from France in the Junior division, claiming the European Junior Title in the process.
Courtney Conlogue, 21, back-to-back winner of the Swatch Girls Pro France, was in dominant form today and couldn’t be stopped despite her opponent’s best efforts. The Californian, current World No 3, even posted the second-highest score of the event, a near perfect 9.60, to leave Defay in a combination situation in the final.
‘Definitely feels really good. Swatch always does a great job and makes athletes really feel at home,’ said Conlogue. ‘I felt really in tune this whole week and today I was just trying to start fresh and have a new beginning and it ended up working out really well for me. It was awesome having a final with Johanne; she performed amazingly! She had four heats so she probably felt a little tired in our heat but still she put on a great show.’
A complete athlete with impeccable technique and a strong fitness background, Conlogue made light work of the challenging conditions today. The birthday girl, who just turned 21 this very day, takes home another Swatch trophy and builds momentum towards the back end of the 2013 season in Europe.
‘I definitely got what I asked for today. I said I didn’t want perfect waves to make it more interesting and it was a lot of work out there,’ said Conlogue. ‘It was like a little triathlon; you’d paddle out, paddle against the current, take a wave and come in to do the run around. It was a great heat. I’m stoked with every wave I got out there; it was getting better and better.’
France’s Johanne Defay, 19, places runner-up of the Swatch Girls Pro France and claims the Junior event victory as well as the ASP European Junior crown. Enduring a marathon day in Seignosse, Defay unfortunately wasn’t able to find the necessary resources in the final heat of the event.
‘It’s just amazing. Thanks so much, everybody, for the support,’ said an emotional Defay. ‘I’ve spoken enough about myself; I really want to thank everyone in the public. All those little words when you’re running back up the beach are amazing. That’s my best result on the Star tour and to surf against Courtney in those waves was incredible, she is so powerful.’
Winning three out of four Pro Juniors so far in 2013, Defay is leading the charge on the regional scene and was able to prove today she also deserves her spot among the very best surfers in the world. With her second-place finish in the Swatch Girls Pro France, Defay moves up to the 10th position on the ASP Women’s World Rankings and will need another strong result to solidify her spot and access the prestigious ASP women’s World Championship Tour.
Australian surfer Nikki Van Dijk, 18, placed second in the Swatch Girls Pro Junior, and fell to an untouchable Defay in the final. Van Dijk has been on point all week, posting several of the highest scores in both junior and 6-Star divisions.
‘That was really tough; it was a big challenge for both of us and even I heard she got a 9.5 and I heard the whole crowd on the beach; I kept trying to catch up,’ said Van Dijk. ‘I’m stoked for her, of course; second is a tough place but I’m happy to make the final, surf in front of the crowd and have fun out there! I love France, I never want to leave, so I’ll be back to try again!’
SWATCH GIRLS PRO FRANCE FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Courtney Conlogue (USA) 18.47
2 – Johanne Defay (FRA) 14.00
SWATCH GIRLS PRO FRANCE JUNIOR FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Johanne Defay (FRA) 17.50
2 – Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 13.24
SWATCH GIRLS PRO FRANCE SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.33 def Malia Manuel (HAW) 13.84
Heat 2: Johanne Defay (FRA) 10.67 def Keely Andrew (AUS) 7.56
SWATCH GIRLS PRO FRANCE JUNIOR SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
Heat 1: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 11.34 def Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 3.84
Heat 2: Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.83 def Georgia Fish (AUS) 9.00