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Here is the English version of Annaëlle Challenge’s official report. Thanks to the team for their amazing work!

Winner of “ABC Annaëlle Challenge”: Alex Uranga

After a one year break in 2011, the organization team has expanded to bring back the “Annaëlle Challenge”! Tomahawk Bodyboard Surf Club surrounded itself with a motivated team, thanks to the participation of the agencies SWELL and ONE BLOOD.

For this third edition, the clothing brand All Bodyboarders Clothing is the main partner of the event, a vital support to be able to launch the contest.

We had few innovations this year: starting with a total of 20 riders (instead of 16) and some changes in the format.

Competition format

4 heats of 5 riders – 2 non-elimination rounds of 30min.

Winner of each heat earn 5pts, the second earn 4pts, the third 3pts, etc. At the end of the 2 non-elimination rounds, the 4 riders with the highest total of points go into a 45 minutes Final round.

During this final round, the number of waves that can be ridden is unlimited, which gives it a “free session” atmosphere, only difference : there is 1000€ for the winner, 500€ for the second, 300€ for the third and 200€ for the fourth!

 

The riders

The original list of 20 riders invited has been modified within 2 days after the official announcement, because some of those invited riders were not able to come to Britanny. Which made some happy campers in the waiting list! At the end, on Sunday we had on the island facing the spot :

The Spanish Basques riders : Alex Uranga, Beneat Elosua, Inico Ganzarain

The Reunion Island riders : Yoan Florantin, Guillaume Sautron, Clément Lodeho

The nationals : Arthur Cony (Basque Country), Sylvain Langlet (Gironde), Derek Crater (Landes), Derek Crater (Charente), Antoine Daviau (Vendée)

The Locals : Y-Marie Lefourn, Erwan Genre, Laurent Jegoudez, Davo Fever, Fred Quemener, Irwin Cloarec, Yann Salaun, Jean-Seb Geffroy (rookie),Jordan Le Doze

 

Day 1 : Round 1

The rendez-vous was fixed on Sunday 21st of October at 6:45 am for boarding on boats. More than one hour is needed to drop off everyone on the island : riders, staff, medias, volunteers…

Alex Uranga, Aurel Jacob & Martin Viezzer

The first heats were launched at the ebbing tide, Guillaume Sautron start the show by winning heat 1 followed by Irwin Cloarec, Antoine Daviau, Inico Ganzarain and Alex Gavinet.

During heat 2, Alex Uranga was facing three Breton locals (Yves Marie Lefourn, J-Seb Geffroy, Jordan Le Doze) and also French Basque rider Arthur Cony. The Spanish Basque won this heat. Noticed that the 2 biggest waves of this heat were taken by local master Y-Marie Lefourn, but the lady wasn’t ready to let him get out of the barrel twice … He made it second, coming before J-Seb Geffroy in 3rd, Arthur Cony 4th and Jordan Le Doze 5th.

Yves Marie Lefourn

Alex Uranga

Jean Seb Geffroy

Yves Marie Lefourn

Jean Seb Geffroy

Alex Uranga close out

In heat 3, we had the 2010 winner of the event Erwan Genre, unluckily injured the day before, and not 100% ready to give it all. Sylvain Langlet knows the place (he finished 3rd in 2009), and use it to win this heat, just ahead of the new European Champ (U17) Clément Lodeho, the local Laurent Jegoudez, Erwan Genre and Fred Quemener.

Sylvain Langlet

Last heat of this first day of competition, was probably one of the toughest with the 2009 winner of the event Yoan Florantin, the Breton Yann Salaun, the Basque Beneat Elosua, the local globe-trotter Davo Lefèvre and Derek Crater from Landes. Reunion Island Florantin confirm his current peak form with some nice Backflips. Beneat found good barrels to finish 2nd, followed by Yann Salaun, Derek Crater et Davo Fever !

Yann Salaun

Yoan Florantin

Beneat Elosua

 

Day 1 : the fear of the contest …

To get the best of Annaëlle through all points of view, some photographers get on a boat and can shoot the lefthand. During heat 1 of round 1, staff and riders on the island saw the people aboard fidgeting and start rowing while approaching the impact zone… Panic City! Mechanical problems … just the time to protect the equipment in watertight boxes, and cling to it while the boat was surfing Annaëlle !! More shaken than hurt, then rescued by another boat, the photographers got back to work really quickly. The boat’s pilot is this year’s winner of the trophy of the worst wipe-out !

 

Day 1 : the Kig ha Farz

The Annaëlle Challenge is also a moment of conviviality between riders & local volunteers, all this by sharing local food. Starting with the inevitable Henaff paté, but also for the traditional dinner after the first day of competition, the famous Kig ha Farz, we experienced some difficulties to explain this meal to our spanish guests but everyone agreed when it was time to eat it !

 

Day 2 : Round 2

By morning of the second day, the big swell has been active by night but there are still some pretty good waves with light onshore winds. Winners of round 1 are the seeded riders of round 2.

So we found Alex Uranga in round 2 heat 1 facing his mate Beneat Elosua, rookie J-Seb Geffroy, local pionnier of the spot Laurent Jegoudez and Jordan Le Doze. This heat has resumed to a battle between the 2 spanish Basques and Beneat is taking over Alex for 0,5 point gap only. Jean Seb is third, then Laurent & Jordan.

Jean Seb Geffroy

Jean Seb Geffroy

In heat 2, Guillaume Sautron never could find some decent waves and finished 5th, with no hope for a place in the final. A spanish Basque is leading this heat again with only 0,25 point between him and Arthur Cony. Irwin Cloarec finished third and Yves Marie Lefourn fourth. Once again, he’s not lucky because he caugth the bomb wave of this heat … just 30 seconds after the gong !

Yves Marie Lefourn

Arthur Cony

Yves Marie Lefourn

Now heat 3, Sylvain Langlet has to struggle with Clément Lodého from Reunion Island and Bretons Erwan Genre, Davo Fever and Yann Salaun. Yann and Clément have been in fire, launching big backflips on the left, for tight end result with only 0,25 point of difference giving Yann the first place. Sylvain came third, then Davo Lefèvre & Erwan Genre, still injured.

Davo Lefèvre

Last heat of round 2, Yoan Florantin was dominating very quickly with high scoring waves, making his way to the final. Derek finished second, Fred Quemener third thanks to a big barrel on the right, Antoinr Gaviau 4th and Alex Gavinet 5th.

 

Day 2 : the Final

It was time to calculate and see who will be one of the 4 finalists. No problem for Yoan Florantin, only rider to win both rounds, he had a total of 10 points. Beneat Elosua & Alex Uranga finished with 9 points. For the last finalist, the battle was very tight because 3 riders had a total of 8 points : Sylvain Langlet, Yann Salaun and Clément Lodeho. Then the place is given to the riders having the 2 best waves and its Yann Salaun who came first for a 1 pt difference with Clément, then Sylvain.

The final is composed by 2 spanish Basques, 1 Breton & 1 Reunionese. No time for observation, with Yann Salaun taking off the first wave, perfect backflip, Yoan Florantin answer the same way… Beneat choose to go right, using his skills to play on the inside, earning some good barrels.

Alex Uranga start slowly this final only with wipe-outs but the 45 minutes final format with unlimited number of waves give him some time. Yoan continues ripping on the left, giving him the lead after 10min…

Yoan Florantin backflip

Alex Uranga start slowly this final only with wipe-outs but the 45 minutes final format with unlimited number of waves give him some time. Yoan continues ripping on the left, giving him the lead after 10min…

But Alex is waking up with a big barrel on a good wave, Beneat get his backflip on the right, no time off during this final, no one is ready to give up ! A big set came, Alex catch a big barrel, finished off the lip with a backflip !! Scores are getting high, the wave just behinf is for the Breton, Yann make a late off but he succeed at getting in the barrel but lost his control.

Alex Uranga, backflip de la victora

Yann Salaun

No time to rest, waves are ridden until the end of the final. Only seconds left when the biggest set of the final appeared, Yann Salaun is the only one in position, the locals on the island are screaming for a masterstroke : he find a way to get a big ugly barrel but never cam out of it, sure he had a good vision.

Yasta ! El campeonato se acabo. Todos los riders son felises para haber vivido un campeonato de este tipo en una isla a lo large de la costa. Ahora hay que volver en la tierra para los premios !

A final with high level of riding, the best waves of the competition and some fearless riders !

The contest is over, everyone has big smile, happy to enter such a great event on this isolated island off the Britanny Coast. It’s time to get back on solid ground for the prize-giving :

1ST Alex Uranga (Esp) 1000 euros

2ND Yoan Florantin (Run) 500 euros

3RD Yann Salaun (BZH) 300 euros

4TH Beneat Elosua (Esp) 200 euros

The organisation team wants to thank all the sponsors of the competition : ABC, agence Swell, One Blood, Surfing Iroise, Magic Surf, Inside Surf School, Nautisme en Finistère, Conseil général du Finistère, Hénaff, Allosurf, Communauté de communes du Pays d’Iroise, Landunvez & Porspoder cities and all the media partners !

Special thanks to Cédric from SWELL Agency, Nico & the One Blood Crew, Ronan Gladu, Martin Viezzer, Nick from ABC, Amaury Lavernhe, SNSM, the talented pilots of the boats, judges, photographers, cameramen, reporters and all the volunteers from the Tomahawk Bodyboard Surf Club for their precious help, nothing would be possible without you all !

Gwen Renambot – Organisator of the « Annaëlle challenge ».

 

Ranking

1st Alex Uranga
2nd Yoan Florantin
3rd Yann Salaun
4th Beneat Elosua
5th Clément Lodeho (8pts)
6th Sylvain Langlet (8pts)
7th Irwin Cloarec (7pts)
8th Inico Ganzarain (7pts)
9th Derek Crater (6pts)
10th Arthur Cony (6pts)
11th Yves Marie Lefourn (6pts)
12th Guillaume Sautron (6pts)
13th Fred Quemener (6pts)
14th Jean Seb Geffroy (6pts)
15th Laurent Jegoudez (5pts)
16th Antoine Daviau (5pts)
17th Davo Lefèvre (3pts)
18th Erwan Genre (3pts)
19th Alex Gavinet (2pts)
20th Jordan Le Doze (2pts)

 

www.annaellechallenge.com

 

Photos by:

Ronan Gladu (www.ronangladu.com)
Guillaume Coche (groguy.wix.com/guillaume-coche-photography)
Laurent Picat (laurent-picat.blogspot.fr)
Guillaume Cabon
Thomas Deregnieaux
Yves Quere
Laurent Bourdier

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