Jeremy Arnoux wins the GoPro Annaëlle Challenge 2014
Thursday 16 Oct. – 7.30 am: the mix of tension, apprehension, & excitement is huge for everyone ready to get on board before heading to the little deserted island home of the Breton slab “Annaëlle”. Once arrived, the locals are confident: waves are going to be crazy, offering us the best conditions ever since AC’s birth in 2009.
Who’s better than our 2011 World Champ & 2014 Vice-World Champ Pierre-Louis Costes to start the contest in Heat 1 with Derek Crater, the Bretons Morgan Le Quellec & Germain Romigou. PLC was so motivated to come. For his fist ever meeting with Annaëlle, he’s already at the top! He wins logically this heat. But the second striking moment affect Germain Romigou, with bad wipe out. Results are 4 stitches at the head, 4 more at the elbow and a big can of pâté Henaff as Trophy!!
Heat 2 of Round 2 saw 2 young bretons Simon Carnot (trialist) and Julien Le Séhan facing 2 Basks Borja Gainzarain and Alex Uranga (World Top 5). Those 2 basks were neck and neck, but Alex Uranga, with his big experience will finish first with big barrels and backflips. The 2 bretons had to be satisfied with 3rd & 4th place! Heat 3 of Round 2 is a battle between 2 locals Yves-Marie Le Fourn & David Lefèvre, the second one taking advantage of the kindness of the first, letting him take the bomb giving David the first place of this heat. Behind them was Ghislain Vaginay third, and also the oldest competitor this year, followed by Max Ausina. Heat 4 was a confirmation of what we saw last year when Jeremy Arnoux won the 2013 edition. We felt he was at home during 2 days, dealing perfectly with those tricky conditions. For his first discover of the spot, the day he turned 18, the winner of the Trials Mickael Kerlir finished second, letting behind him Laurent Jegoudez and Adrien Montmeau fourth.
This day of contest on the island is conclude in beauty with an expression session, for everyone’s pleasure, they all work voluntarily in the shadow to make this event possible !
The next morning, swell is still huge, offering us waves almost as big but even more settled as it was the day before, all perfect to run Round 2 and the Final of the GoPro AC14!
This round 2 will not give any sort of headaches when it comes to calculate the 4 finalists, as the 4 winners of Round 1, Jeremy Arnoux, Pierre-Louis Costes, David Lefèvre and Alex Uranga have win again their second heat, deserving their spot at the Final.
The level of courage & commitment was really high from every competitor during Round 2 but nobody could stop them! We have to highlight the performances of locals Marie Le Fourn and Laurent Jegoudez showing their perfect knowledge of the spot. We also have to honor Borja Gainzarain, who clearly had the level to make the final, and Derek Crater, always well ranked at AC ! And not forget also Julien Le Séhan and Mickael Kerlir for their risk-taking during the 2 rounds, and Morgan Le Quellec who showed his real level during the free surf.
Tension and excitment can be felt when it comes to the beginning of the Final. During 45mn, we’ve assist to a high level bodyboarding show! PLC & Alex found quickly a huge wave! The tone is set, it’s gonna be tight. Jérémy Arnoux appears to be a real expert of the spot and he finds the bombs one after the other with backflip, barrel and big roll… He will have 5 waves at more than 7pts during this final! In the mean time, David Lefèvre aka « Davo Fever » is busy rescuing the photographer Guillaume Coché, he will help him go far from the impact zone to wait for the lifeguards. But all this will not stop him from pulling barrels and a backflip during the Final!
The crucial decision of the final will be made in the last minutes, with Jérémy Arnoux barreling non-stop, with a particular one, deeper than usual ended with a big perfect rollo just in front of the rocks!! After that, Alex Uranga start on a big left setwave, finished with strong backflip, landed perfectly. He now has 2 waves at more than 8pts, in the meantime, PLC is waiting for a second bomb wave, he will never get it.
Everyone is present together on Friday night, following carefully the ceremony and its host Gwen Renambot, using this moment to thank all the persons implicated in the adventure: this year’s competitors, all the volunteers, the Tomahawk BSC, the judges, the boats pilots, SNSM Lifeguards, photographers & video makers, local communities supporting the event (Bretagne, Finistère, CC Pays d’Iroise and cities of Porspoder & Landunvez), our ambassador Laury Thilleman, and of course all the partners: GoPro, Youriding Games, O’Porsmeur, Expotent, Swell, Terre de Glisse, Surfing Iroise, CAP Assurances, Algo’Manne, Hénaff and Ty Gwechall. With also a special thought for Alex Leon & the APB staff for their support & trust !
PLC & Alex have clearly dominated the 2 rounds of contest before the final, but still they had to surrender to jérémy Arnoux, now two times winner of the AC, et really one of the most underrated rider of our country. His APB Wildcard will give him a chance to show his skills during a World Tour event next year ! Congratulations also to maybe the most dedicated boyboarder of Brittany, or even more , David Lefèvre winning his APB Wildcard too for his great contest! The GoPro Annaëlle Challenge 2014 will be legendary for a long time here, with insane conditions, “maybe the heaviest waves I’ve ever surfed in France” said PLC himself !
Much thanks ! Rendez-vous for the 6th edition of the Annaëlle Challenge !
We’ll publish very soon some more pictures in a second gallery, followed also by a video recap ! So stay tuned on www.annaellechallenge.com
Complete results :
- Jeremy Arnoux
2. Alex Uranga
3. Pierre Louis Costes
4. David Le Fèvre
5. Borja Gainzarain
6. Derek Crater
7. Yves Marie Le Fourn
8. Julien Le Séhan
9. Mickael Kerlir
10. Max Ausina
11. Morgan Le Quellec
12. Laurent Jegoudez
13. Simon Carnot
14. Ghislain Vaginay
15. Adrien Montmeau
Injured. Germain Romigou
« Biggest Wave » Trophy : Pierre Louis Costes
« Biggest Wipe Out » Trophy : Germain Romigou