CAPBRETON, France (Wednesday, March 25, 2009) - The Protest Vendee Pro, an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 4-Star Men's event, will start April 6 at La Sauzaie on the West coast of France kicking off the 2009 ASP European Tour. La Sauzaie, one of the best reefs of France renowned to deliver some consistent and hollow waves when the surf reaches the three to four foot (1 to 1.2 meter) range, will welcome some of the world's best surfers competing for the valuable 1500 ratings' points and US$ 85 000 prizepurse on offer.
Defending champion Romain Laulhe (Anglet, FRA), 23, who claimed his first win ever on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) at last year's Protest Vendee Pro in consistent five foot waves (1.5 meter), will have lots of expectations from the first event of the year in Europe as Laulhe is still looking for a sponsor since his contract was not renewed last december.
"I haven't changed anything in my preparation for the event and I am still trying to learn from my mistakes so I will try and remain focused on the event when it's on," Laulhe said. "I had a a tough time after losing my sponsor at the beginning of the year but I have managed to get through this and will definitely be concentrated about my surfing and getting a result in Vendee. »
Laulhe, who has not surfed in any ASP events since the start of the 2009 season, will be looking forward to getting the dust off his boards when the 2009 ASP European Tour gets underway in April.
"I am going to the Protest Vendee Pro for my first event of the year because I was not able to travel due to financial issues so far," Laulhe said. "I am so excited to compete again and I will take it heat by heat and hopefully make it to the final again."
With ten days only before things heat up in Europe with three consecutive men's major events and the only ASP WQS 6-Star Women's contest confirmed in Europe at the end of April, the upcoming spring league promisses some great action starting with Vendee's seven-day competition.
The Protest Vendée Pro will be webcast LIVE at www.aspeurope.com from April 6 to 12, 2009.