Shaun wins first ?major
MULLAWAY surfer Shaun Cansdell (AUS) defeated Tim Reyes (USA) to win the 2005 Sooruz Lacanau Pro, a men's ASP 6 star World Qualifying Series (WQS) event in France on Sunday.
Organisers decided to wait for the incoming tide and an improvement in conditions before running the semis through to the 30-minute grand finale.
The two form surfers of the contest did not let the thousands of spectators who lined the beach down as it came down to the wire with the young Australian eventually hanging on to pocket the US$15,000 winner's cheque.
Waves in the three-four foot range were on offer with a notoriously strong cross-shore wind tearing through the contest area.
Clear skies brought out a huge crowd which was treated to some world-class surfing on the thumping shore break at Plage Centrale Lacanau.
Cansdell showed nerves of steel as the final became a real cat and mouse struggle.
After a slow start both surfers had one scoring wave and went looking for their back-up.
It was Cansdell using his priority and his powerful backhand repertoire to score a 6.03 and was left waiting his opponent's response.
With less than three minutes remaining Reyes gave it his best shot on a long right with a series of rapid forehand snaps but came up short by 0.19 receiving a 7.67.
An emotional Cansdell was swarmed by friends, media and fans as he fought his way back to the contest site.
Trembling with emotion the goofy footer found it very difficult to put his feelings into words.
"It's the best," Cansdell said.
"I've been doing the WQS for so long it feels so good to have a win. I'm so stoked I can't believe it."
"I was just praying that he didn't get the score and I was so lucky.
"He didn't but it was a really close final.
"There weren't too many waves. I was expecting more to come through but I can't believe I won."
Runner-up Tim Reyes was a true gentleman in defeat and after cruising to the final came up short by the smallest of margins.
The Californian surfed brilliantly with a display of fast powerful modern surfing and jumps to #17 on the WQS ratings.
"Almost," Reyes said.
"But almost isn't good enough but I'm happy I got second. It was a good week. It's definitely my best result for the year for sure and I'm really stoked about that one.
"I think both of us had some of the highest heat scores throughout the contest.
"So I knew it would be a really close and good final. I'm happy to get second by just a little bit but it's ok I'm stoked."
Equal third were Adriano de Souza (BRA) and Australian Dan Ross.
De Souza held a titanic struggle against Cansdell in the first semi which was without doubt 'the heat' of the contest.
With a 6.83 to gain the lead and then extend it with a big snap followed by a huge front-side air for a 9.0 the young Brazilian looked set for a finals birth.
WQS ratings after Sooruz Lacanau Pro:
1 Adriano de Souza (Brazil) 10626.
2 Adrian Buchan (Australia) 8775.
3 Shaun Cansdell (Australia) 8535
4 Luke Stedman (Australia) 8174
5 David Weare (ZAF) 8151
6 Glenn Hall (Australia) 7977
7 Yuri Sodre (Brazil)
8 Troy Brooks (Australia) 7794
9 Bobby Martinez (United States) 7528
10 Greg Emslie (ZAF) 7462