The two Federation technicians are in Hawaii to provide advice and services to French surfers taking part in the Haleïwa Challenger, the last of the four Challengers Series of the season (26- Nov – 7 December). Hira Teriinatoofa and Fred Robin take stock of the atmosphere in the “group” France and the first day disputed on Friday, before a possible restart this Monday morning in the Pacific (7pm French).
Pro Juniors, QS, Challengers Series and CT. The Federation continues its mission with all the French pros involved in the various competitions of the World Surf League. Last lift of the 2021 season, the Haleiwa Challenger comes to conclude months of efforts for a dozen of them. In the elite antechamber, some play very big with the CT in the sights. The National Technical Department thus dispatched two technicians to Hawaii: Frédéric Robin and Hira Teriinatoofa, both Olympic Preparation contract coaches, themselves former professional surfers with the awards provided.
“Everyone knows that we are there for them, at all times”
For ten days now, they have been accompanying the French people who wish to do so with an “à la carte” and “on demand” advice, coaching and video service. Robin was present on the other three CS (US Open, Portugal and Hossegor) while Teriinatoofa was at the US Open and most recently in the Azores (QS 5,000). For the DTN, now launched in the Paris-2024 Olympic project, the goal is to contribute to the performance of all French athletes in their objective of maintaining (for Michel Bourez) and accession to TC 2022.
“Our mission is to support our French surfers to perform. Some have their own coach, others don’t, but all know that we are there for them, at all times ” explains Fred Robin. “We form a pair with Fredo, adds Hira Teriinatoofa. We film either the free surf or the competition. We take turns to interact with the surfers. On off days, we look for the right spot for training, which is used to prepare for the competition in Haleïwa but also to prepare for next season. “
“One of the Federation’s objectives is to be able to bring together all the pros”
These moments of sharing, repeated for months and years, allowed the natural constitution of a real French clan on the QS and Challenger Series. “It is one of the Federation’s objectives to be able to bring together all the pros by telling them that we are there to help them, comments Hira Teriinatoofa. There is good energy, a good atmosphere. It is positive for the future. “ This multi-generational group lives very well, with surfers older than others like Michel Bourez (35 years old), and younger ones like Kauli Vaast (19 years old), who is also there with his younger sister Aelan and his little brother Naiki.
“It’s important to have this unity, complete Fred Robin. We have a Whats App group on which we all exchange, with a sharing of all the information between us. ” In office for three years, Robin specifies that “Although this à la carte support is not recent, it is getting even stronger with the arrival of new surfers such as Kauli Vaast or Mihimana Braye. “
Charly Martin during the 1st round, Friday at Haleiwa.
“Hawaii has always been a competition apart”
After the first day of competition, Friday, four French tricolors have unfortunately already left (Charly Martin, Gatien Delahaye, Mihimana Braye and Jorgann Couzinet); two shone (Charly Quivront and Kauli Vaast); four others are still in the starting blocks (Michel Bourez, Maxime Huscenot, Vahine Fierro and Pauline Ado). “A Challenger Series is tough. It can even be hot from the 1st round, assure Fred Robin. There were very close series, it’s competition, it’s not playing for anything. Sometimes it’s for us, sometimes not. “ And the French technician to continue: “Hawaii has always been a competition apart. It’s at the end of the year, it’s the last chance to qualify. The pressure is greater than elsewhere, obviously. “
Hira Teriinatoofa adds: “Even if each surfer has a different stake, Haleiwa brings his share of pressure because it is a prestigious event. Some are still in the race, others are not. We saw them all, we talked to them. We agreed on what worked and what didn’t. Those who are still in the running know what to do on this particular wave. We obviously hope to go as far as possible with everyone. “
Kauli Vaast during his first round on Friday in Haleiwa.
Haleiwa or the finals of Bourez, Flores, Lacomare, Duru, etc …
Spot of illusions lost for many French people in the still recent past, Hawaii has however often succeeded in the French: there were the two victories of Michel Bourez (2008 and 2013), the finals of Jérémy Flores, Marc Lacomare, Joan Duru, Miky Picon… Examples which should encourage those who are in search of the exploit and / or the quest for TC.
Better classified among men to pretend to stay in the elite, Michel Bourez (19th), finalist in Hossegor last month, is one of those with the most experience in Haleïwa. “I’m proud of him because despite his knee injury, he makes the difference in free surfing with a level above many others, agrees Hira Teriinatoofa. I can feel it. He is in the rhythm. Now, a competition is 30 minutes per series… ”
“We really take pleasure in seeing the athletes give themselves so much”
Mathematically, Bourez (19th) but also Maxime Huscenot (31st), Kauli Vaast (59th), Vahine Fierro (6th) and Pauline Ado (11th) can all take the lift for the Championship Tour in a few days. “I find them quite serene. They had time to rediscover their sensations on this powerful wave and choose the right boards ” likes Fred Robin. “In any case, it’s a very positive sharing for us, concludes Hira Teriinatoofa. We really take pleasure in seeing the athletes give themselves so much to succeed. “
On stand-by since Saturday, the competition could resume this Monday morning with the entry of a new swell (2m). The organizers also have an eye on a big swell planned for the end of the waiting period with very consistent waves for Haleiwa.
The French in Hawaii
They are still in contention
Charly Quivront (qualified for the 3rd round)
Kauli Vaast (qualified for the 2nd round)
They haven’t surfed yet
Maxime Huscenot (2nd round, series 11)
Michel Bourez (2nd round, series 16)
Pauline Ado (1st round, series 1)
Vahine Fierro (2nd round, series 3)
They are eliminated
Charly Martin, Gatien Delahaye, Mihimana Braye (1st tour)
Jorgann Couzinet (2nd round)
How to qualify for the CT
– At the end of the season, the Top 12 men and Top 6 women of the Challenger Series are promoted on the TC.
– The Challenger Series ranking is based on 3 results from the 2020 and 2021 seasons, to be chosen between the best 2020 result (CS or QS) and / or those on the four CS of this year.
– The tables of the CS are composed as follows: the Top 34 men and the Top 17 women of the TC have priority; 58 men and 44 women from the seven QS regions (Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia / Oceania, Hawaii / Tahiti, North America, South America) at least; junior boys and girls world champions; and two wild cards.
Challenger Series 2021
20 au 26 septembre : Vans US Open of Surfing, Huntington beach, USA
October 2 to 10: EDP Pro Ericeira, Portugal
October 16 to 24: Quiksilver Pro France, Hossegor, France
November 26 – December 7: Haleiwa Challenger Series, Hawaii