Beautiful day for the French at the World Surfing Championships in Salvador.
The young Tahitian surfer Kauli Vaast qualified on Wednesday for the Paris-2024 Olympic Games by finishing best European in the Worlds organized in El Salvador, allowing France to take the team silver medal at the same time, we learned on Thursday with the French Surfing Federation.
In a series of suffocating repechages, Kauli Vaast, 21, went to the end of himself to finish by nothing (0.79 points) in front of the Spaniard Gonzalo Guttierez and thus snatch his place for the Olympic Games whose he surfing event will take place in a little over a year at his home in Tahiti.
“I’m qualified, it’s huge. I don’t have the words. It was hard. I lost in the main round. I refocused. It was complicated. On this last series (…) I lose but above all I had to finish ahead of the Spaniard“said Vaast, relieved, 5th at the end of the competition.
Kauli Vaast. MIKE BLAKE/AI/Reuters/Panoramic
At “Surf City” in El Salvador, the Blues finished the competition on Wednesday (Wednesday night to Thursday Paris time) in second place in the general clification, only 23 points from Peru (winner with 3,253 pts), thanks to the results of Johanne Defay, bronze medalist in girls, Vahiné Fierro, fourth, and Kauli Vaast in boys.
Reunionese Johanne Defay, the only Frenchwoman playing in the World Surf League – the pro circuit – had already won her ticket to Paris in March; Vahiné Fierro in turn got his ticket to the Olympics with his Salvadoran performance.
“We’re going to do as usual: I’m going to surf Teahupoo, have fun. We have a good team with Vahiné and Johanne who are also qualified. We will be readyVaast said.
Vahine Fierro. Andrew Shield/Zuma/Panoramic
Both born in Tahiti, Vaast and Fierro are familiar with the Teahupoo spot, the setting for the future Games, where they have been training for years. During the World Surf League stage organized last year on this mythical and dangerous wave, where they had been invited, Vaast had reached the final when Fierro had finished in the top 4, their best result.
“Now the goal is to win something in 2024 in Teahupoo, which is the most beautiful wave in the world. There is a particular vibration there. We have three qualified from the islands, two Tahitians and a Reunionese, it’s a sacred symbol.said Thursday the former professional surfer Jérémy Flores, consultant for the France team.