Fifth Win at Fistral For Edouard Delpero
Fistral in August doesn’t always deliver good waves for the Boardmasters surf competition, which is why C-Skins longboarder Edouard Delpero’s fifth Boardmasters title is testament to his ability in all conditions.
This year, the event coincided with a short pulse of swell so competitions started in small knee high waves and culminated on finals day on Sunday in 3-5 foot messy surf on a pushing tide.
Hot off the back of a 5th place finish at the Huntington Beach Longboard Classic where he was knocked out in the quarterfinals by defending event winner Taylor Jensen, Edouard built on that momentum at Fistral.
“It was definitely a lot of travelling, and an intense rhythm from Huntington to Newquay. I finished in the contest in Huntington on Saturday, watched the finals on Sunday, left on the Monday from USA and arrived home in France late on Tuesday afternoon, just had time to unpack and repack. I then left again on Wednesday afternoon! You know, Newquay is close to France but it’s always a lot of travel for us because it’s a bit tricky to get there. I had to fly from Biarritz to London and then do the five hour drive which always ends up being six or seven with summer traffic. It was a pretty intense arrival in Newquay because on Wednesday night we drove and arrived around 11.30pm or midnight so we had eaten on the road which was a bad decision, because it was just whatever was open. We went to bed at 1am then I woke up at 5am on Thursday, the day before the start of the contest, throwing up. That carried on for 12 hours non-stop, and I was wondering if I would even be able to stand up the next day for the beginning of the contest. But I’ve already had those experiences in the past so I was confident that at some point I would get better. I started the contest on Friday and was then happy to have the day off on Saturday, less than a week after Huntington!”
On Sunday, Edouard continued his progress towards the podium surfing against fellow C-Skins ambassador Adam Bearman Griffiths, 12x European Champion Ben Skinner, and fellow Frenchman Martin Coret from Reunion Island, who he faced again in the final later that afternoon.
“That definitely wasn’t the easiest heat draw, because there was a lot of talent in the back part of the draw and I had a huge semifinal with Skindog, Adam and Martin which I was super happy to share with those guys. Martin and I have not competed against each other for a while and it was really nice to see them all in the contest. That was a tricky heat you know, because we were I didn’t think I’d got one decent score off my waves until ten minutes before the end, and it was a 25 minute heat so for 15 minutes I was trying not to stress. I kept surfing and luckily, six minutes before the end the announcer told us the scores I was in first and everybody was looking for big scores. I put myself in a good position and just had to manage my priority and make good decisions. I was stoked about that heat for sure because it was a huge heat in the contest.”
The finals then took place at high tide, making for some chunky waves close to the spectators lining the beachfront. Edouard faced Martin Coret, fellow Basque surfer Jon Garmendia from the other side of the border in Spain, and Ignacio Pignataro from Uruguay. He was selective and surfed seven waves, logging top scores of 8.17 (the highest wave score of the day in the men’s longboard event) and 7.67 to beat Martin by 2.08 points.
“I was super happy to keep my momentum going through the final and start it with a 6.83, knowing that Martin and the other finalists would definitely be chasing good waves and posting scores. So I had 24 minutes left and just had to find more like that. I got my 8.17 a little after that and had fifteen minutes to replace the 6.83, which felt like a good position to be in. Martin came back at the end still needing an 8-point-something, so I was just trying to manage my priority and taking him out of any opportunities.”
This win takes Edouard’s total at Boardmasters to five 1st place finishes (nudging him into the lead in the sibling rivalry stakes with his brother Antoine) and is his 12th professional win to date.
“This win feels really special. I needed a win – I hadn’t won a WSL contest since the Surf Ranch in 2021 and I had a really tricky year in 2022 with my neck injury, so I was super stoked.”
Next up for Edouard is the Bioglan Bells Beach Longboard Classic in Australia between August 30th and Sept 2nd, a 10,000 point Championship event. He’s currently sat in equal 5th place on the Men's Longboard Tour Rankings and is hoping to build on his success in Newquay there to put him in a strong position before heading back to the Americas for the last Championship events of 2023 in El Salvador and Malibu, California.
“My plans for the rest of the year are definitely building on that momentum through the European contests towards the World Longboard events and keep the run from Huntington and go higher. Hopefully the ocean will be with me! I’m leaving in ten days to go to Australia, to Bells Beach, then I go back to work for a bit before going out to El Salvador in mid-September and hopefully make it to Malibu in a high position in the rankings. We’ll see what happens!”
Bon courage, Edouard!