By Andrea Swayne
Imperieux, imperioso, masterful—in French, Italian or English it is a word that aptly describes the performance turned in by San Clemente-based surfer Tanner Gudauskas at the Soöruz Lacanau Pro.
On Saturday, Aug. 16 Gudauskas beat Italian Leonardo Fioravanti to take home 2,000 ranking points and the $20,000 prize at the Association of Surfing Professionals 5-Star qualification series event in Lacanau, France.
“That win was super fun. The conditions were very challenging because the tidal changes were huge,” Gudauskas said. “I felt like I was improving through my heats in the week and had some lucky breaks on the final day too. All in all I’m super pumped to win an event again, and especially in Europe which is a place Pat, Dane (his brothers and fellow pro surfers) and I have loved going to since we started traveling.”
With surf resembling that of the waves he grew up riding in San Clemente, the goofy-footer was well equipped with strong backside skills to dominate in the Lacanau lineup.
Gudauskas’ win boosts his QS ranking to No. 14.
Directly following the event, Gudauskas and brother Patrick headed back to the states for the Vans Pro in Virginia Beach, Aug. 18 through Aug. 24, part of the 52nd annual Coastal Edge East Coast Surfing Championships. Patrick Gudauskas is last year’s Vans Pro defending champion and currently No. 17 on the ASP QS ranking.
As of press time Wednesday, the pro rounds remained on standby. In pro junior competition, San Clementeans Kei Kobayashi and Griffin Colapinto had advanced through to Round 3.