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World Surf League: Pro Zauratz is underway in gloomy conditions

Marc Lacomare
Marc Lacomare (FRA) was one of the rare goofy footers to exploits the hollow rights perfectly and drop big scores />Credit: © WSL / Poullenot

The Pro Zarautz launched Wednesday in pumping four-to-six foot surf with strong offshore winds, painting a perfect first day of competition for the men’s field.

Competition started early and completed the opening two rounds of competition as well as eight heats of the third, in World Surf League action.

A stormy front mid-afternoon almost compromised today’s plans but conditions quickly settled and gave way to great conditions for the remaining few heats in the afternoon and early evening.

Hodei Collazo (EUK) gave a rail surfing clinic in the afternoon glassy big rights of Zarautz and posted the day’s highest numbers, a single wave of 9.17 and combined heat total of 16.57.

14-year-old local Adur Amatriain (EUK) impressed with his mature surfing in the pumping surf and almost took a Round Two win over Nic Von Rupp (PRT), only slightly dethroned in the dying seconds of their matchup. Amatriain placed second and will have another shot in Round Three when the event resumes.

“I love competing here with all my friends and family around to cheer me on,” Amatriain said. “I’m all about the Juniors still so no pressure here in the QS, it’s just about getting some experience. My dad did the Eddie a couple of years and he’s pushing me little by little to surf bigger and bigger waves.”

Hailed as the potential future starts of Basque professional surfing, Adur Amatriain and his brother Iker are currently honing their skills on the Junior Qualifying Series and the occasional QS. Both are heirs of big-wave surfing pioneer Ibon Amatriain and under the guidance of both their father and Hurley team manager Philippe Malvaux, the pair could become powerhouses in the region.

“The two brothers clearly are the future of Spanish and European surfing,” Malvaux explained. “Just like Aritz (Aranburu) and Hodei (Collazo) were, Adur is a very talented surfer and already quite the charger. He has a surprisingly powerful surf and a really good rail-game already.”

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“He’s afraid of nobody and has that competitive fire in him,” Malvaux added. “Plus he’s a super humble and nice kid, it’s always been a pleasure to have him on my team. He’s improved a lot this year and continues to surprise me every time I see him surf, keep his name in mind!”

Another youngster causing upsets in the field was Portugal’s 14-year-old Afonso Antunes. Antunes won his two heats today with solid scores to make his way into Round Three. The Caparica local reached the quarterfinals last week on home turf to claim a career-best 9th place on the QS and will be trying to further improve in Zarautz.

“I had a lot of fun out there the waves were firing!” Antunes stated. “The wave is quite powerful so I tried to surf on the rail and it worked out pretty well. There were a lot of waves breaking in different spots so you kind of always were in the right spot for some of them, which was cool because with four guys in the water everyone had plenty of opportunities.”

Naru Awada (JPN) is one of the very few non-European athletes in the field and advanced into Round Three. Traveling across the continent with his brother Kai, the two surfers have enjoyed the adventure and discovering new cultures along the way. The Japanese surfer had the difficult task to surf the first heat when the weather turned really bad for about an hour, but had no problem adapting and found the right waves to advance.

“It wasn’t easy and we couldn’t hear anything out there but after my first good wave I felt alright for the rest of the heat,” Awada said. “We love being here, Portugal and now here, it’s really fun traveling in Europe. People are super nice and the bread is incredible, we just don’t have anything nearly as good at home aha!”

Coming back from a strong Caribbean effort in Martinique and Barbados, Tristan Guilbaud (FRA) could barely make his heat on time, even though organizers pushed it to the end of the round. But when he finally arrived in Zarautz, the Frenchman wasted no time to put his fighting plan in motion as he laid down his power carves on the rights for an excellent 8 point ride and 7.27 backup.

“Because I came so late I didn’t really have much time to monitor conditions so I went out there with an open mind,” Guilbaud said. “I saw some guys take good rights so I went looking for those and it paid off. The temperature is definitely quite different from the Caribbean but I did a good warm-up on the beach and it was just fine.”

Marc Lacomare (FRA), Adrien Toyon (FRA) and local Igor Muniain (ESP) were other notable big scorers on the opening day of competition.

Event officials will reconvene at 8 a.m Thursday for an early start with the remaining eight heats of the men’s Round Three, while the women will come in at 11 a.m to potentially start their event in Zarautz.

WSL Europe’s official forecasting partner magicseaweed.com called for:

Expect good surf for almost the entire contest period, with larger, more ragged swell on Wednesday, dropping and cleaning up through Thursday. The surf then continues small to medium, with a possible second pulse of more solid swell on Saturday. Expect fairly good wind conditions throughout.

The event will be webcast LIVE at worldsurfleague.com.

The Pro Zarautz is scheduled from April 4-8, 2018 at Zarautz, Basque Country – Spain. For all results, photos, video highlights and press releases, log on to worldsurfleague.com.

The Pro Zarautz is presented by Oakley and supported by Euskadi Basque Country, Zarauzko Turismo Bulegoa, Explore San Sebastian Region, Eusko Jaurlaritza Gobierno Vasco, Kutxabank, Euskotren, Desperados, K-tuin and Goldcar among others, official forecast partner magicseaweed.com.

UPCOMING PRO ZARAUTZ WOMEN’S ROUND 1 MATCHUPS:

Heat 1: Jade Magnien (FRA), Maud Le Car (FRA), Cannelle Bulard (REU)
Heat 2: Violeta Sanchez (ESP), Laura Coviella (CNY), Alexandra Rinder (AUT)
Heat 3: Sara Urresti (EUK), Yolander Hopkins (PRT), Marcela Machado (ESP)
Heat 4: Juliette Lacome (FRA), Isabel Gundin (ESP), Ainhoa Leiceaga (FRA)

REMAINING PRO ZARAUTZ MEN’S ROUND 3 MATCHUPS:

Heat 9: Maxime Huscenot (FRA), Iker Amatriain (ESP), Nic Von Rupp (PRT), Arnau Riera (ESP)
Heat 10: Lens Arancibia Avila (FRA), Jose Gundesen (ARG), Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK), Adur
Amatriain (EUK)
Heat 11: Nelson Cloarec (FRA), Frederico Magalhaes (PRT), Ruben Gonzalez (PRT), Diego Suarez Diaz (CNY)
Heat 12: Miguel Blanco (PRT), Henrique Pyrrait (PRT), Arran Strong (GBR), Bryan Picon (FRA)
Heat 13: Mihimana Braye (PYF), Alex Bauduin (CNY), Afonso Antunes (PRT), Eneko Merino (ESP)
Heat 14: Paul Cesar Distinguin (FRA), Imanol Yeregi (EUK), Tristan Guilbaud (FRA), Juanjo Fernandez (ESP)
Heat 15: Tom Cloarec (FRA), Arne Bergwinkl (DEU), Naru Awada (JPN), Edoardo Papa (ITA)
Heat 16: Aritz Aranburu (ESP), Lander Davila (ESP), Eduardo Fernandes (PRT), Natxo Gonzalez (EUK)

PRO ZARAUTZ MEN’S ROUND 3 RESULTS:

Heat 1: Rafael Teixeira (BRA) 11.37, Nicolas Guimond (FRA) 11.07, Edouard Delpero (FRA) 10.46, Enzo Cavallini (FRA) 10.34
Heat 2: Igor Muniain (ESP) 14.66, Marc Lacomare (FRA) 12.20, Ruben Vitoria (EUK) 9.27, Julen Egiguren (EUK) 8.40
Heat 3: Hodei Collazo (EUK) 16.57, Adrien Toyon (FRA) 14.23, Luke Dillon (GBR) 12.36, Raul Bormann (PRT) 10.87
Heat 4: Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 14.67, Jonas Bachan (AUT) 11.13, Gonzalo Gutierrez (ESP) 10.24, Roberto Letemendia (EUK) 9.87
Heat 5: Ugo Robin (FRA) 12.03, Andy Criere (ESP) 11.20, Selyann Zouhir (MAR) 8.27, Pedro Coelho (PRT) 7.03
Heat 6: Vicente Romero (ESP) 13.43, Ethan Egiguren (EUK) 10.96, Charly Quivront (FRA) 7.70, Ely Cassirer (ISR) 7.14
Heat 7: Luis Diaz (CNY) 11.50, Kalani Da Silva (CNY) 11.40, Nicolas Vargas (CHL) 9.53, Pedro Nogueira (BRA) 7.77
Heat 8: Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 13.60, Dylan Groen (DEU) 11.80, Miguel Castrillon (ESP) 6.44, Indar Unanue (EUK) 6.36

PRO ZARAUTZ MEN’S ROUND 2 RESULTS:

Heat 1: Nicolas Guimond (FRA) 10.83, Igor Muniain (ESP) 10.07, Jaymes Triglone (AUS) 8.30, Endika Garai (ESP) 7.93
Heat 2: Marc Lacomare (FRA) 13.10, Edouard Delpero (FRA) 10.83, Tiago Carrique (FRA) 7.73, Ian Costa (BRA) 6.80
Heat 3: Luke Dillon (GBR) 11.04, Jonas Bachan (AUT) 7.47, Mathis Crozon (FRA) 7.30, Cristian Portelli (SWE) 5.96
Heat 4: Roberto Letemendia (EUK) 12.33, Raul Bormann (PRT) 9.84, David Noy (ISR) 8.07, Francisco Duarte (PRT) 7.86
Heat 5: Selyann Zouhir (MAR) 9.07, Ely Cassirer (ISR) 7.40, Kai Awada (JPN) 7.00, Juan Pedro Caceres Ferrer (CNY) 6.43
Heat 6: Charly Quivront (FRA) 11.33, Ugo Robin (FRA) 9.00, Roberto D’Amico (ITA) 7.77, Ido Arkin (ISR) 2.07
Heat 7: Pedro Nogueira (BRA) 10.50, Miguel Castrillon (ESP) 7.30, Soufiane Charoub (MAR) 6.77, Colin Doyez (FRA) 6.14
Heat 8: Dylan Groen (DEU) 11.83, Kalani Da Silva (CNY) 10.96, Pedro Henrique (PRT) 10.83, Tomas Zarra (ESP) 8.30
Heat 9: Nic Von Rupp (PRT) 10.10, Adur Amatriain (EUK) 9.70, Ignacio Guisasola (ESP) 7.06, Caina Souza (BRA) 3.67
Heat 10: Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK) 12.43, Arnau Riera (ESP) 9.20, Zur Arkin (ISR) 6.87, Axel Lopetegi (EUK) 4.40
Heat 11: Ruben Gonzalez (PRT) 11.47, Bryan Picon (FRA) 10.56, Will Bailey (GBR) 10.43, Justin Becret (FRA) 8.40
Heat 12: Arran Strong (GBR) 12.83, Diego Suarez Diaz (CNY) 12.40, Harry De Roth (GBR) 7.37, Jakob Lilienweiss (DEU) 7.27
Heat 13: Afonso Antunes (PRT) 11.84, Juanjo Fernandez (ESP) 9.43, Ander Idarranga (ESP) 7.50, Enzo Poulat (FRA) 2.20
Heat 14: Tristan Guilbaud (FRA) 15.27, Eneko Merino Zelaia (ESP) 11.30, Francisco Almeida (PRT) 8.44, London Almida (USA) 4.50
Heat 15: Naru Awada (JPN) 11.27, Natxo Gonzalez (EUK) 9.33, Goncalo Vieira (PRT) 8.97, Jose Maria de Paz (ESP) 4.97
Heat 16: Eduardo Fernandes (PRT) 10.43, Edoardo Papa (ITA) 9.70, Lenni Jensen (DEU) 9.00, Pablo Montero (ESP) 8.33

PRO ZARAUTZ MEN’S ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Igor Muniain (ESP) 12.73, Marc Lacomare (FRA) 8.34, Xabier Lopez (ESP) 6.60
Heat 2: Jonas Bachan (AUT), Francisco Duarte (PRT)
Heat 3: Selyann Zouhir (MAR), Charly Quivront (FRA)
Heat 4: Miguel Castrillon (ESP), Pedro Henrique (PRT)
Heat 5: Nic Von Rupp (PRT) 10.00, Axel Lopetegi (EUK) 6.50, Asier Iriondo (EUK) 5.60
Heat 6: Justin Becret (FRA), Arran Strong (GBR)
Heat 7: Afonso Antunes (PRT) 14.73, Eneko Merino Zelaia (ESP) 8.43, Simao Penha (PRT) 4.56
Heat 8: Jose Maria de Paz (ESP), Eduardo Fernandes (PRT)

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