2012 World Champion Joel Parkinson (AUS) was a vision of classic power surfing today at the Hawaiian Pro and earned the event win for the second time in his professional career.
The Australian is now the front runner for the 36th Annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (VTCS) title after besting a dynamic Final field that included Mateus Herdy (BRA) who earned runner up, Ricardo Christie (NZL) who finished third and Deivid Silva (BRA) in fourth.
Parkinson will compete next at the Vans World Cup of Surfing, the final World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) event of 2018 and a Men’s QS 10,000, in his hunt for a fourth VTCS title after he won the series three consecutive times in 2008, ’09 and ’10.
The Final was an incredible clash of classic surfing versus progression, old school versus new school, as Parkinson, 37, and Herdy, 17, went head to head with high scoring rides. The waves turned on for a rapid-fire exchange among all finalists, and spectators were treated to a variety of power carves, barrels and aerial maneuvers throughout the 35-minute heat at Haleiwa Ali’i Beach.
Parkinson got off to a strong start with a beautiful opening turn followed by another arcing carve for a 7.50, but Herdy answered back with an 8.83 after an impressive tailslide on his closing hit. Each finalist earned excellence as mother nature provided an onslaught of waves and by midway through the heat, it was anyone’s day. Christie’s best wave, an 8.40, was for a wrapping first turn into a tail slide followed by a quick barrel, while Silva jumped on the biggest wave of the Final and powered out an 8.53 for a big vertical snap on his first turn.
The win inevitably became Parkinson’s after he nailed a near-perfect 9.33 with a combination of smooth maneuvers on a frothy wave face and then an 8.03 to put a stamp on his domination with timeless power surfing. The 2018 Hawaiian Pro marks his first win since 2013 and final competitive appearance at Haleiwa.
“Oh man, I’m just shocked, I just started to feel it, I feel like I want to surf another heat,” said Parkinson atop the awards stage. “I actually really enjoyed the event, that’s probably been the key for me at this stage of my career, to enjoy it. That was enjoyable. I’ll miss moments like that but I’m glad they’re coming to an end.”
Parkinson will surf his final event of his career during the Billabong Pipe Masters, which is the last stop on the WSL Championship Tour (CT) and culminating competition of the VTCS. The holding window is December 8 – 20 and will take place at the North Shore’s infamous Pipeline at Ehukai Beach Park.
“Thank you everyone here in Hawaii that lends us the beach and lets us enjoy it and the waves, I really appreciate it,” Parkinson continued. “Hawaii is a special place to us all. For years to come I think we’ll be back and enjoying these waves… If this is the last time I ever stand on stage, surfing has been amazing to me. I love it. Next year I’ll just be a surf fan like all you guys, can’t wait. I’ll always love surfing, I’ll always love the people in surfing and I thank you all for being a part of it and cheering me on! Come December 21, I’m a surf fan and I’ll watch and enjoy watching.”
Herdy was among the youngest in the 128-man draw and made it to the podium all the way from Round 1. Today’s runner up finish boosted him 49 spots up the QS rankings, from No. 61 to No. 12, and with another solid result at the Vans World Cup, he could be one of the year’s biggest qualification stories.
“I don’t know it feels better than the win I think, I just came here to win some heats and I’m in the final against my idols,” Herdy said. “Thanks to the Brazilians and everyone here on the beach!”
Mateus Herdy looked confident in the challenging conditions and demonstrated some of the day’s best high-performance surfing. Credit: © WSL / Keoki
Hawaiian athlete and QS crusader, Seth Moniz (HAW) had a dream run today after advancing to the Semifinals, taking home 5,100 points and officially qualifying for the 2019 CT.
“People were congratulating me, saying I got the points but it never really sunk in yet,” said Moniz. “I knew I wasn’t going to be excited until I heard it on paper and saw it on paper. If I didn’t have this guy, (Rainos Hayes) with me all year round – we did it together. Super stoked.”\
Seth Moniz, the newest Hawaiian to join the 2019 Championship Tour. Credit: © WSL / Heff
Moniz is now safely in the No. 2 spot on the QS behind Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), who will double qualify for next year’s CT. In today’s competition, Moniz stuck to the fundamentals, but is widely known for his progressive style and aerial mastery. A regular-footer from Honolulu, Moniz will add today’s historic moment to the chapter book of his family’s legacy.
The highest wave score of the day, a 9.37, went to Patrick Gudaduskas (USA) in Semifinal 2. Wave selection was crucial in the challenging conditions and Gudauskas was able to pull out the near-perfect ride for a massive first gouge followed by two more powerful turns. The La Jolla local will need to forge his way to a Semifinal finish at the Vans World Cup or a Quarterfinal result at the Billabong Pipe Masters for a chance at requalification, but given his prowess throughout the Hawaiian Pro and track record at Sunset, this is achievable for the athlete.
Gudauskas was eliminated in the Semifinal despite earning a massive 9.37 score. Credit: © WSL / Heff
The VTCS now swings to Sunset Beach for the Vans World Cup of Surfing, which has a holding window from November 25 – December 6. In its 44th year of running, the Vans World Cup will showcase more of the world’s best athletes as they tackle one of the best and most consistent big wave breaks on the planet.
Each event of the 2018 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing will run on the four best days of surf within the event’s holding window. LIVE streaming is available on WorldSurfLeague.com, VansTripleCrownOfSurfing.com, Facebook.com/wsllive and the WSL and Facebook apps (Facebook login required for mobile viewing). Or tune into Spectrum SURF Channel, which will televise the action LIVE and in replay on digital channels 20 and 1020HD, across the state of Hawaii.
Hawaiian Pro Results
1st – Joel Parkinson (AUS), 17.36
2nd – Mateus Herdy (BRA), 15.83 (8.83 + 7.00)
3rd – Ricardo Christie (NZL), 15.83 (8.40 + 7.43)
4th – Deivid Silva (BRA), 15.36
(1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 5th place, 4th = 7th place)
SF1: Mateus Herdy (BRA), Ricardo Christie (NZL), Jesse Mendes (BRA), Seth Moniz (HAW)
SF2: Deivid Silva (BRA), Joel Parkinson (AUS), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA), Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
(1st and 2nd advanced, 3rd = 9th place, 4th = 13th place)
QF1: Seth Moniz (HAW), Jesse Mendes (BRA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Bino Lopes (BRA)
QF2: Mateus Herdy (BRA), Ricardo Christie (NZL), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Kanoa Igarashi (JPN)
QF3: Deivid Silva (BRA), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA), Soli Bailey (AUS), Jordy Smith (ZAF)
QF4: Patrick Gudauskas (USA), Joel Parkinson (AUS), Jack Robinson (AUS), Jake Marshall (USA)
Day Two of the Hawaiian Pro, which initiated the 2018 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing on November 12, saw dramatic performances from an international array of athletes including Dusty Payne (HAW), who made his professional comeback two weeks ago at the HIC Pro, and Caio Ibelli (BRA), who’s work today marked his return to competition after suffering a broken foot in April.
The Hawaiian Pro is a World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) 10,000 event, which will help determine the 2019 Championship Tour (CT) talent lineup along with the 36th Annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (VTCS) champion.
Payne had a stellar heat today at Haleiwa Ali‘i Beach Park despite a near-death surfing accident at Pipeline in January of this year. His impressive Quarter final finish at the HIC Pro – a WSL Men’s QS 3,000 – provided a boost of confidence to tackle formidable opponents today at the Hawaiian Pro and saw him earn first place advancement into Round 3.
“I’m really just grateful to be here, get to see everybody around and high five everybody,” Payne said.
“I’m grateful for every day I wake up. Just to be able to compete is a blessing, I’m so grateful the WSL gave me the opportunity to do this. I’m just feeling happy to be here.”
Payne took off on one of the biggest waves of Heat 14 and surfed with patience and poise, nailing three major manoeuvres including a stylish tail slide at the end for a 6.83. The Maui-bred athlete is a known standout at this venue and won the Hawaiian Pro in 2014, followed by a runner-up finish at the 2014 Vans World Cup, which catapulted him up the rankings to earn a place on the 2015 CT. The ultimate comeback story, Payne’s career has been a roller coaster of injury and victory.
“I feel really good overall, the healthiest I’ve been in a while,” Payne said.
“I’m taking it day by day. I’m still improving from the injury from the start of the year, getting better and re-learning how to use my new body.
“There was a bit of an adjustment throughout the year, getting comfortable with a few things. I’m still working things out and that’s exciting I can still improve and get better.”
In Heat 6, Ibelli made a competitive revival after a foot injury at Australia’s Margaret River sidelined him for seven out of 10 CT events this season. He looked in-form today despite months of rehabilitation and surfed successfully out of Round 2 with a 6.87 and 6.67.
“I’m feeling great, it’s been a long time,” said Ibelli.
“On that time off I had to do surgery, I got plenty therapy. I’m so stoked to be back and put the jersey on. I was having an emotional moment right before my heat, kind of getting ready. I didn’t really know how to feel.”
Ibelli went against Jacob Willcox (AUS), who also advanced, Joshua Moniz (HAW) and Kei Kobayashi (USA) with confidence flaring as he tallied the most waves ridden in the heat.
“Coming to Hawaii, riding bigger boards, and just surfing against all these guys who have been practicing and competing all year, I just didn’t know what was going to happen,” Ibelli continued. “So I prepared myself for this moment. I’m in shape and feeling good. I’m really happy to be here so I think that translates in my surfing. Maybe not on the level I was before, but I’m so happy things are working out for me.”
The highest single wave score of the day (and event thus far) went to Ricardo Christie (NZL) for a well-surfed set wave in Heat 7 that judges awarded an 8.93. Christie checked off speed, power and flow with a combination of maneuvers, opening the ride with a wrapping first turn and completing it with an exclamation point on the closeout section of the wave.
“(The wave) just kind of opened up and I could do like three turns,” said Christie post-heat. “When I finished I was stoked because it was a solid start… I’m just trying to get the best waves I can find so I can have some fun. That’s all I was thinking.”
CT hopeful Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) moved one round closer to requalification after posting one of the highest two-wave totals of the event, a 16.34 out of a possible 20, in Heat 11. His final ride of the 30-minute exchange was an excellent 8.67 for a two-turn combination that shot him into first advancing position ahead of recent HIC Pro winner Kiron Jabour (HAW).
“Every wave you catch you have to also start thinking about the end bowl because usually out here you get a big first turn and the end bowl you hit it, do a down carve,” said Fioravanti. “My first wave I did an alright first turn and I hit the second section and it just shot me forward and I was straight-legged and face planted. Somehow I got a 4th priority pretty good wave and got it for the heat win.”
The Italian athlete is within close range of rejoining the world’s elite surfers in 2019 and is counting on his performances in Hawaii to solidify this goal. No. 11 on the QS, Fioravanti earned a win at the Martinique Surf Pro, a Men’s QS 3,000 in the Caribbean, and back-to-back fifth place results at the Pantin Classic Galicia Pro (QS 3,000) and the EDP Billabong Pro Ericeira (QS 10,000) earlier this year.
“This year is going to be so exciting,” Fioravanti continued. “At one point I was 16th which is already enough to qualify. Last year I was a long shot away from qualifying. First victory in that first heat and I’m going to give it a good go.”
The opening heat of the day saw another former CT athlete Jack Freestone (AUS) breeze past competitors after nailing an excellent 8.83, the second highest single wave score of the day, for a powerful opening turn and a committed layback snap in the critical section of the wave. Currently ranked No. 16 on the QS, Freestone is also close to requalifying after spending 2018 grinding on the QS. He currently balances competition with family time in Hawaii with wife, Alana Blanchard, and their baby boy, Banx.
“I’ve been spending a lot of time on Kauai which has been really nice,” said Freestone. “Just been getting really excited for the Triple Crown the last month or so and looking forward to the rest of the events. It feels like familiar territory because I feel like I live my life on this (QS) bubble, so I’m excited to know what happens.”
A stacked Heat 3 ensued in overhead surf with North Shore athletes Finn McGill (HAW) and Mason Ho (HAW) taking first and second respectively for a bid into Round 3. A smoothly confident surfer, Ho fired off with a 6.17 after pulling into the morning’s first barrel section, with McGill hot on his heels posting his own 6.00 on the scoreboard. McGill followed up with an excellent 8.00 after powering out a dynamic opening turn and nailing the closing maneuver. With a stable lead over Ho and remaining competitors Keanu Asing (HAW) and Lucca Mesinas Novaro (PER), McGill advanced out of his first QS 10,000 Round 2 of the year.
“I paddled out kind of nervous, just wanted to surf my best,” said McGill. “I felt comfortable because I was at home and it’s really good out, it ups your surfing. Honestly, it’s not who’s in your heat, it’s kind of you versus Haleiwa. It’s a tricky wave and you just have to find the wave and power through it.”
Meanwhile, Ho will surf again once competition resumes and go against 2013 Hawaiian Pro winner Michel Bourez (PYF), No. 8 on the QS Jorgann Couzinet (FRA), and competitive warrior Lucas Silveira (BRA).
The VTCS story is not complete without the legacy of the Ho family. Mason’s father, Michael Ho, won the inaugural series in 1983 and again in 1985, while his uncle, Derek Ho, also earned the VTCS Champion title in 1984, 1986 and 1990. Mason himself has earned a win at the HIC Pro – the official local qualifying event for the VTCS – twice (2013 and 2016) and plays spoiler every year as he battles the world’s best to earn another series title for his family and Hawaii.
Each event of the 2018 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing will run on the four best days of surf within the event’s holding window.
Hawaiian Pro Results – Day 2
Athletes listed in 1st through 4th
Round 2 (1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 65th place, 4th = 81st place)
H1: Jack Freestone (AUS), Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR), Jeronimo Vargas (BRA), Cam Richards (USA)
H2: Mateus Herdy (BRA), Liam O’Brien (AUS), Matt Banting (AUS), Thiago Camarao (BRA)
H3: Finn McGill (HAW), Mason Ho (HAW), Keanu Asing (HAW), Lucca Mesinas Novaro (PER)
H4: Lucas Silveira (BRA), Bino Lopes (BRA), Mihimana Braye (PYF), Matthew McGillivray (ZAF)
H5: Benji Brand (HAW), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Weslley Dantas (BRA), Elijah Gates (HAW)
H6: Caio Ibelli (BRA), Jacob Willcox (AUS), Joshua Moniz (HAW), Kei Kobayashi (USA)
H7: Ricardo Christie (NZL), Santiago Muniz (ARG), Artiz Aranburu (ESP), Maxime Huscenot (FRA)
H8: Barron Mamiya (HAW), Adin Masencamp (ZAF), Vasco Ribeiro (PRT), Noe Mar McGonagle (CRI)
H9: Jake Marshall (USA), Victor Bernardo (BRA), Alonso Correa (PER), Oney Anwar (IDN)
H10: David Van Zyl (ZAF), Evan Geiselman (USA), Tanner Gudauskas (USA), Joshua Burke (BRB)
H11: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA), Kiron Jabour (HAW), Jackson Baker (AUS), Carlos Munoz (CRI)
H12: Alex Ribeiro (BRA), Torrey Meister (HAW), Charles Martin (FRA), Skip McCullough (USA)
H13: Jack Robinson (AUS), Dion Atkinson (AUS), Nat Young (USA), Shayden Pacarro (HAW)
H14: Dusty Payne (HAW), O’Neill Massin (PYF), Makai McNamara (HAW), Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
H15: Reef Heazlewood (AUS), Cooper Chapman (AUS), Noa Mizuno (HAW), Hiroto Ohhara (JPN)
H16: Soli Bailey (AUS), Stu Kennedy (AUS), Ian Crane (USA), Tereva David (PYF)
The 36th Annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing fired into action on opening day of the holding window, as Round 1 of the Hawaiian Pro saw North Shore standouts like Kiron Jabour (HAW), Finn McGill (HAW) and Mason Ho (HAW) claim their stake in Round 2 alongside international Qualifying Series (QS) hopefuls Victor Bernardo (BRA), Noe Mar McGonagle (CRI) and Adin Masencamp (ZAF).
The Hawaiian Pro is a World Surf League (WSL) Men’s QS 10,000 event and will count toward 2019 Championship Tour (CT) qualification, plus give an early lead on the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (VTCS) Champion title.
Jabour is riding high with confidence after his recent win at the HIC Pro Men’s QS 3,000, which took place at Sunset Beach as the local qualifying event for the VTCS, and easily surfed his way into first advancing position with a combined heat total of 11.00 (out of a possible 20). He applied keen wave selection while tallying four waves and earned the highest score of the heat, a 6.50, utilising stylish and committed surfing.
GUIDE: BEST BETTING SITES
Jabour’s win on home turf instilled a renewed confidence in the surfer after a year of competing on the QS with mediocre results. Ahead of the Hawaii season, he spent time in Portugal and enjoyed preparing for an above-average winter of waves, which is expected thanks to a trending El Niño weather pattern.
“(Portugal) is great practice for over here with all the reef breaks, I got to paddle Nazaré before I came here and I got to even feel a big board, big energy,” Jabour said.
“It’s perfect pre-season for the winter over here. I love it.” He and Big Island athlete Torrey Meister (HAW) will surf in Round 2 once competition resumes.
Brazil’s Victor Bernardo posted the day’s highest single wave score, an 8.33 for excellent power surfing in Round One Heat 9. Bernardo attacked his final wave of the heat with a solid snap off the top and then flowed into a big, wrapping turn and completed the ride with a committed closing maneuver. He and fellow advancing competitor David Van Zyl (ZAF) eliminated two local athletes – Noah Hill (HAW) and Sheldon Paishon (HAW) – on their hunt for points and prestige.
Bernardo arrived early to Hawaii for a competitive warm up at the HIC Pro; 2018 marks his third consecutive showing in the VTCS. Currently ranked No. 67 on the QS, he will improve his standings if he can maintain rhythm and forge a strong finish at the Hawaiian Pro.
“I just try to come here and stay as long as I can and surf here, get used to the waves,” Bernardo said. “It’s way more powerful and it gets bigger, I’m not used to that in Brazil so I always take advantage of the opportunity to come here.”
Freshly crowned 2018 WSL Hawaii/Tahiti Nui Regional QS Winner, O’Neill Massin (PYF), moved onto the next round after advancing behind Jack Robinson (AUS) in an internationally mixed, competitive heat. Robinson was able to secure two mid-range scores – a 5.17 and 6.33 – while Massin earned second after scoring a 6.07 on his final ride. Massin won the regional QS circuit at the HIC Pro after a runner-up finish to Jabour, which was his goal for 2018, and now looks forward to enjoying his time competing in the VTCS.
“I feel confident, just have fun, no pressure,” Massin said.
“I did my job, I said my goal was the regional, so I’m stoked to be here in Haleiwa and in the Triple Crown… I think for next year my goal will be to win the Triple Crown and qualify for the CT.”
Robinson displayed a well-rounded repertoire today and switched up his usual big wave game with the smaller surf on offer at Haleiwa. With good wave selection and consistency, Robinson moved one step closer to his ultimate goal.
“That’s the whole goal is to get to the tour,” Robinson said.
“When I come here and see these two events, get to the end of the year, I can’t do anything else other than just go out and surf, and that’s when I do my best. Just go out and try to find the best waves and let it all go from there. Whoever gets the best waves gets to show what they’ve got and that’s who you’re sparring against. Can’t do much else other than just surf, that’s what it’s all about in these events for me.”
Many athletes took to the air in the ramp-like waves today, but the flying standout was Tahiti’s Mihimana Braye (PYF) who earned a 7.00 on a tail-high air reverse – his highest and cleanest aerial manoeuvre of Heat 4.
“I’ve been training at my home break of Papara and the left is kind of similar to this,” Braye said.
“I’m feeling confident, I have some good boards, my DHD works good. I’m feeling good and can’t wait for the next one.” Braye went against a stacked heat that included Hawaiian phenom Mason Ho (HAW), Maui’s upstart Cody Young (HAW) and Gatien Delahaye (FRA).
“It was a hard one actually, first heat is always the hardest one,” Braye continued.
“You want to get your rhythm going so I’m pretty stoked to make this heat. I felt a little bit stressed at the beginning catching some waves, but after I was like, ‘okay I need to go for it. I need to boost if I want to get some scores.’ It’s a 10,000 so you have to step up your game and show your real level.”
Hawaiian Pro Results
Athletes listed in 1st through 4th
Round 1 (1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 97th place, 4th = 113th place)
H1: Jeronimo Vargas (BRA), Mateus Herdy (BRA), Lahiki Minamishin (HAW), Leandro Usuna (ARG)
H2: Liam O’Brien (AUS), Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR), Luel Felipe (BRA), Eala Stewart (HAW)
H3: Finn McGill (HAW), Lucas Silveira (BRA), Flavio Nakagima (BRA), Ocean Macedo (HAW)
H4: Mihimana Braye (PYF), Mason Ho (HAW), Cody Young (HAW), Gatien Delahaye (FRA)
H5: Elijah Gates (HAW), Kei Kobayashi (USA), Imaikalani deVault (HAW), Koa Smith (HAW)
H6: Jacob Willcox (AUS), Benji Brand (HAW), Joh Azuchi (JPN), Kainehe Hunt (HAW)
H7: Santiago Muniz (ARG), Noe Mar McGonagle (CRI), Kekoa Cazimero (HAW), Ragael Teixeira (BRA)
H8: Adin Masencamp (ZAF), Aritz Aranburu (ESP), Ulualoha Napeahi (HAW), Ian Gentil (HAW)
H9: Victor Bernardo (BRA), David Van Zyl (ZAF), Noah Hill (HAW), Sheldon Paishon (HAW)
H10: Joshua Burke (BRB), Oney Anwar (IDN), Beyrick De Vries (ZAF), Vehiatua Prunier (PYF)
H11: Kiron Jabour (HAW), Torrey Meister (HAW), Logan Bediamol (HAW), Tomas Tudela (PER)
H12: Skip McCullough (USA), Jackson Baker (AUS), Cole Alves (HAW), Jamie O’Brien (HAW)
H13: Jack Robinson (AUS), O’Neill Massin (PYF), Marco Fernandez (BRA), Michael O’Shaughnessy (HAW)
H14: Makai McNamara (HAW), Shayden Pacarro (HAW), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Reo Inaba (JPN)
H15: Cooper Chapman (AUS), Tereva David (PYF), Kalani Ball (AUS), Dylan Lightfoot (HAW)
H16: Ian Crane (USA), Noa Mizuno (HAW), Evan Valiere (HAW), Davey Cathels (AUS)
German star Leo Glatzer and American Kirra Pinkerton have been crowned the Pismo Beach Open Qualifying Series champions after the World Surf League event wrapped up in California.
A great run of swell delivered one last day to finish competition with three-to-five foot waves for competitors to showcase their innovative and powerful surfing. Glatzer’s remarkable run capped off his first-career QS victory by topping event standout and North America No. 2 Kevin Schulz (USA) after Pinkerton took down fellow Pro Junior talent Samantha Sibley (USA) in dramatic fashion.
Costa Rica, native Glatzer was hoisted up the sands of Pismo Beach as a QS victor for the first time in his young career after taking down Schulz – one of the top event threats and newest competitive threat on the QS level. The 21-year-old’s remarkable, last-minute aerial antics earned him an excellent 8.70 (out of a possible 10) to steal the win from Schulz with a 16.03 (out of a possible 20) heat total.
GUIDE: HOW TO BET ON SURFING
“It’s an amazing feeling to take out an event with this level of competition and I had a great support group this whole time,” Glatzer said. “The waves were so good the whole contest and it’s one of the best QS events I’ve ever surfed. It’s funny because the boys were saying this place doesn’t really get that good, but then seeing it I just thought it was amazing out here and it felt like home. I’ve been doing QS events for three years already and finally got a win. They say you have to get on the grind and at some point it’ll hit but recently it just keeps hitting.”
Glatzer’s road to the Final was no easy task taking down an in-form Schulz after overcoming QS veteran Michael Dunphy (USA) in a hard-fought Quarter final before taking down the explosive, Encinitas, California, talent Taylor Clark (USA). The German representative, by parent’s heritage, posted a Perfect 10 last week in Costa Rica and that confidence helped push him here at Pismo Beach with everyone at home watching. Now, with a win under his belt, Glatzer is hoping for more in the future.
“My brother sent me a message with everyone at home watching online with about twenty of them in the living room which felt so nice,” Glatzer said. “I knew Kevin’s (Schulz) airs were insane today and I thought that if I get one of these sections I’ll have to do something much bigger that that. I landed in the flats and felt my back just bend so I’m sure after all the excitement calms down I’ll feel that later for sure (laughs). But, I’ll really enjoy this win and soak it in as much as I can since it doesn’t happen often in this sport before getting ready for the next one.”
Youngster Pinkerton showcases talents
The Women’s Pismo Beach Open Final offered another glimpse into what’s to come from some of North America’s top, upcoming talents once more. Sixteen-year-old Pinkerton is on an all-time run in 2018 with her first Regional Pro Junior Title already under her belt and now has a maiden QS victory to boast. The San Clemente, California, native continues to look dominant over her fellow North America standouts such as Semifinalist Alyssa Spencer (USA) and eventual runner-up Sibley. Pinkerton needed a 6.67 as the clock neared its 30-minute heat end and her decimating backhand delivered one last time to earn a 7.00 and her third WSL chair-up the beach this season after notching two Pro Junior wins.
“It means the world to me to win this event,” Pinkerton said.
“It gives me more confidence going into the rest of the QS events and I can tell myself that I’ve won one of these before and I can do this again.
“The waves were really fun, but it was a little sketchy just waiting for a long time for waves. Then Sam got a good one before we started getting some solid waves coming through for the rest of that heat which helped.
“We’re going to keep battling it out until the end and I know that we’re going to have more of those events together. Sam wants it just as much as I do so I can say it felt pretty good to get the win back over her, and I know she’s going to want take the win back in the next event.”
Pinkerton took down event dark horse Mathea Demplfe-Olin (CAN) in dominant fashion before moving into a tight Final bout. Now, Pinkerton prepares for the Live Like Zander Junior Pro to defend her win from last season that sent her on an amazing run in 2018.
For Schulz, a runner-up result was just what he needed to push the North America Regional Title to the last event. Lucca Mesinas’ (PER) elimination on Saturday opened the door for Schulz to chase him down and an incredible finals day performance fell just short of his second win of the season, but 750 points put him at 3,150 on the year.
The 22-year-old blasted the day’s highest single-wave score of a 9.53 in his Semifinal heat over Jake Marshall (USA) after already earning near-perfection against fellow San Clemente surfer and former Championship Tour (CT) surfer Nathan Yeomans (USA).
“That was legit air show all day and I feel good even though I didn’t get the win, but it feels good to get second in any event no matter what,” Schulz said.
“The heat with Nate (Yeomans) was grear He’s been my idol since I was a grom and we’re good friends now so I knew that was going to be a tough heat. Then it was Jake (Marshall) and he opened with a 9 so I knew I had to do something big, but a huge section came and I just threw the hail-mary.
“Coming into the Final I knew it’d be an air show because I know Leon (Glatzer) can throw some punts and falling on my first wave was probably the difference.
“It sounds like I’ve kept the dream alive for the North America title heading to Barbados so I’m super excited about that.
“I haven’t looked at what I need to do there just yet, but I’ll hopefully just do what I did here.”
Following her RVCA Pro Junior win at Newport Beach, California, over Pinkerton, Sibley now has back-to-back WSL Final appearances and continues to show her potential unfolding. The 15-year-old took down 2017 North America Pro Junior Champ Spencer with an excellent 8.17 after a slow start and didn’t let that lead diminish. But, the San Clemente competitor is just getting started and left with her head high, ready for the next event.
“I was just hoping to get an opportunity to get a long left and tee off a few turns and unfortunately I never got a good backup,” Sibley said.
“I’m really excited for Kirra (Pinkerton) and just stoked to have another Final with her. Now I’m just ready for the next QS and hopefully take a win. That first heat against Alyssa (Spencer) I got that really good wave that gave me an opportunity for the 8-pointer and after that wave I felt really confident going into the Final. I went into that Final with no nerves and just wanting to have fun so I still had a great time, and I’m really stoked with how I did at this contest overall.”
The next men’s North America QS event will be the Thomo QS 1,000 in Memory of Bill Thomson at Soup Bowl, Bathsheba, Barbados from November 6 – 10.
The women’s North America QS season concludes with this event and Caroline Marks (USA) is the 2018 QS Regional Champion once more, now going back-to-back with an incredible season.
Men’s Pismo Beach Open QS 1,000 Final Results:
1 – Leon Glatzer (DEU) 16.03 1,000 points
2 – Kevin Schulz (USA) 14.87 750 points
Women’s Pismo Beach Open QS 1,000 Final Results:
1 – Kirra Pinkerton (USA) 11.50 1,000 points
2 – Samantha Sibley (USA) 11.17 750 points
Men’s Pismo Beach Open QS 1,000 Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Kevin Schulz (USA) 17.96 def. Jake Marshall (USA) 16.87
SF 2: Leon Glatzer (DEU) 12.77 def. Taylor Clark (USA) 12.24
Women’s Pismo Beach Open QS 1,000 Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Samantha Sibley (USA) 13.04 def. Alyssa Spencer (USA) 12.26
SF 2: Kirra Pinkerton (USA) 15.66 def. Mathea Dempfle-Olin (CAN) 9.64
Men’s Pismo Beach Open QS 1,000 Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Jake Marshall (USA) 14.90 def. Kade Matson (USA) 13.64
QF 2: Kevin Schulz (USA) 16.67 def. Nate Yeomans (USA) 13.33
QF 3: Taylor Clark (USA) 11.83 def. Matt Passaquindici (USA) 11.50
QF 4: Leon Glatzer (DEU) 15.07 def. Michael Dunphy (USA) 13.74
USA: The World Surf League (WSL) Pismo Beach Open, a Men’s and Women’s Qualifying Series (QS) 1,000 event was called back on today for both men’s and women’s competition, on the north side of the Pismo Beach Pier. In consistent 3-5’ surf, courtesy of a building south west swell, two rounds of Men’s competition were completed, as well as the Women’s Quarter finals, setting up final’s day tomorrow.
Leading the pack with the highest heat score and wave score in Men’s Round 4 was 16-year-old Kade Matson (USA) from San Clemente, Ca. The powerful teenager has won all three of his heats thus far in the event with a mixture of power and progression that is undeniable.
“It’s always good to start off with a good first heat and then to keep the momentum going today was really what I needed,” said Matson of his progress so far. “I wasn’t really trying to go on the rights out there, but I saw one that was a little further off the pier on a different part of the sandbar and I just thought I’d see what it would do. It ended up being the best wave of the heat for my 9.00, which really made the difference.
“I’m most excited for finals day and the man-on-man heats,” continued Matson, in anticipation for tomorrow’s match-ups. “It’s such a different scenario when you only have to beat one guy and I love it. Everyone that’s left in the draw is surfing so well, so I’ll just bring my best and do everything I can to win.”
As one of the veteran competitors in the field, 37-year-old Nathan Yeomans (USA) from San Clemente, Ca is once again showing his savvy against the youth. Looking for his second QS win of 2018, Yeomans has been able to get the scores required to advance in all conditions this week.
“Just to be out there is still so fun for me,” offered Yeomans. “I haven’t surfed an event in a long time where the waves have been so fun, with so many options in our heats and that in itself is just enjoyable. To be able to compete against the kids and put on a show is what it’s about for me. My family is here and we’re having a blast.
“(Kevin) Schulz has been absolutely ripping,” Yeomans said, in anticipation for their Quarterfinal match-up. “There is a strategy going into finals day to be sure you have a little more to show for the win. I’m looking to kick into another gear tomorrow and up my performance and see if I can take another event this year.”
Huntington Beach surfer Matt Passaquindici (USA) came out on top of a very hotly contest match up with Michael Dunphy (USA) finishing in second place, and Brett Simpson (USA) and Jackson Butler (USA) missing advancement in third and fourth respectively. Passaquindici’s inspired performance earned him his best result in a QS event to date and an opportunity to compete in a man-on-man heat for the first time.
“I started pretty well, but I look up to both Simpson and Dunphy, so I knew I couldn’t get comfortable and just needed to keep building my scores through the whole heat,” said Passquindici, after his Round 4 heat win. “I’m stoked I pulled the airs because it was risky to do them on the first maneuver and could have really cost me if I’d fallen. It was a goal of mine to make it past this round and get to the man-on-man heats, which is my best QS result ever. I’m psyched.”
Representing Germany, but residing in Costa Rica, 21-year-old Leon Glatzer (DEU) continued to implement his stellar aerial game taking two heat wins today. Glatzer is competing in his first QS in California this week and is enjoying his experience so far in Pismo Beach as he builds momentum into finals day.
“My homebreak is a left and I couldn’t be happier to have this swell giving us such great lefts this weekend,” Glatzer commented. “Everyone here is ripping. There is so much talent in the US, which I knew, but now I’m here too and just going to give it my all and try to win a few more heats. I’m feeling good and know what I need to do going into the next round.”
Finishing the day’s action was the Pismo Beach Women’s Open Quarterfinals. At the optimal tide, the conditions and swell continued to deliver for the final four heats of the day and the women competitors put on an outstanding display for the crowd that had gathered on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Central California.
Hailing from Carlsbad, Ca, 15-year-old Alyssa Spencer (USA) set the pace for the women this afternoon, posting both the highest heat score and wave score in Quarterfinal 1. After recently suffering a broken bone in her leg, Spencer has shown no signs of a lapse in performance with the second straight day of dominating form.
“The wave right next to the pier has been so fun,” said Spencer, with a big smile. “I’ve been lucky to have my heats on the higher tide when it’s been working. My best wave was on the right, which was my plan, but I was able to get my back up score on a left which finished the heat nicely for me. I had seen some good lefts and wanted to get one in a heat.”
Spencer will meet fellow goofy-foot Samantha Sibley (USA) in Semifinal 1.
WSL North America Junior Women’s Regional Champion Kirra Pinkerton (USA) was able to withstand a hard-fought battle against Bailey Nagy (HAW) to advance through to tomorrow’s Semifinal. Sitting in second place and requiring a score in the dying seconds of the heat, Pinkerton consolidated a two-turn combination that just earned her the score needed, taking the heat by a mere .01 over her opponent.
“I knew a wave could come at any time and I just needed to wait for my opportunity,” said a relived Pinkerton. “When Bailey got her seven, I knew it would be a good score and it was going to be a matter of having a chance to get the score I needed. Once the wave came, I just needed to not overdo it and make sure I did the turns I wanted and finish the wave. I had some similar scores already, so I knew what it was going to take.”
New to WSL competition in 2018, 15-year-old Mathea Dempfle-Olin (CAN) took the heat win in the final match-up of the day. Earlier this summer at the Los Cabos Open of Surf, Dempfle-Olin came onto the scene in fine form with a strong opening performance, earning a 25th place finish at the QS 6,000 rated event. She now heads into finals day with nothing but experience to gain in only her second QS appearance.
“I like the right that is going into the pier, but I wasn’t feeling any pressure and just wanted to surf the best I could,” said Dempfle-Olin. “It feels good to get a pretty good score with just one turn. I have a coach and we’ve been working on doing that, so I can make something from each opportunity. It’s all very new to me and I’m learning every time I surf a heat. I’m having fun.”
Event organizers will reconvene for tomorrow’s 8:00am PDT call to determine a possible 8:30am start for the Men’s Quarterfinals.
Pismo Beach Open QS1,000 Women’s Quarterfinal Results:
Heat 1: Alyssa Spencer (USA), Rubiana Brownell (CRI)
Heat 2: Samantha Sibley (USA), Bethany Zelasko (CAN)
Heat 3: Kirra Pinkerton (HAW), Bailey Nagy (HAW)
Heat 4: Mathea Dempfle- Olin (CAN), Makena Burke (USA)
Pismo Beach Open QS1,000 Men’s Round Four Results:
Heat 1: Kade Matson (USA), Kevin Schulz (USA), Rylan Rubens (USA), Kaito Ohashi (JPN)
Heat 2: Nathan Yeomans (USA), Jake Marshall (USA), Kilian Garland (USA), Jordy Collins (USA)
Heat 3: Matt Passaquindici (USA), Michael Dunphy (USA), Brett Simpson (USA), Jackson Butler (USA)
Heat 4: Leon Glatzer (DEU), Taylor Clark (USA), Lucca Mesinas (PER), Braden Jones (USA)
Pismo Beach Open QS1,000 Men’s Round Three Results:
Heat 1: Kade Matson (USA), Kilian Garland (USA), Taro Watanabe (USA), Jacob Szekely (USA)
Heat 2: Kevin Schulz (USA), Nathan Yeomans (USA), Kevin Cortez (NIC), Liam Murray (USA)
Heat 3: Jordy Collins (USA), Kaito Ohashi (JPN), Jeremy Carter (USA), Victor Done (USA)
Heat 4: Jake Marshall (USA), Rylan Rubens (USA), Ben Coffey (USA), Austin Neuman (USA)
Heat 5: Brett Simpson (USA), Lucca Mesinas (PER), Nolan Rapoza (USA), John Mel (USA)
Heat 6: Matt Passaquindici (USA), Braden Jones (USA), Che Allan (BRB), Colt Ward (USA)
Heat 7: Taylor Clark (USA), Jackson Butler (USA), Jackson Obando (NIC), Skip McCullough (USA)
Heat 8: Leon Glatzer (DEU), Michael Dunphy (USA), Tyler Gunter (USA), Cory Arrambide (USA)
The men and women’s Pro Casablanca launched today in good three-to-five foot surf and light winds with the opening rounds of both the men and women’s events taking on fun rights at high tide this morning and solid lefts later this afternoon.
The recent semi-finalist in Galicia Mahina Maeda (JPN) discovered the Moroccan waters for the first time and adapted perfectly to post a convincing first heat win over French up-and-comers Juliette Lacome and Neis Lartigue as well as local surfer Lilias Tebbai (MAR). Currently ranked 17th on the Qualifying Series, her result in Casablanca won’t likely be counting in her qualifying effort but the Japanese surfer is out to keep her good momentum going into the back half of the season.
“I had a pretty tough morning session but then I went out for my heat and had a lot of fun,” Maeda said.
“I’ve been struggling with sponsors this year so I would definitely love to take out this event and it would make my life a bit easier financially. I made the switch to represent Japan this year too, both my parents are Japanese, and I really want to do well for the people there.”
Garazi Sanchez-Ortun (EUK) claimed the first excellent score with an 8 point ride and a 6 as a backup for her forehand attack of the long rights. A former quarter finalist in Morocco, the Basque surfer appreciated the clean conditions and an easy-to-read lineup of various sections to work with.
“I noticed the waves lacked a bit of power this morning so I made sure to control my turns and not push too hard,” Sanchez-Ortun said.
“There were plenty of waves and everyone got their opportunities so it was a good heat. I like to have a strategy going into a heat and last year it wasn’t as easy with bigger swell and not a defined peak.”
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The Japanese crew put on a strong performance with four of five surfers advancing into Round Two. Besides Maeda, sisters Emily and Julie Nishimoto took second places, and Minami Nonaka stole the show with one of the day’s biggest performance of the women’s division. The 17 year-old natural footer was flying through the flat sections and hit the closeout lips strong to impress the judges panel with her mature surfing.
“It was really fun out there,” Nonaka said.
“The rights are even better than they look from outside and I love surfing on my forehand so that was perfect for me. I’m only starting on the QS and we have a lot of national events at the same time so I didn’t have five results yet and decided to come compete here.”
In the last heat of the round, Tessa Thyssen (FRA) raised the bar even higher with combinations of multiple backhand turns on the rights to post two massive numbers for a 15.84 total into Round Two.
The men’s event followed and started in similar fashion with Alex Ribeiro (BRA) absolutely dominating the first heat, with two excellent scores and a 16.50 heat total. The former Championship Tour surfer shredded the rights to pieces on his first visit to Casablanca.
“Sets came all the time and the waves looked exactly like my home break so I felt right at home out there,” Ribeiro said.
“I’m staying with Deivid (Silva) and he’s the one who motivated me to come, he’s won twice here so obviously he loves the place, but he also said how consistent it is, that there’s always good waves. I’m stoked to be here and I hope I can make a few more heats.”
Timothee Bisso (FRA) had a similar great start but later around low tide when the lefts started working better. But the main fact in his Heat 4 was the last minute move of local surfer Redouane Regragui (MAR) who launched and landed a perfectly executed little forehand rotation for a 5.40 to advance in second.
Santiago Muniz (ARG) approached perfection with two fully committed backhand turns on one of the biggest sets all day and took maximum risks for the near maximum reward, belting a 9.50 (out of 10) for his effort. With his 8.17 backup and a 17.67 total, the Argentinian was well above the field on Day 1.
“Waves were so good all day with some solid sets and I just tried to do my thing,” Muniz said. “We have a lot of waves like this in Brazil, that’s maybe why we’re good in these conditions. Deivid’s won it twice and I’d love to do well here myself, we have a great group of friends here and it’s going to be fun!”
Surfers will be back at 8:45am Wednesday for a men’s only second day of competition and potentially two rounds of the event.
The Pro Casablanca is scheduled to run from September 4-9, 2018 at Anfaplace Shopping Center, Casablanca – Morocco.
PRO CASABLANCA MEN’S ROUND 2 MATCHUPS:
Heat 1: Deivid Silva (BRA), Samson Coulter (AUS), Colin Doyez (FRA), Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
Heat 2: Jared Hickel (AUS), Vitor Mendes (BRA), Yassine Ramdani (MAR), Kyllian Guerin (FRA)
Heat 3: Jordan Lawler (AUS), Joe Van Dijk (AUS), Pablo Montero (ESP), Herbert Moreno (BRA)
Heat 4: Miguel Blanco (PRT), Jake Elkington (ZAF), Ignacio Guisasola (ESP), Amando Lins (BRA)
Heat 5: Bino Lopes (BRA), Roberto Araki (CHL), Ben Coffey (USA), Charly Quivront (FRA)
Heat 6: Pedro Neves (BRA), Cole Houshmand (USA), Francisco Carrasco (PRT), Alex Bauduin (CNY)
Heat 7: Adin Masencamp (ZAF), Paul Cesar Distinguin (FRA), Eduardo Fernandes (PRT), Timothee Bisso (FRA)
Heat 8: Dylan Lightfoot (ZAF) Luis Diaz (CNY), Jaymes Triglone (AUS), Redouane Regragui (MAR)
Heat 9: Weslley Dantas (BRA), Pedro Henrique (PRT), Max Kearney (AUS), Gatien Delahaye (FRA)
Heat 10: Ruben Vitoria (EUK), Tristan Guilbaud (FRA), Aboubakar Bouaouda (MAR), Theo Julitte (FRA)
Heat 11: Lucas Silveira (BRA), Theo Fresia (BRA), Eduardo Motta (BRA), Kairi Noro (JPN)
Heat 12: Nelson Cloarec (FRA), Morgan Cibilic (AUS), Dylan Moffat (AUS), Ethan Fletcher (ZAF)
Heat 13: Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR), Thomas Cervi (AUS), Leo Paul Etienne (FRA), Santiago Muniz (ARG)
Heat 14: Leandro Usuna (ARG), Jose Gundesen (ARG), Selyann Zouhir (MAR), Soufiane Charoub (MAR)
Heat 15: Rafael Teixeira (BRA), Vitor Ferreira (BRA), Enzo Cavallini (FRA), Justin Becret (FRA)
Heat 16: Andy Criere (ESP), Facundo Arreyes (ARG), Jolan Bonelli (REU), Pedro Coelho (PRT)
PRO CASABLANCA MEN’S ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 16.50, Kyllian Guerin (FRA) 11.50, Thomas Debierre (FRA) 9.80, Yassine Jmiji (MAR) 0.00
Heat 2: Herbert Moreno (BRA) 11.86, Amando Lins (BRA) 11.27, Kaspar Hamminga (NLD) 8.54, Othmane Choufani (MAR) 7.50
Heat 3: Charly Quivront (FRA) 11.70, Alex Bauduin (CNY) 10.73, Matteo Calatri (ITA) 7.27, Ghali Sefraoui (MAR) 4.44
Heat 4: Timothee Bisso (FRA) 15.50, Redouane Regragui (MAR) 9.37, Ben Penny (AUS) 8.57, Nanook Ballerin (FRA) 7.04
Heat 5: Gatien Delahaye (FRA) 11.50, Theo Julitte (FRA) 10.90, Teva Bouchgua (FRA) 6.76, Camille Maurisset (MAR) 6.00
Heat 6: Kairi Noro (JPN) 10.90, Ethan Fletcher (ZAF) 8.67, Chadi Lahrioui (MAR) 8.30, Wahala Aymen (MAR) 4.47
Heat 7: Santiago Muniz (ARG) 17.67, Soufiane Charoub (MAR) 6.97, Soulaimane Boujnane (MAR) 4.96, Tab Textor (USA) 3.87
Heat 8: Justin Becret (FRA) 9.40, Pedro Coelho (PRT) 9.30, Simo Berrada (MAR) 7.84, Bachir Kindi (MAR) 7.60
PRO CASABLANCA WOMEN’S ROUND 2 MATCHUPS:
Heat 1: Mahina Maeda (JPN), Emily Nishimoto (JPN), Carol Henrique (PRT), Melanie Giunta (PER)
Heat 2: Garazi Sanchez-Ortun (EUK), Juliette Lacome (FRA), Nadia Erostarbe (EUK) Camilla Kemp (PRT)
Heat 3: Leilani McGonagle (CRI), Lucia Indurain (ARG), Minami Nonaka (JPN), Kobie Enright (AUS)
Heat 4: Josefina Ane (ARG), Julie Nishimoto (JPN), Tessa Thyssen (FRA), Leonor Fragoso (PRT)
PRO CASABLANCA WOMEN’S ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Mahina Maeda (JPN) 12.50, Juliette Lacome (FRA) 10.44, Neis Lartigue (FRA) 10.07, Lilias Tebbai (MAR) 5.03
Heat 2: Carol Henrique (PRT) 11.16, Camilla Kemp (PRT) 10.64, Eveline Hooft (NDL) 7.96, Lara Damelian (AUS) 4.43
Heat 3: Garazi Sanchez-Ortun (EUK) 14.00, Emily Nishimoto (JPN) 11.77, Uhaina Joly (FRA) 9.66, Nina Reynal (FRA) 7.74
Heat 4: Nadia Erostarbe (EUK) 13.10, Melanie Giunta (PER) 10.97, Yolanda Hopkins (PRT) 9.40, Elle Sampiere (USA) 6.67
Heat 5: Leilani McGonagle (CRI) 12.17, Julie Nishimoto (JPN) 11.00, Lucia Martino (ESP) 9.33, Fatima Berrada (MAR) 3.26
Heat 6: Minami Nonaka (JPN) 15.00, Leonor Fragoso (PRT) 7.76, Leticia Canales Bilbao (EUK) 7.50, Marion Philippe (PYF) 5.06
Heat 7: Josefina Ane (ARG) 10.10, Lucia Indurain (ARG) 7.77, Lucia Cosoleto (ARG) 7.20, Lucy Campbell (GBR) 0.00
Heat 8: Tessa Thyssen (FRA) 15.84, Kobie Enright (AUS) 11.06, Nagisa Tashiro (JPN) 9.47, Mariana Assis (PRT) 6.63
The list of nominees for the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Awards (BWA) has been officially released.
$350,000 in total prize money will be awarded across seven categories: Quiksilver Airlift XXL Biggest Wave, Ride of the Year, Biggest Paddle, Tube of the Year, Wipeout of the Year, Men’s Best Overall Performance of the Year, and Hydro Flask Women’s Best Overall Performance of the Year.
The 18th Annual WSL Big Wave Awards competition window concluded on March 20, 2018 and spanned the previous 12 months of surfing action. Every wave ridden at every big wave break around the world in this period was eligible for consideration across the seven categories. A panel of judges chose best rides in each of the categories based on photographic and video evidence.
The winners will be crowned at an invitation-only gala in Southern California on Saturday, April 28, 2018.
This year’s nominees include a global population of big wave surfers representing countries like Germany, Australia, Brazil, the United States, and France. With the Northern Hemisphere igniting massive swells this year, the majority of the nominated rides come from the infamous big wave breaks of Nazaré in Portugal and Pe’ahi (a.k.a. “Jaws”) in Maui, Hawaii, USA.
The nominees for 2018, in alphabetical order:
Ride of the year nominees
Surfer prizes total $125,000 – Videographer prizes total $13,000
The Ride of the Year is the top-line category of the event and is awarded to the surfer who demonstrates the most advanced and committed level of big wave surfing during a successful ride, as judged by available video-footage. While raw size is taken into consideration, it is ultimately the level of performance that is rewarded. The category carries the biggest prize of the Big Wave Awards with $75,000 for the winner, $20,000 for second place, $15,00 for third, $10,000 for fourth and $5,000 for fifth place. The first place videographer will receive $6,000, second place will receive $2,500, $2,000 for third place, $1,500 for fourth and $1,000 for fifth.
Ross Clarke-Jones (Avoca, New South Wales, Australia) at Nazaré, Portugal on January 18, 2018.
(Video by Pedro Miranda.)
Ryan Hipwood (Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on October 28, 2017.
(Video by WSL Video Team.)
Kai Lenny (Paia, Hawaii, USA) at Nelscott Reef, Oregon on November 29, 2017.
(Video by Ian Kennelly.)
Sebastian Steudtner (Nuremberg, Germany) at Nazaré, Portugal on January 18, 2018.
(Video by Javier Goya.)
Ian Walsh (Haiku, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on October 28, 2017.
(Video by Dan Norkunas.)
Biggest paddle award nominees
Surfer prize $30,000 – Photographer prize $5,000
The Paddle Award goes to the surfer who paddles into and successfully rides the biggest wave of the year. The winning surfer will receive $30,000 and the $5,000 will go to the photographer who captured the ride. This year’s nominees showcased fearless displays of big wave surfing with rides at Jaws in Hawaii and Nazaré in Portugal.
Lucas Chianca (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) at Nazaré, Portugal on January 4, 2018.
(Photos by Vitor Estrelinha and Rafael G. Riancho. Video by Cesinha Feliciano.)
Lucas Chianca (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 14, 2018.
(Photos by Tony Heff, Aaron Lynton and Fred Pompermayer. Video by Elliot Leboe.)
Nathan Florence (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 14, 2018.
(Photos by Photos by Dooma Photos, Aaron Lynton and Fred Pompermayer. Video by Aldo Tassara.)
Aaron Gold (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 13, 2018.
(Photos by Dooma Photos, Aaron Lynton and Fred Pompermayer. Video by Bruno Lemos.)
Aaron Gold (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 14, 2018.
(Photos by Erik Aeder, Brent Broza, Robin Ernst, Tony Heff and Aaron Lynton. Video by Tony Heff.)
Quiksilver Airlift XXL biggest wave award nominees
Surfer prize $25,000 – Photographer prize $5,000
The Quiksilver Airlift XXL Biggest Wave Award goes to the surfer who, by any means available, catches and rides the biggest wave of the year. The winner will receive a $25,000 prize and the photographer of the ride will receive a $5,000 prize.
Ross Clarke-Jones (Avoca, New South Wales, Australia) at Nazaré, Portugal on January 18, 2018.
(Photos by Bruno Aleixo and Ricardo Bravo. Video by Humberto Santos.)
Rodrigo Koxa (Guarujá, SP, Brazil) at Nazaré, Portugal on November 8, 2017.
(Photos by Raphael Alvim, Pedro Cruz, Rafael G. Riancho, Manuel Ricardo and Leandro Sieves. Video by Carlos Muriongo.)
Kai Lenny (Paia, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 14, 2018
(Photos by Dooma Photos, Tony Heff, Aaron Lynton, Fred Pompermayer and Stu Soley. Video by Marcus Rodrigues.)
Benjamin Sanchis (Hossegor, France) at Nazaré, Portugal on January 18, 2018.
(Photos by Bruno Aleixo, Helio Antonio, Andre Botelho, Antonio Bravo and Vitor Estrelinha. Video by Michael Darrigade.)
Sebastian Steudtner (Nuremberg, Germany) at Nazaré, Portugal on January 18, 2018.
(Photos by Helio Antonio, Andre Botelho, Rafael G. Riancho, Surfemotions and Gillen Usandizaga. Video by Nuno Dias.)
Tube of the year award nominees
Surfer prize $10,000 – Still photography prize $5,000
The Tube of the Year is awarded to the surfer who rides the single most spectacular tubing wave of the year. This award is judged on the impact generated by still photographs. The winner of this category will receive $10,000 and $5,000 will go to the photographer.
Grant Baker (Durban, South Africa) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 14, 2018.
(Photos by Dooma Photos, Aaron Lynton, Fred Pompermayer and Randy Sarrow.)
Mick Corbett (Perth, W.A. Australia) at The Right, Western Australia on May 16, 2016.
(Photo by Trent Slatter.)
Tyler Hollmer-Cross (Hobart, Tasmania, Australia) at Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania on July 25, 2017.
(Photo by Andrew Chisholm.)
Billy Kemper (Haiku, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on October 27, 2017.
(Photos by Richard Hallman, Tony Heff and Keoki Saguibo.)
Ian Walsh (Haiku, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on October 28, 2017.
(Photos by Adam Carbajal, Richard Hallman, Paul Karaolides, Tracy Leboe and Sofie Louca.)
Wipeout of the year award nominees
Surfer prize $5,000 – Videographer prize $2,000
While the performance categories salute the most successful rides of the past year, the Wipeout division present the most amazing unsuccessful rides for online review. Video of surfing’s greatest aquatic mishaps has become a popular viral staple among surfing fans worldwide, often attracting millions of views and taking its place as a good-natured fixture in the Big Wave Awards. Truly epitomizing the courage needed for big wave surfing, the surfers nominated for this accolade show no shortage of heart and commitment. The winner of this award will receive $5,000 and the videographer who captured the wipeout will receive $2,000.
Andrew Cotton (Braunton, Devon, United Kingdom) at Nazaré, Portugal on November 8, 2017.
(Video by Pedro Miranda.)
Billy Kemper (Haiku, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on October 28, 2017.
(Video by WSL Video Team.)
Coco Nogales (Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico) at Puerto Escondido, Mexico on July 31, 2017.
(Video by Yana Vaz.)
Eli Olson (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 13, 2018.
(Video by Bruno Lemos.)
Owen Schultz (Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico) at Nazaré, Portugal on January 18, 2018.
(Video by Remi Blanc.)
Hydro flask womens best performance award nominees
First prize $15,000, $32,500 total
The performance awards acknowledge the top surfers over the course of the last 12 months based on every ride captured on video or still images all around the world.
Paige Alms (Haiku, Hawaii, USA)
Justine Dupont (Seignosse, France)
Maya Gabeira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Keala Kennelly (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA)
Bianca Valenti (Mill Valley, California, USA)
The ten men receiving nominations for the Men’s Best Overall Performance Award are still under review by the nomination panel and will be announced on Thursday, April 12, 2018. The category is regarded as one of the most prestigious and important in the event as it selects an additional four surfers who will be seeded into every WSL Big Wave Tour competition for the coming year.
A panel of judges will review the nominated rides and select the winners, which will be revealed at the invitation-only Big Wave Awards on Saturday, April 28, 2018.
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.”
“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
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)
The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, Stop No. 2 on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), will continue today with men’s Round 3 called ON for a 7a.m. AEDT start in four-to-six foot (1.2 – 2 metre) waves at Bells Beach.
The women’s event has been called off for the day, but men’s Round 4 will be on standby to run later, pending conditions.
“We are on with men’s Round 3 today,” said Kieren Perrow, WSL Commissioner.
“We will get started right at 7am. local time to take advantage of the early morning’s clean conditions and low tide. With the conditions today, there will be plenty of opportunities for the 30-minute heats. We have placed men’s Round 4 on hold for a possible start today. The women’s competition will be off for the day.”
Event favorite Mick Fanning (AUS) is against Sebastian Zietz (HAW) in Round 3 Heat 5 of the Rip Curl Pro today. All eyes will be on Fanning, the three-time WSL Champion, to see if he can repeat his success at Bells Beach for a fifth event win.
Jordy Smith (ZAF), 2017 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach winner, will surf first this morning against 2018 CT Rookie Wade Carmichael (AUS) in the opening heat of Round 3.
Heat 10 of Round 3 will see the head-to-head Brazilian battle between Filipe Toledo (BRA) and Italo Ferreira (BRA) in what is sure to be one of the most exciting matchups of the day.
2014 WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) will face 2018 CT Rookie Willian Cardoso (BRA) in the last heat of Round 3.
Surfline, WSL forecast partner, said:
Old/fading SW swell for Easter Sunday, but still plenty contestable with the women’s event underway. Favorable offshore wind conditions for the morning, then turning onshore in the afternoon. More sizable swells stacking up for next week to keep surf elevated; next one due Mon/Tues (and looking pretty solid), then another by Thursday the 5th, and possibly one last swell on Sunday the 8th. For the most part, conditions next week are looking pretty good (although not so favorable on Monday).
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 3 Matchups
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Wade Carmichael (AUS)
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Heat 4: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Griffin Colapinto (USA)
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 6: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 7: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
Heat 8: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Frederico Morais (PRT)
Heat 9: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Conner Coffin (USA)
Heat 10: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)
Heat 11: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 12: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach Quarterfinal Matchups:
QF 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Silvana Lima (BRA)
QF 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
QF 3: Caroline Marks (USA) vs. Johanne Defay (FRA)
QF 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Sage Erickson (USA)
The Caparica Primavera Surf Fest launched today in good three-to-four foot waves to run a total of 52 heats of both the men’s QS and Junior competitions. Surfers took on the rippable rights of Caparica on two different banks for most of the day.
The festival brings together surfers from different generations and is a unique occasion for the juniors to enter a QS as well, gauging their performance level against older, stronger, more experienced competitors.
The juniors had a first taste of the Qualifying Series world, surfing up to four heats in a day. Their endurance was also tested as some of the surfers fought the cold water and hot sun all-day in between heats.
It was the ideal conditions to catch up with the four semi finalists of the Junior Pro Espinho, which finished yesterday a few hours up the coast near Oporto.
Justin Becret (FRA) had no trouble adapting to the new spot and new crowd coming from Espinho, winning both his heats in the QS today, and building momentum to post an impressive 13.77 win over long-time competitors Roberto D’Amico (ITA) and Julen Egiguren (EUK).
“It’s definitely been a busy week and we’re starting another, but I’m trying my best to rest in between heats and we train a lot so the fatigue isn’t too bad,” Becret said. “I really have no pressure in the QS because my main focus is still on the juniors for now, so I surf maybe a little more freely and apparently it works out. I’m stoked about the waves, this peak was great with a really good right.”
Lenni Jensen (DEU) had a slightly closer affair in his Round Two matchup, but eventually placed second to Edouard Delpero (FRA) and kept his QS run alive. The German-born surfer, who learnt to surf and was raised in the Canary Islands, burst on the map with his equal third in Espinho yesterday and will have the difficult task to now surf with a target on his back, as a potential qualifier for the World Juniors under the European banner.
“I’m just trying to hold on to that good rhythm I have coming in from Espinho,” Jensen said. “I can’t believe how good the waves are, so I’m just trying to be patient and wait for the bombs. I’ve made a couple of mistakes in that last heat but I’m learning, I’m trying to surf smart when I have the priority. Everyone here just wants to win their heat, so Juniors or QS I don’t really see a difference in our approach.”
The reigning European Junior champion Kauli Vaast (PYF) just made the final in Espinho and started his season with a runner-up, exactly the same way he finished last season in Sopela to claim his first regional title.
His heat today was an easier one with three surfers under-18, but he was still judged on the same scale as everyone else. The Tahitian brought his under-the-lip backside vertical attack in the punchy rights and posted two 7+ waves, and finally an 8.07 to take an easy win and ticket into Round Three.
“It was hard last week just coming from Tahiti and adapting to the really cold water and we had hard waves too,” Vaast said. “But I’m super happy with that second place in Espinho and happy to start with a win here. I’ve had to wait around all day cause I was in the very last heat so I tried to stay focused and only had a little free surf in the morning to warm up to the conditions today.”
Conditions became extremely difficult for the judges late this afternoon as the infamous Portuguese glare made it virtually impossible to recognize colors in the lineup, even forcing a re-surf of one heat of the juniors event.
Unfortunately Mathis Crozon (FRA), the winner in Espinho yesterday, was scheduled to surf in Heat 5 when the call was made to hold off and reschedule that heat for tomorrow morning. Crozon will feel the pressure as most his opponents in the current European Junior title race opened their campaign with strong performances today.
Surfers and organizers will reconvene at 7:30AM Tuesday for an early start of the QS in expected great conditions again.
The Caparica Primavera Surf Fest is scheduled from March 26-31, 2018 at Praia do Paraiso, Costa da Caparica – Portugal.