ABANCA Galicia Classic Surf Pro continued today in unruly conditions with waves in the four-to-six foot range and strong onshore winds rendering the lineup difficult to navigate.
A number of top seeds didn’t survive a fifth day of competition, most notably Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Yago Dora (BRA), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Joan Duru (FRA) and the former leader of the Qualifying Series, Frenchman Jorgann Couzinet (FRA). Competition ran through the remaining two heats of Round 2, the entire Round 3 and finally the first four heats of Round 4 with 8 athletes advancing into the two-surfer matchups coming up next.
As conditions continued to grow bigger and solid overhead sets put our surfers to the test, Timothee Bisso (FRA) passed with flying colors, finding two gems on the outside to lay his backhand vertical turns to a 14.90 total and advance into Round 5. The Caribbean surfer who claimed two QS1,500 wins earlier this year is finally getting on a roll at a bigger event and will be one to watch when the event resumes.
“It was tough out there I only surfed 3 waves in that heat,” Bisso said. “Two of those were nice rights that opened perfectly for me so it was nice, I was just trying to fit my turns in the right sections. I hesitated to take out a step-up out here cause there’s some size but it closes so fast you actually want something that gets under the lip easily.”
World No. 28 Jesse Mendes (BRA) preferred to attack the lefts on his forehand and built an even more impressive 15.26 total, courtesy of clean carves and committed turns in the lip. The Brasilian even found an extremely rare tube in the onshore lineup to get the crowds on their feet.
“I’m very blessed I got a lot of opportunities out there,” Mendes said. “It’s chunky and a bit messy but there are good sections. I was in a good rhythm and kept getting wave after wave and I just made the best of it.”
Pictured: In between rogue sets, the Pantin lineup had its moments today. Credit: © WSL / Masurel
Jake Marshall (USA) was the first regular foot to put on a show later this afternoon in Round 4 as he attacked the same lefts and went all out on the biggest sections to post an 8.17 and 7.00 in the opening minutes of his heat. From then on it was just crowd control for the Californian who kept trying, and succeeded at building an even greater distance with his opponents to secure his spot into the next round.
“I felt like the waves were coming my way in that heat and it’s always a great feeling when that happens,” Marshall said. “I started really quick so felt very relaxed the whole heat. I still could never be completely comfortable out there with Deivid I know what he’s capable of and Gatien was surfing great too.”
In the same heat, World No. 16 Deivid Silva (BRA) with his back against the ropes, built speed on a big and fast left and launched into a stratospheric alley-oop to post a near-perfect 9.40. The reception on the roof of the wave was the only down point of the maneuver as the rotation itself, the ground covered and height had everything of a 10 point ride in the making.
“I didn’t have a choice but to go for it,” Silva explained. “Jake had a perfect start and Gatien was surfing great too so I had to go big. I remember getting a 10 right here a few years ago and I knew this is what I needed to score. I train a lot in these kinds of waves and I’m stoked I landed that one. The wave was perfect for it and the wind just kept the board stuck to my feet.”
The last heat was a power surfing clinic from three worthy lecturers, Imaikalani Devault (HAW), Caleb Tancred (AUS) and Frederico Morais (PRT). When the dust settled it was Cancred on top with 15.44 over Morais’ 14.40, and Devault eliminated.
Surfers will get a little bit more sleep as we approach the business end of the event and will come in at 10:30 a.m Friday for the next call.