Nazare Pro 2017
Only the high tide could stop them – Day 2.
Praia Do Norte, Nazaré Portugal, Thursday October 5, 2017
The swell might have abated, but that didn’t make the action at Praia Do Norte any less of a spectacle…
An early start to finalise the 8 trialists who would join the action in the main event saw joy and sorrow dished out in equal portions. Those who made it through made the most of the near-perfect beach break conditions, and those who did not were unable to capitalise. Standouts of the Quarter Finals were PJ Tartak of Puerto Rico, Gabriel Braga of Brazil, Sammy Morretino of Hawaii and Alex Sebastian of the Basque Country. Notable departures were Morocco’s Brahim Iddouch and Brazil’s Socrates Santana.
The final 8 qualifiers were:
PJ Tartak (PR)
Matthew Lombard (ZA)
Gabriel Braga (BR)
Joao Zik (BR)
Sammy Morretino (HA)
Cristian Perez (ES)
Alex Sebastian (EUK)
Luke Kitchin (ZA)
South Africa’s Luke Kitchin managed to progress narrowly ahead of Julien Miremont (PFR) in the dying seconds of his Quarter Final Trials heat, and such heroic form was carried through to his first heat of the Main Event, leaving behind Uri Valadao and Sacha Damjanic in his wake. Full-time Frenchman and part-time Nazare local Maxime Castillo was in blistering form, easily winning his first heat too.
Amaury Lavernhe of France is a multiple world champion and one of the fiercest competitors on the tour. Today he reminded everyone that was still a force to be reckoned with after posting a near perfect heat score total of 19.25. A perfectly timed spin into a long Nazareen tube, followed by a flip on the exit was, well, perfect. The judges didn’t need much time to think about it, and the crowd had no doubt. Another wave, this time a long tube was all it took to make this his day.
Tanner McDaniel took control of his heat against Jared Houston and Alex Sebastian for the win, while Tristan Roberts had a narrow victory over Eder Luciano to skip Round 2 also.
Iain Campbell was in ‘this world title is mine’ mode in his heat, launching some epic flips and completing a long-distance reverse air. Will his form stay strong and can he claim victory here in Portugal? If he keeps surfing like this then yes!
Argentina’s Nicolas Chiara grabbed a narrowest of victories over Alex Uranga while Lewy Finnegan continued his great form after Viana to win ahead of Alan Munoz. Brazil’s Gabriel Braga out-surfed Nazare local Antonio Cardoso and fellow countryman Roberto Bruno before another French world champion would amaze the crowd.
Pierre Louis Costes is in great form also, and very much in the shadows if Iain Campbell is unable to wrap up the title here in Portugal. With the high tide moving the 4 foot waves right onto the shore, he put on a clinic on how to flip and land pretty much on dry sand.
It was a dizzying display from the Frenchman, who scored the second highest heat score total of the day with 17.5.
The locals were on their feet for Dino Carmo, who absolutely dominated his heat, not hesitating to launch off sections that really were exploding on dry sand. Some large flips and rollos saw him take the win, while in the final heat of the day, it was Dave Hubbard who was able to prevail over a very eager Mike Stewart. Only 1.25 separating the Hawaiians in the end.
With the high tide only filling in even more over the coming hours, it was decided by officials to halt competition and return at 4 pm for the call.
The Juniors got the call as the tide was dropping, seeing some contestable waves appearing yet again.
The opening heat was simply exceptional. Lionel Medina (ES) and Miguel Ferreira (PT) trading solid flips to post heat score totals of 18 and 14.9 respectively. Bruno Martin of Spain stayed in the race for the title by progressing with Pedro Veigas (PT) to the Quarter Finals.
Yon Aimar of France was still in great form, progressing with Maratiri Atan of the Canary Islands. While Nelson Flores of Chile found the rides necessary to keep his grip on the Pro Junior World Title firm. Cristobal Fernandez of Rapanui was able to also stay in the title race, narrowly beating Matthieu Aguirre (FR) and Joao Ferreia (PT).
With the glare making it more and more difficult for the judges to see competitors in the water, it was decided to put remaining heats on hold for a call tomorrow.
A great day of action. Stay tuned for the live webcast tomorrow!
Men Round 1 Results
Men Round 2 Set….
Pro Junior Round 1