Estoril Coast Pro: Top seeds control day 3
The Estoril Coast Pro resumed at its back-up venue of Gunicho, twenty minutes North from Carcavelos, with top seeds getting their start in the ASP World Qualifying Series 6-Star event in solid four to six foot waves.
Yadin Nicol (Wa, AUS), 22, took top honours on Day 3 of competition coming up with some world-class surfing in the solid waves to advance through to Round 3 with the highest heat result of the event so far, a 17.93 point tally (out of a possible 20), besting fellow Australian and rising star Owen Wright (Sydney, AUS) in Heat 10.
"It was hard out there and to be honest I was just preparing to go home," Nicol said. "These conditions usually fit Matt (Wilkinson) and Owen's (Wright) surfing and I did not know what scores I had. But I am stoked and it is a good motivation boost."
Nicol, who is currently rated No. 16 on the ASP WQS, suffered a shocker in the last event in the Canary Islands and was very disappointed after his loss, seeing all his closest followers jumping ahead.
"That heat in Lanzarote was hard because nothing really happened and I was kind of stuck in a hole," Nicol said. "I am happy to get that behind me and I hope I can get through a few more heats this week. I put a lot of pressure on myself in the last event and it did not work well moreover with every single person who needed a result getting one wether in the Canarys or in Brazil."
Nicol will meet with Gavin Gillette (HAW), Brandon Jackson (ZAF) and ASP Top 45 member Travis Logie in Round 3.
Jonathan Gonzalez (Tenerife, CNY), current ASP WQS No. 43 who suffered a major ankle injury that kept him out of the water for three months between May and July, was the first surfer to tame the tricky demanding conditions posting an impressive 17.90 point heat tally (out of a possible 20) including a 9.17 point ride before a last minute 8.73 score to secure his Round 3 berth.
"I thought it would be more difficult before paddling out but I managed to get some good waves," Gonzalez said. "I started on the lefthanders and got a few good scores but I found better potential on the rights in the end and ended up with two great waves. I am very relieved."
Gonzalez, who placed equal 17th in the ASP WQS 6-Star Prime event last week in the Canary Islands, came to Portugal very affected by his disappointing loss in front of his home crowd knowing a big result there would have put him back in the race for the ASP World Tour.
"Last week was very hard for me and that loss affected me a lot," Gonzalez said. "I lost motivation in the last few days because I knew I could achieve something big in Lanzarote and I ended up losing in a very close heat in Round 4 after a big hussle from the other competitors."
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Day Three of the Cold Water Classic, saw Hawaiian standout Sebastian Zietz, 20, stamp the day's top honors by claiming both the highest single wave score and highest heat total of the event.