O'Neill Pantin Classic showdown
The expected massive swell hit Pantin on Day 4 of competition and the ASP World Qualifying Series Women and Men's events faced some of the biggest conditions ever surfed on the European leg paddling out in eight to eleven foot waves to try and advance.
In the men’s division, Round 4 was wrapped up today as well as the first four heats of Round 5 and four men were able to advance through to the first man-on-man battles of the event at the end of the day, finding their way out of the 3-man-heat round.
William Cardoso (BRA) and Patrick Gudauskas were among those getting through both winning their respective encounter with solid surfing and scores. Gudauskas, rated No. 4 on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) ratings before the event, unleashed again mixing strong turns and progressive surfing including an impressive double-grabbed frontside air that gave him a 6.17 point score (out of a possible 10) to advance ahead of Luke Campbell (AUS).
Campbell, who has not secured any big result this summer, is through to the first man-on-man battles and will be looking forward to grabbing the opportunity to make the Quarterfinals of a major WQS event. He has been on the road for five weeks now following the ASP caravan, came up with confident and comitted surfing to secure his Round 5 ticket and remains in good form. Campbell, known for his powerful assaults, followed the foot steps of morning top scorers with his strong forehand surfing and will meet William Cardoso (BRA) in Round 5.
Experience and patience paid off as well on Day 4 of competition and former ASP World Tour surfer Yuri Sodre (BRA) was today's tactician posting the second highest heat result of the day surfing three waves only. Sodre, who is still chasing a good result in Europe since he landed a month ago, got one step further in the event.
Power surfers were once again advantaged using the bigger set waves to their maximum to set records and break top scores. Nic Muscroft (AUS) and Michel Bourez (PYF), who got through their Round 4 battle earlier in the day, waited for the bombs to secure some solid turns on the most critical sections of the righthanders and respectively ended up with 19.03 and 17.20 point heat results (both out of a possible 20), some of today's best scores.
The women's division, an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 3-Star event, got underway today and Round 1 was completed in smaller low-tide conditions, the girls still taking-off on some five foot (1.5 meter) waves and struggling to reach the line-up.
Pauline Ado (Hendaye, FRA), 18, reigning ASP European Women's Junior champion and current ASP WQS Women's European Series leader, was a standout on Day 1 of competition posting a solid 15.50 point heat tally (out of a possible 20) in Heat 3 to keep her closest ratings’ follower Caroline Sarran (Anglet, FRA) in a distance of the 2008 ASP WQS Women's European. Both will surf in the Quarterfinals when competition resumes.
Ado, who is in position to grab her maiden regional crown, will try and keep the pressure away but will meet solid big wave female surfer and reigning regional champion Lee Ann Curren (FRA) in Quarterfinal No. 2.
All favorites made it to the Quarterfinals today, Fransisca Santos (PRT), Marie Dejean (FRA), Lee Ann Curren (FRA) and Argentina's second best scorer of the day Ornella Pellizzari (ARG). Both women and men will meet at 9 AM Saturday to make the call and witness some expected bigger waves.
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The Vans El Ponto Loco continued today, completing Round 2 and Round 3 of competition in two-to-four foot surf. Only 32 of the eventís top performers remain in the ASP World Qualifying Series 2-Star event, the sixth of nine ASP WQS contests held in North America.
Despite being a rookie on the ASP World Tour, Dane Reynolds (USA), 22, will paddle out for his fifth installment of the Boost Mobile Pro this week. The event waiting period begins this Sunday, Sept. 7 and stretches until Saturday, Sept. 13, 2008.