O'Neill Pantin Classic: Sodre leads international field to finals
Pressure rose upon those in contention for the title as the ASP WQS 5-Star O’Neill Pantin Classic got closer to its end with all quarterfinalists decided in the eight foot (2.5 meter) surf on offer at Pantin today.
The sun eventually showed up for another full day of intense action and outsiders took control of proceedings, fighting against both conditions and top seeds in the first man-on-man clashes of the event.
Brazil's Yuri Sodre (BRA) shone again en route to Quarterfinals defeating current ASP WQS No. 7 Drew Courtney (AUS) in Heat 3 with a solid 18.50 point heat tally (out of a possible 20) including the third perfect 10.00 point ride of the event. Sodre, a former ASP World Tour surfer currently rated No. 43 on the World Qualifying Series (WQS) ratings, repeated his game plan using patience and wave choice to take off on the better waves and advance.
Sodre, who has been coming here for a decade, was cheered by crowds as if he was a local during his battle and left the water surrounded by fans finding out he had scored an ten pointer. Sodre will meet Antonio Bortoletto (ZAF) in Quarterfinal No. 2 when finals resume tomorrow and is looking forward to flying the flag up to the end.
Antonio Bortoletto (ZAF) was another of today's giant killers when he created a serious upset defeating current ASP WQS No. 21 Leigh Sedley (AUS) in Heat 4 taking the best out of the massive conditions. Bortoletto, a longtime Top 100 competitor who won a couple of events in his career including a 5-Star rated one in Newquay three years ago, was confident enough not to surf more than two waves and securd his best result this year by reaching Quarterfinals. Bortoletto, who did not get any solid results this summer, was relieved to eventually make it to the final day on an event.
Powerhouse Michel Bourez (PYF) led the European contingent with another great performance securing some of the most spectacular moves of the day getting a 9.27 point ride (out of a possible 10) to confirm his domination in solid conditions. Bourez ended up winning with a 16.10 point result over David Richards' (ZAF) 13.17 points and will meet Jarrad Sullivan (AUS) in Quarterfinal No. 3.
Jarrad Sullivan, an outsider but renowned competitor (AUS), defeated current WQS No. 8 and former ASP Top 45 David Weare (ZAF) with the fourth best heat score of the event, an impressive 18.00 point result (out of a possible 20) and secured his best result of the summer today, making his intentions clear. Fellow Australian Nic Muscroft (AUS) advanced as well.
Quarterfinalists will meet at 10 AM tomorrow for the Movistar O'Neill Pantin Classic showdown. Both Women and Men champions will be crowned as well as the ASP European Women’s champion.
Day three and four of the O'Neill Pantin Classic witnessed some of the best action of the year today with testing eight to nine foot waves hitting Pantin and picking up all day.
William Cardoso wins day 2 of the O'Neill Pantin Classic which was treated to a full day of action with twenty heats taking place in testing five to eight foot waves.
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.