El Confital fires for Ocean & Earth Pro kick off
After three days of flat conditions, the new North-East swell gave competitors all the potential to show their skills and get covered in clear-water barrels. Walsh scored a perfect 10.
From ASP Top 45 members to outsiders, the whole 96-man field put on a show on Day 1 of competition and excellent to perfect scores were usual throughout the day. Anthony Walsh (AUS) and Ricardo Dos Santos (BRA) both took top honours respectively winning Heats 7 and 4 of Round 1 with deep thrilling barrels disappearing for three to four seconds before claiming their reward to the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) judges.
Anthony Walsh (AUS), 25, renowned charger and Ocean & Earth teamrider, found the deepest barrel of the day posting a perfect 10.00 point ride (out of a possible 10) on an exceptionnal solid six foot (two meter) set wave. Walsh, who has been coming to El Confital for five years now, knows the wave really well and was in rhythm with the building swell.
"I was lucky to get it, because there are many waves that can score nines or tens out there," Walsh said. "I was sitting at the right place at the right time and I came out of it. I just want to take it heat by heat with still the will to win it for sure. I have had some good results here in the past, placed second when the event was on another location but would like to make it here."
Walsh, who will be at ease if the conditions remain as solid, has not been on tour this year and came to the Canary Islands to compete in the back-to-back events in Gran Canaria and Lanzarote.
"I have not competed a lot this year and it was more about free surfing," Walsh said. "I came here because I love the wave and it is my sponsor's event and I am stoked we get such good waves. I am not here to qualify but I definitely want to get the win if possible."
Walsh secured the performance of the day ahead of ASP Top 45 members Jay Thompson (AUS), Daniel Ross (AUS) and Aritz Aranburu (EUK) starting in Round 1 after losing their seeding rights due to a late entry.
Daniel Ross (AUS), 25, who placed 3rd in the Ocean & Earth Pro last year, flew to the Canarian archipelago after surfing in the ninth event of the ASP World Tour in Mundaka, and aims at getting a big result with hope to improve his ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) overall points' total.
"It was good to have these days off to get the feeling right and surf the beachbreaks around," Ross said. "It was a good call to wait for that new swell and I am stoked the event gets waves like that. It is fun surfing and watching so I am just stoked."
Locals suffered heavy losses with famous charger Aaron Romero (CNY) failing to advance through to Round 2 in Heat 14 of Round 1 and losing to top ASP WQS campaigner Adam Melling (AUS). Romero, who reached Quarterfinals in 2006 at his home break, was left aside leaving the water disappointed in front of hs friends.
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