An exciting twelve hours of action decided the final eight surfers remaining in contention for a Prozis Pro Junior Espinho title in good three-to-five waves at Praia de Baia.
Guilherme Fonseca (PRT) 18, continued his assault in Espinho, defeating Lens Arancibia Avila (FRA) 17, on his way to the semifinals. Fonseca who proved lethal on his backhand on day 2 went the opposite way to post an impressive 9.27, for a radical blast on a closeout section.
"I was calm and confident in my abilities, so I waited for the good waves and it paid off, I'm super happy," Fonseca commented. "That wave had a nice wall, perfect for a carve and then a section for a big finishing move. I know that's what the judges want to see so I tried my best and I was rewarded."
When competition resumes, Fonseca will be the sole representative of the host country in Espinho, feeling the added pressure of the Portuguese people pushing him for the win. He will be facing another strong competitor, the winner of the second quarterfinal Natxo Gonzalez (EUK) 19.
"I just hope the waves are as fun tomorrow, I want to surf well and show what I can do," Fonseca continued. "I don't really feel the pressure, to be honest, I'm proud to represent Portugal here and I'll just try to have fun out there and win."
Gonzalez, current European NÂ°2 will benefit directly from the rankings leader Miguel Blanco's early exit, but will need to stave off the assault of an inspired Fonseca on Sunday.
"I had a nightmare last year getting out of every contests early, so I'm really happy with the start of my season so far," Harriss admitted. "The four-man priority system helped me loads cause I'm really bad at hustling. Everyone's absolutely shredding and there's no easy heats anyway, so I'll just try my best to beat whoever comes next."
Leon Glatzer (DEU) 18, stole the show in Round 3 with a near perfect heat, including the first 10.00 point ride of the event so far, and an incredible 9.87 to back it up. Surfing a punchy left into the cross-shore wind, Glatzer took flight on two similar waves and threw a couple of huge frontside rotations he landed clean.
"It feels really really good, the last few contests I've been having shockers," Glatzer said. "This left felt like Pavones my home, a lot shorter but a similar kind of ramp with the perfect wind and airs are pretty much all I do there so it definitely came in handy."
Glatzer, however, came unstuck in his round of 16 bout and was unable to repeat his earlier heroics. An equal 13th place result marks the young German's season best result but he will be looking to advance through more rounds in the remaining events of 2015.
Maddi Aizpurua (EUK) 14, created the biggest upset of the women's draw, eliminating number one seed Portugal's Teresa Bonvalot. The young Basque surfer caught a great wave early on, scored an impressive 8.17 and controlled the 25-minute bout to keep her opponent off the best opportunities.
"I'm super happy right now," Aizpurua admitted. "Conditions are difficult to read, but there are a few good waves in the mix. I caught a fun left at the beginning and was able to do two good turns. It's my first time surfing in a man-on-man heat and that was so exciting, can't wait for the next one!"
Aizpurua's compatriot Ariane Ochoa (EUK) 17, followed right in her footsteps to take out another event's favorite in Tessa Thyssen (BLM) in the second quarterfinal. A similar strategy saw Ochoa act fast and catch the best ride of the heat only minutes in, then scour the lineup to back it up with another good wave.
"Honestly when I saw the heatdraw I thought I was in trouble, but then I focused and went out there with a plan, and thankfully it worked out for me," Ochoa said. "I monitored the conditions for a while and it looked really difficult, but luckily there were a lot of sets in our heat."
The Basque assault on Day 3 continued with Leticia Canales Bilbao (EUK) 20, taking out the last quarterfinal, joining Ochoa and Aizpurua in the semis when competition resumes on Sunday.
Event officials will reconvene at 7:30AM on Sunday for the final day of the event's waiting period.