Caparica Junior Pro

Stage Set for Finals Day at Caparica Junior Pro

Highlights Day3
Surfers battle through difficult conditions to decide the last eight contenders.

The Caparica Junior Pro resumed today with residual swell from yesterday's income, allowing competition to continue and run all the way into the quarterfinals of both the men and women divisions.

Arran Strong (GBR), 17, fought his way into his first-ever semifinal berth on the Junior series, taking full advantage of the small surf on offer with his aggressive approach and lightweight speed. The young British surfer now established in Spain will be facing one of the strongest surfer in the event so far when finals day starts tomorrow, Portuguese newcomer Luis Perloiro (PRT).

Arran Strong (GBR) .Caparica Jr Pro 2016 Strong on his way to make the final four. - WSL / Laurent Masurel

"Conditions were fun so it really gave us a chance to perform," Strong stated. "I'm happy I got some good scores, this is definitely my best result to date, this year with the under-18 rule we got some good battles going with the boys. My goal is to make the Top 5 and qualify for the Worlds so it's a good way to start the season."

Joao Moreira (PRT), 17, continued to navigate through the rounds and logically won his ticket for the semis where he'll be facing Guadeloupe's Thomas Debierre.

Joao Moreira (PRT) .Caparica Jr Pro 2016 Moreira is a strong favorite for the event title. - WSL / Laurent Masurel

In the women's divisions, three rounds were completed to determine the last four surfers in contention for the Caparica event title.

Defending event champion Teresa Bonvalot (PRT), 16, took her act to the next level in her morning heat, posting an impressive 17.74 total before backing it up with two wins in the following rounds for her spot in the semifinals of the event. Bonvalot will be looking to go back-to-back when competition resumes on Saturday.

"Waves were really fun this morning and later it was hard to surf on the inside with less power and more of a closeout," Bonvalot admitted. "I'm happy to make the semis and look forward to tomorrow. I want to win again here for sure but I don't feel extra pressured, I just want to do well and have fun."

Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) .Caparica Jr Pro 2016 Bonvalot will be hard to stop on home turf. - WSL / Laurent Masurel

France's Nina Reynal (FRA), 18, cracked the semifinal round for the first time today, defeating compatriot Illona Goasguen (FRA) in a one-way quarterfinal matchup.

"I actually liked the afternoon surf better, I finally got some good waves backside and I've been waiting for that forever," Reynal said. "I'm super happy to make the semis, my best result was here last year and I got stopped in the quarters so this is already one better and hopefully I can keep going tomorrow."

Nadia Erostarbe (EUK), 15, was responsible for the day's biggest upset, eliminating reigning European Junior Champion Juliette Brice (FRA) in the quarterfinals. The young Basque surfer ended her 2015 campaign with a semifinal berth in Lanzarote and will look to build up on her performance on finals day.

Nadia Erostarbe (EUK) .Caparica Jr Pro 2016 Erostarbe's forehand game is on point. - WSL / Laurent Masurel

"I'm super happy to reach the semis in the first event this season," Erostarbe said. "It's good to start the year higher in the rankings and it will give me confidence going into the next events. The road is very long ahead but I'd love to finish in the top 2 to qualify this year."

Ariane Ochoa (EUK) will face Bonvalot in the second semifinal and complete the final four competing for the event title.

Surfers and event officials will reconvene Saturday at 10AM for the final call of the 2016 Caparica Junior Pro.