The Longboard Pro Gaia resumed in clean two foot surf and allowed competition to decide the women's event semifinalists and men quarterfinalists in quality surf. Surfers put on an amazing show for the weekend beach crowds and demonstrated the immense talent pool in both the European contingent and traveling international surfers.
Augusto Olinto (BRA), 29, continued to wow both spectators and the judges panel with incredible surfing, and scored the event's first and only perfect 10 point ride so far. The Brazilian advanced into the quarters ahead of current two-time World Longboard Champion Piccolo Clemente (PER).
Martin Coret (REU), 20, impressed as well for the second consecutive day and notched his quarterfinal ticket where he'll be facing Shohei Akimoto (JPN), for a potential career-first semis spot. The young Reunion Island native surfed a smart heat and kept ahead of British perennial threat Ben Skinner (GBR).
"I knew I needed a quick start and I got a good 7 point ride as my second wave, which gave me a lot of confidence," he explained. "I stayed patient and got another good wave and thankfully I won the heat. It was a tough heat and that's the first time I beat Ben so I'm super happy. All the Frenchies always talk about China and I would love to qualify, I got a 5th in Vieux-Boucau and I'd love to improve here and keep going to get a spot."
Emilien Fleury (FRA), 30, advanced into the quarters in pole position as well, relegating good friend Edouard Delpero to second place in their round 2 matchup. Fleury, who has been traveling with Clemente through France and Portugal will be facing his friend in the quarterfinals when competition recommences.
"I know this beach a little bit as I came here last year for a ETL event and I like the waves here," he commented. "Tomorrow we should have some really good conditions and I look forward to surf against Piccolo. He's the World Champ' so it's going to be a tough one, but it will be fun and I'll try not to put too much pressure on myself and have fun. That heat against Edouard was good too, he's such a good surfer it's always a pleasure to surf against those guys."
Recent semi-finalist in France, Chloe Calmon (BRA), 21, picked up where she left off and launched her Portuguese assault with an incredible first heat, culminating with a near-perfect 18.03 total. The young Brazilian put on a nose riding clinic with grace and flow to net a 9.70 among other excellent scores.
"I've received a very warm welcoming from all the local community for my first visit to Portugal and it already feels a little bit like home," she said. "I was really excited to surf yesterday but we spent the day watching the men and today I was really amped to compete. Sets were a little slow this morning so I was trying to stay calm and be patient to get the right waves that broke all the way into the inside. I hadn't been in a wetsuit for a while and it was a bit hard in France but I'm used to it now and feeling great."
Competitors will next meet at 11AM Sunday for the final call of this inaugural Longboard Pro Gaia and an exciting finals day as conditions are expected to improve even further.