The third edition of the Junior Pro Espinho launched today in fun two-to-three foot conditions and ran a huge day of competition to complete twenty-one heats of both the men and women's events.
Women were first to take action in the lineup with the lowest seeds entering the show on day one. Highlights include the performances of Portuguese surfers Ines Bispo and Camila Costa (PRT), Hina-Maria Conradi (FRA) and Ellie Turner (GRB).
French polynesian rookie Kauli Vaast (PYF), 14, illuminated this first day of competition scoring the biggest wave seen so far despite a rapidly incoming tide and a slower lineup. A powerful three-turn combination on a bowling left landed the young surfer a near-perfect 9.27. Not content with the highest single-wave score of the event so far, Vaast quickly backed it up with another excellent wave of 8.57 to rack-up an impressive 17.84 combined heat total.
"The tide was coming in and it's getting hard to get the good wave, so I decided to wait on the outside and I knew a bomb would come", he stated. "It finally arrived and I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. I took a chance in the inside but couldn't surf it all the way in because it closed out, I got a good score though. It's my first time in this event and I really enjoy it. The waves are fun, the atmosphere is cool. I can't wait to see what the next heats bring."
Current European N°3 Marco Mignot (FRA), 15, scored two good waves including his opening 6.50 for four solid turns on a small wave he surfed all the way to the shore. The Frenchman backed it up with a 6.43 for two more radical turns on a slightly bigger wave.
"The water is a bit cold, but waves are pretty good; unfortunately I fell down on what could have been my best one," he explained. "I still got two good scores and am through to the next round. One small and long with four average turns, and one bigger where I hit the lip hard twice. Anyway, it's good to be back here in Portugal."
High tide forced a two hours break in action before three more heats were completed at sunset in improving conditions. Kilian God (FRA) and Juan Lopez (ESP) made most of the conditions to score high and make their way into Round 3.
Athletes and event officials will next meet Friday at 7.45AM to re-assess conditions for a probable start of either the men or women's event.