Junior Pro Espinho

Europe's Best Juniors Tested in Tricky Conditions at Jr. Pro Espinho

Day two of the Junior Pro Espinho resumed early this morning with the remaining heats of the men's second round in tricky, three-foot surf and ran another 20 heats, going through both the women and men's events.

A mix of foggy interludes between bursts of sun slowed down proceedings in the morning's bumpy conditions. The lack of visibility forced event officials to put a halt to competition mid-heat before conditions cleared up and allowed a re-start. A strong rip on the outgoing tide kept competitors on their toes as they tried to stay in the right spot.

Round of 64.Espinho 2016 Classic set-up in Praia de Baia - WSL / Laurent Masurel

The women picked up where they left off Thursday and took advantage of the weekend morning crowd to display great performances.

Portuguese favorite Teresa Bonvalot (PRT), 16, launched her campaign with a win courtesy of a solid 7.00 point ride that awarded her a Round 3 ticket. Bonvalot took full advantage of the technical conditions and managed to get in a good combination of maneuvers.

"It was a slow heat for me, waves are tricky and the current takes you out so you have to keep paddling to stay in the right spot," she reflected. "The biggest waves are closing out so you need to be sneaky to get the good ones. I did nothing special, just a few good turns. I'm happy to go to the next round and can't wait to see what it brings".

Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) .Espinho 2016 Portugal's Bonvalot on rail. - WSL / Laurent Masurel

Just before a two-hour break in action and with twelve 12 remaining on the clock, Juliette Brice (FRA), 17, scored the best wave of the day with an 8.17 by combining two massive turns on a well shaped left-hander. When the fog cleared and the sun showed up, a dropping tide left room to a classic beach day at Praia de Baia. After a short warm-up session, competition finally got back on track.

"The beginning of the heat was fun," she said. "But we could already see the fog coming, we couldn't see the priority panels anymore and the ambiance in the water was pretty shady. It's been a weird heat and the second half was a bit slow. That's great they decided to keep the scores and they didn't restart the heat because I had a good one so I'm happy with the overall result and to go to the next round. It's looking like it's gonna be a nice day at the beach now!"

Juliette Brice (FRA) .Espinho 2016 Juliette Brice, just before the fog put things on pause. - WSL / Laurent Masurel

Another performer today was defending champion Ariane Ochoa (EUK), 18, with a total score of 12.43 to wrap up the women's round.

Ariane Ochoa (EUK) .Espinho 2016 Ariane Ochoa's frontside power-snap. - WSL / Laurent Masurel

Mild onshore winds slightly degraded the waves' quality, but conditions still offered opportunities for big scores as demonstrated by Luis Diaz (CNY), 17, in the opening matchup of Round 3. The young Canarian belted an excellent 8.10 and backed it up with a 7.53 for an impressive combined heat total of 15.63.

"There are a lot of fun waves so I tried my chance on as many as possible," he commented. "On my best wave I had a really good carve and a few turns, and my second best could have been even better if I hadn't gone down on my air-reverse attempt. The event is really cool and I want to win it!"

Leo-Paul Etienne (GLP), 17, earned the second best heat total of the day. On his backhand, the Caribbean regular-footer took advantage of two among the best left-handers seen this afternoon. With a total of 15.00 points, he landed the day's upset in defeating current European No. 3 Marco Mignot (FRA).

Leo Paul Etienne (GLP).Espinho 2016 Leo-Paul Etienne, radical on his backhand. - WSL / Laurent Masurel

Event officials have set the next call to 7:45 a.m. Saturday. They're expecting good conditions again to potentially run another long day of competition.