Pro A Coruna

QS Women and Junior Men Join the Fun at A Coruña Surf Fest

Highlights Day 2
Juniors launch their Galician campaign with a trio of Caribbean leading the troops.

The Pro A Coruña Surf Fest resumed today in small surf that allowed the men's QS division to complete the remaining heats of the third round, the women's QS opening round and two rounds of the men's junior acton.

Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY), 35, got the best of the men's QS action with a solid win to make his way into the Quarterfinals. Four heats were completed, awarding all remaining spots into the Quarters, leaving 16 surfers in contention for the inaugural A Coruña title.

Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) Pro A Coruna QS Men 16 Gonzalez was on point in the small surf. - WSL / Damien Poullenot

In the women's QS field, only Pauline Ado (FRA), 25, was really able to take advantage of the tricky surf on offer, to post two decent scores and qualify for the following round. The former CT competitor, in her second season trying to re-qualify for the elite tour, sits in 14th position currently on the Qualifying Series globally and will look to build on her season tally with a big result in Galicia this week.

Pauline Ado (FRA) Pro A Coruna QS Men 16 Ado ripped the little rights to pieces - WSL / Damien Poullenot

"Mid-tide was really tricky and it got complicated during my heat even though I was lucky enough to get a couple fun ones," she said. "It's hard cause generating speed in small waves is tough but at the same time the wave itself is pretty quick to close out, so you have to be really dynamic and choose well."

"I always like coming to new destinations and discovering new cities and beaches," she continued. "It's also a great warm-up towards our next big QS in California. It's fun to have the juniors too because we don't see them much anymore and it's great to see how they surf."

Men's junior athletes, under 18 years old, entered the show today and ran two rounds of competition to decide the Quarterfinalists as well and prepare for a potential finals day on Thursday.

The current European Junior title race leader, Guadeloupe's Thomas Debierre, 15, once again demonstrated his superiority in catching the better scoring options and surfing them to their full potential. The powerful regularfooter dismantled a little right for an impressive 8.83, the highest single-wave score of the day, and the win in his afternoon bout.

Thomas Debierre (GLP) Pro A Coruna Junior Men 16 Debierre brought power to the table. - WSL / Damien Poullenot

"My first heat was really hard and in this second one I was lucky enough to get a bomb four seconds into the heat, I got the 8.83 and it made me really confident and relaxed for the rest of the heat," he reflected. "It's a pretty short ride but the lineup is quite easy to read so you can find some fun, longer ones. I really want to keep the number one spot so I'll keep trying my hardest to win some more heats and events."

Among the crowd of exciting new up-and-comers storming the tour this season, current European No. 2 Titouan Boyer (MAF), 17, was one of the standouts in the opening two rounds. The young surfer capitalized on improving conditions this afternoon to net excellent scores and advance.

Titouan Boyer (MAF) Pro A Coruna Junior Men 16 Boyer on his backhand. - WSL / Damien Poullenot

Leo Paul Etienne (GLP), 17, rounded out the Caribbean trio that took control over proceedings on this second day in Galicia with strong, sharp surfing and smart heat strategy.

Leo Paul Etienne (GLP) Pro A Coruna Junior Men 16 Etienne finished his opening wave with a bang. - WSL / Damien Poullenot

"I spent the first few minutes stressing a little bit but was able to find a good score and backed it up quickly with an even better wave, so that made me feel much better for the rest of the heat," he analyzed. "I have Yann Martin here coaching me, it's great cause he helps me calm down and focus with good advices. I was a little bit lucky to find waves under other guys' priority, I think I found the right spot in the lineup and that helped too."

Recent winner of the Junior Pro Espinho, Lander Davila (EUK), 18, continued his dominant streak with a win for his first appearance in Galicia. Now sitting in third position on the regional junior ranks, the Basque surfer will be looking to keep good results coming for a potential spot into the next World Junior Championships.

Lander Davila (ESP) Pro A Coruna Junior Men 16 Davila, another Junior force to be reckoned with - WSL / Damien Poullenot

"I caught a couple good waves but they weren't easy to find in that lineup," he stated. "I feel pressured now that I've won an event because my goal is clear to make the top spots at the end of the season to qualify. There are plenty of great surfers I look up to, like Aritz (Aranburu), Hodei (Collazo), Gony (Zubizarreta), Natxo (Gonzalez) and Jonathan (Gonzalez). Just watching them is great learning and I also spend as much time as I can surfing at home in Zarautz and around."

Thursday will be an all-juniors day, starting at 8:30 a.m. with a potential finish for both the men and women's events, depending on the conditions on offer. On the other hand, QS and Longboard QS competitors will enjoy a competition-free day to come support their younger compatriots or enjoy a tourist day in Galicia.