Competition resumed at the secondary venue just a few hundred meters north from the main podium of Praia de Fisica for the second day of the inaugural Santa Cruz Pro 2016. Surfers were greeted early this morning with similar two-to-three foot conditions, but with a little bit more frequency in set waves, setting the scene for another great day of competitive surfing.
Jorgann Couzinet picked up where he left things off in the previous event with a solid display of power surfing on the clean left-handers on offer. One of four unfortunate surfers who had to come in without competing yesterday when competition was called off right before the start of their matchup, Couzinet seemed un-phased by the delay and was quick to belt the highest single ride and heat total of the event so far.
"I was definitely frustrated when our heat got called off yesterday because I was ready to get out there and fired up but all in all it's probably a good thing cause we had better waves this morning," he said.
"I'm having a good start in this event, I would have liked to improve on my back up but that was enough today so I'm stoked. It seems like my surfing is appreciated and into the criteria so I'm going to keep at it."
Traveling companion and sparring partner Arthur Lassee, followed right in Couzinet's path and dominated his own Round One bout with two scores in the 7 point range to join his friend on top of the day's standings. The young Martinique surfer, with only two events surfed so far this season, looks to build his regional and international rankings as the 2016 season hits the halfway mark in July.
"I haven't surfed since I got here because I was feeling a little bit sick and just getting better now, so I feel a little bit lucky to have a good heat to start with," he reflected. "Jorgann helped me figure out this spot and the right place to sit in the lineup, I tried to adapt to the conditions and stay active. I got fun little lefts and even a right that could have been great if I didn't fall on it."
Female athletes launched their Santa Cruz campaign as well today, completing the opening round of competition as the tide started to fill in around lunch time.
Carol Henrique opened things up with a solid 7-point ride and was later rewarded with an excellent 8.17 for her dynamic surfing on a long left-hander. The light, powerful regular-footer combined several backhand gauges to secure one of the day's strongest performances.
"It's awesome to have an event at home in Portugal, I feel really comfortable competing here, I know this place and the waves quite well so I'm super happy this week," she said. "It is a great alternative here when waves are not great in Cascais where I live so I always take the drive up for a session on this very peak or the one at the main podium. Conditions were really fun now, I'm happy the guys went out first cause I feel it improved for our round."
Garazi Sanchez-Ortun out-surfed the field in the very last heat of the day and belted an impressive 8.50 and 7.27 for her sharp, forehand turns and radical attack in the bumpy waves before high tide.
Surfers and event officials will reconvene at 9 a.m. Friday for the next call, back at the main podium of Praia de Fisica as the forecast seems to be improving with a slightly bigger swell on offer throughout the rest of the event's waiting period.