The Pantin Classic Galicia Pro resumed in solid six-foot surf to complete the remaining heats of the men's first round and the first 16 of Round 2. The bigger, more powerful surfers dominated day 3 of the event as the infamous wave factory of Pantin roared to life.
Uruguay's Marco Giorgi made a successful return to the Pantin waters, claiming the day's highest combined heat total of 17.77. The former runner-up in this event two years ago, found himself on the best waves of his 25-minute bout and let his surfing do the talking.
"I knew those waves were out there, the tide was coming in and I knew it wasn't going to break on the outside so much," he reflected. "Lucky enough I didn't have priority for that first wave so I sat on the inside a bit and got that 8 to start things off. The other one was a proper bomb and I had priority. Yesterday was a scrappy heat so I'm super happy we got some really good waves today, I had fun!"
Krystian Kymerson took top honors as he absolutely annihilated the good right-handers on offer to belt two huge scores of 9.27 and 8.33. The Brazilian, currently sitting 24th on the Qualifying Series, courtesy of two excellent fifth-place finishes at the Ballito Pro earlier this summer and the Vans Pro last week, confirmed his excellent form in his first Pantin matchup.
"I'm so happy to take out that heat with Halley Batista and Wade Carmichael, all of us got some good waves so it was really fun," he said. "I love it when waves get a bit bigger and I got that sick right that gave me so much room for like five turns. It was great."
World No. 21 Kanoa Igarashi is currently trying to solidify his position on the Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour with a simultaneous QS campaign. In Pantin, he was one of the day's top performances to advance into the third round.
"I was a bit lost out there and I wanted to catch a certain kind of wave that I wasn't in the right spot for, so I just tried to make the most out of the waves I caught and surf the best as I could," he said.
"It feels really different being back in four-man heats, you've got to adopt other strategies, have different boards but it's fun. Honestly I'm kind of on a vacation here, I'm not too stressed. Obviously I want to win every event I surf but no pressure."
A recent winner at the Médoc Océan Lacanau Pro, Joan Duru continued to wow spectators and judges alike with his speed, power and flow on his backhand. The Frenchman easily made his way into the next round of competition where he will be looking to keep the ball rolling toward an important result for his qualification campaign.
"I'm stoked I got a couple of good waves that came right to me," he said. "I just want to do well here again, these three contests in a row in Europe are important to me, I want to do my best to leave the region with a solid ranking before Brazil and Hawaii. We have some good waves coming here so I'm focused on this event first, we'll see about the rest of the season later."
A semifinalist this year at the Martinique Surf Pro, Luke Hynd has since then struggled to find another good competition rhythm. Today saw the young Australian successfully revive his flawless approach on both the lefts and rights of Pantin.
"Four-man heats are hard but with that priority system you can avoid the harassing and really take turns, which I like a lot more," he commented. "I was trying to forget I was in a heat and just surf for fun, these guys are on the CT and are some of the best in this event so I didn't need to put any more pressure on myself. I knew I got a wave that felt really good so that kind of took the pressure off and then I did a couple of those spins on the next one which was fun!"
Among those excellent heats, the Pantin Classic Galicia Pro delivered some serious upsets today with the unlikely early exits of event top seeds Wade Carmichael, Ezekiel Lau, Patrick Gudauskas, Maxime Huscenot, and Alejo Muniz among others.
Earlier in the day, the remaining 12 heats of the men's opening round were completed and Heat 20 was deemed the round's Superheat as Nelson Cloarec, Griffin Colapinto and O'Neill Massin all posted scores above the 9-point bar (out of a possible 10) to deliver an exciting show.
Event officials will convened male athletes at 8:30 a.m. Friday to potentially resume Round Two, as women will wait until 11 a.m. to know what the fourth day of the event's waiting period has in store for them.
MagicSeaWeed, official forecaster for the WSL Europe Qualifying Series events, calls for: "Fading NW swell, waves in the chest to head range on the better sets. Light NE winds." on Friday.