The Azores Airlines Pro returns this week to the idyllic island of Sao Miguel for a men's QS6,000 and women's QS1,500 event. The European leg of the Qualifying Series brings surfers offshore in the middle of the Atlantic after successive events in England, France and Spain these past few weeks.
An established event on the European tour, and for most surfers one of their favorite all year, the Azores Airlines Pro is a breath of fresh air away from the busy continental summer crowds before the culmination of the season in Portugal.
This year, some of the best women's QS athletes will be back competing in Azores, for the first time since 2012 when current World N°10 Bianca Buitendag won the event.
The venue: this time around competition will unfold at praia de Monteverde, right next to the usual venue of Santa Barbara, as sand banks offer more potential on the secluded little beach of Monteverde. Set amongst large cliffs and surrounded by the luscious greenery of Sao Miguel, the island's North shore beaches receive the powerful Atlantic swells and produce excellent waves in crystal-clear water.
The completion of the Pantin Classic Galicia Pro last week drastically shuffled the men's QS rankings and this week will be another opportunity for the hopeful to gain points towards their 2016 qualifying campaign.
MagicSeaWeed, official forecaster for the WSL Europe Qualifying Series events, anticipates waves for the entire duration of the event's waiting period, from a mix of windswells at first to a potential longer period groundswell for the end of the week. A more detailed prevision will be available on the event's Forecast tab.