Despite a near-disappearing act by the waves, the women's final day at the Pull&Bear Pantin Classic Galicia Pro was full of surprises and crowned the 2017 Champion in front of huge crowds enjoying the show from the iconic Pantin headland.
In the Final, Caroline Marks was quick to take action and post a decent 6.17 in the opening minutes of the exchange. Coco Ho had a slower start but after a few exchanges, she found herself with priority when the first real wave of the heat showed up.
Starting on her backhand, the Hawaiian locked in two excellent turns right in the lip for an 8.83 and the lead. While Caroline had a hard bout keeping her composure under pressure, Coco continued to exploit the right sections and posted a 7.67 to put Caroline in combo, and win the 2017 Pull&Bear Pantin Classic Galicia Pro. After Anglet last week, Coco continues on her roll and signs back-to-back wins, adding an important 6,000 points to her 2017 QS tally.
"It's been amazing to be back in Pantin, I can never believe how beautiful this place is," she said. "The waves have been really fun this week, and I'm stoked it's my third time back and I finally got a good result! From the water it was insane to see so many people, so thanks everyone for coming to support us."
At only 15 years old, Caroline nabs a career-best runner-up at this level of competition, but it comes as no surprise as her season attests to the Floridian-born surfer's talent. With another couple of big results under her belt, she has one foot anchored in the QS Top 6 and a potential seat on the 2018 Championship Tour roster.
"It's been such an incredible week, I'm so blessed and grateful of my whole support crew," Marks said. "I wasn't really thinking about points, I'm really just trying to have fun surfing, but it's really exciting. I'm simply just going to try my hardest in the next QS event and whatever happens, happens. I have a few trips between now and the Sally event so I'm going to keep on living the dream right now."
Semifinal 1: To build a house or be patient, that is the question.
Bronte Macaulay seemed in control of her destiny in a wave-starved opening Semifinal. The lineup got awfully quiet for the first 20 minutes of the heat and Bronte's option to surf smaller, inside waves for two average scores early on, seemed extremely smart.
On the other hand, youngster Marks was playing the patience card and while most of the heat must have been painful, when an actual set came, Caroline was right on it with first priority and got a solid 7-point ride. She then only needed a minor score, which she easily got in the dying moments of the heat, eliminating Bronte in equal third in Pantin.
"It was a tricky heat with not many waves and Caroline got the one set that came through," she said. "It was one of those heats you wish you'd done differently, but I'm super happy to have a heat against her, she's such an awesome person and has been ripping all event!"
Semifinal 2: To build a house or be patient, that is the question, yet again
This time unfortunately the right answer was indeed, building house. Silvana Lima took the patient road and while the previous Semifinal did deliver one proper set, the ocean went completely quiet in this one, and Coco's total of 9.67 was enough for the win, as Silvana exited the event in equal third as well.
"I always have good results here in Pantin and I love coming back!," she said. "This result is great for the points, I feel a lot more comfortable now to re-qualify for next year. "
The next call in Pantin will convene the men at 9 a.m Sunday for the Finals.
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