NewsLongboard Pro EspinhoRodrigo Sphaier

Longboarders battle through heavy day of surf in Espinho

Longboarders don't travel with coffin-bags stuffed with fresh team sleds like QS competitors do. Instead they have a favorite board or two and stick with those through the season. Not a bad plan. However the plan goes out the window once the surf jumps up and boards start to get broken.

Today at the Longboard Pro Espinho boards were broken, snapped and mutilated with local favorite Kathleen Barrigao losing two boards to the carnage in just one heat.

Justine Dupont (FRA) .LongboardProEspinho18 Justine Dupont went after the outside sets. WSL / Laurent Masurel

In nearly double-overhead surf bombing out the back, surfers were confronted with two options, either go after the inside peelers for scores or try to make it out the back and snag the bombs. It was heavy enough that Nazarรฉ charger Justine Dupont couldn't make it out the back in her first heat.

"I wanted to get to the outside break but I didn't make it, so I was really mad at myself," she said. "I saw the other girls get the little waves inside and I tried get some little waves on the inside to get some points. You have to adapt, so I adapted and made the heat."

Kathleen Barrigao (PRT) .LongboardProEspinho18 Kathleen Barrigao broke two boards in one heat. WSL / Laurent Masurel

Mid-morning the contest went on hold for two hours and the tide filled in and the surfers targeted the outside bombs. Justine made up for her earlier frustration and lassoed a couple of big sets for two big scores, and the Quarterfinal win over Kathleen.

American Lindsay Steinriede had to pull on years of competitive experience to defeat Nienke Duinmeijer of the Netherlands.

Lindsay Steinriede (USA) .LongboardProEspinho18 Lindsay Steinriede on the inside reform. WSL / Laurent Masurel

"My strategy was to be patient and wait on the side (by the jetty) and get over as fast as I could and pick those off and then get back over to the safe zone by the jetty, Lindsay said. "I only have one board, so my goal was definitely to get into the semifinals and just keep my board safe."

Lindsay will join Justine, Emily Currie and Chloe Calmon in the semifinals tomorrow.

Rodrigo Sphaier (BRA) .LongboardProEspinho18 Rodrigo Sphaier on the second highest-scoring wave of the day. WSL / Laurent Masurel

In the men's Round Two Rodrigo Sphaier picked off two long lefts from way out. Rodrigo hit the nose on both waves through the outside then mixed in big rail carves before riding through to the inside poised on the tip.

"It's pretty hard to pick the right one and you have to be sure it's the right one because there's a lot at stake," he said. "I've been working hard all year to be in shape and be in the right place when the right wave comes. And that's what I did. I waited for the right one and was patient."

Ben Skinner (GBR) .LongboardProEspinho18 Ben Skinner finding a foamy one. WSL / Laurent Masurel

With the conditions so heavy some surfers said they'd be more comfortable competing today if there was a water patrol waiting in the channel.

Ben Skinner said it wasn't so much the size of the waves as it was the power of the Atlantic swell.

Ben claimed his Round Two heat win over compatriot Ben Howey and Thierry Andre with a couple of mid-range scores that reflected the difficulty of conditions.

"It's really quite solid," Ben said. "It's not big in size it's just thick and powerful. And I was pretty much the only one sitting out the back and it was pretty scary. But I got a couple of really good waves. In between the mayhem there's some gold."

Edouard Delpero (FRA) .LongboardProEspinho18 Edouard Delpero on one of the bigger sets. WSL / Laurent Masurel

Edouard Delpero wowed the crowd with the day's highest wave score, a near-perfect 9.70. Edouard took off on a bomb out the back that was easily double overhead and proceeded to swoop and carve all the way to the shore break where he ended the ride with a dump floater.

"I started the heat slow and didn't know where to sit, got the 7.7 and then had trouble getting back out," he explained. "I surfed the wave and really wanted to enjoy myself and really wanted to get a good wave and I almost got a barrel on my first wave but didn't want to break my board so I dodged it. The wave had a big shoulder and I managed to get a few turns and some nose time and it was definitely a fun wave."

Lindsay Steinriede (USA) and Nienke Duinmeijer (NLD)  .LongboardProEspinho18 . Lindsay Steinriede and Nienke Duinmeijer. WSL / Laurent Masurel

Favorites the Delpero brothers, Ben Skinner, Rodrigo Sphaier and last year's event winner Emilien Fleury are all still in the game.

Competitors and organizers will reconvene at 8:00 a.m tomorrow to asses conditions.

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