The Caparica Primavera Surf Fest continued today under the bright blue skies of Portugal and with once again great waves in the two-to-three foot range. Competition resumed on two different banks to go through six rounds across the men and women's QS and Junior divisions.
In the men's QS, Gony Zubizarreta who won the event last year, had a scary start this morning with half his heat sitting on a single wave of 2.80. But when the good wave came, Gony who had priority, annihilated the long right with a series of powerful snaps on his forehand and posted the event's highest single-wave score, a near perfect 9.17.
That was enough for him to take second, and in the dying minutes he managed to find a better backup and took the win into the quarters to keep his defending run alive.
"I started on the wrong wave while the other guys were getting bombs so it was a stressful start for me," he said. "I got my 9 with only four minutes remaining, but the wave was so perfect and easy to surf, just top to bottom with a good flow. Twenty years competing and I still freak out in that situation, but I kind of knew I'd get something because the waves are so good today."
In the previous heat, junior sensation Lenni Jensen continued to wreak havoc in the QS field, and tore apart the rights of the North podium with unmatched power and flair to post a 17.43 heat total and advance into the Quarterfinals.
"I'm stoked to see the juniors rip like that and getting high scores it's a good sign for the future," Gony added. "I know it's really hard to win back-to-back but I'll just do my thing and hope for the best."
In the women's QS event, juniors once again got the jump on some of the older competitors, and especially 14-year-old Melania Diaz who just won the Junior Pro Espinho two days ago. Melania surfed a very convincing first heat on the main peak that kept pumping super fun rights all day. She attacked the waves on her backhand, timing every section perfectly to post a 6.80 and 7.03 for a spot in the quarters as well.
"I didn't have a great start as I caught a wave and fell and I was a little nervous but then I started catching good waves," she said. "I got into first place and I settled down. I still have lots of years ahead of me so I don't get too nervous usually. After winning in Espinho I would like to finish in the Top 2 on the European Series and go to the World Junior Championship."
In the men's junior, all the form surfers from the past week kept the ball rolling into this new event and advanced into Round Four.
Marco Mignot scored the day's biggest performance, claiming an impressive 15.50 total in Round Three with some big powerful turns on his forehand. The Frenchman who resides in Sayulita, Mexico, finished a close second to Kauli Vaast in the European Junior title race last season and has set his sights higher for this season.
"I was a bit lucky the other guys let me have one of the best waves of the heat and I got that 8," he said. "I started with a 5th in Espinho and my goal is the title this year so I'm going to have to push even more! Kauli and I are good friends and we push each other all the time so it's a lot of fun. I lost early in the QS but it doesn't matter, my focus is clearly on the Junior."
Event officials will reassess conditions at 7:30 a.m Wednesday for a probable re-start of the QS while Juniors will come in an hour later.
Tune in from March 26-31, 2018 and check out all the photos, videos and updates right here!