PLAYA DE SAN JUAN, Teguise / Lanzarote - Canary Islands - The ASP 1-Star Teguise 2014 Franito Pro Junior started in 1-to-2-foot surf at the beautiful San Juan lefthand pointbreak, on the Lanzarote North shore. Europe's best took it to the water in the opening rounds of competition in both the Men and Women's sides of the draw.
Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) 14, rounded up the women's action on day one with an incredible performance, netting a near-perfect 9.17 in a very complicated lineup. The dynamic Portuguese surfed a lefthander to perfection with her signature light yet powerful approach.
â€œI'm really happy, the waves were getting better,â€ Bonvalot stated. â€œI managed to get two fun waves and I'm happy to make it through. This is my first time here in Lanzarote and I'm enjoying it so far. I got a couple good carves and top turns so it's a nice way to start the event.â€
Currently ranked third on the regional ladder, Bonvalot sits right outside the qualification zone for the ASP World Junior, contested later this year in her home country of Portugal. The fourteen year-old talent will need a big result or to count on her opponents mistakes for her chance to participate in her first international final.
â€œI'm enjoying myself competing and I hope I can get a big result here to qualify for sure,â€ Bonvalot added. â€œI know it's difficult, the level of the top girls is excellent, but I feel confident and I will definitely try my best.â€
Women's rankings leader Tessa Thyssen (GLP) 17, also managed a good start to her Lanzarote campaign with a solid win and one of the second-best single-score of the day, a 7.17 out of 10.
â€œI just wanted to get that first one out of the way,â€ Thyssen admitted. â€œI wanted to forget about the rest, that it's the last event and I'm in the lead and all that.. It was complicated and you really had to be patient but I found a couple so I'm happy to make it through.â€
On her way back from an event in Azores like most other competitors, Thyssen had to adapt when her boardbag didn't arrive in the Canary Islands. Resourceful and optimistic, the young Guadeloupean started borrowing from her friend's quivers, only to get her precious equipment minutes before her opening matchup.
â€œIt was really stressing at first I started to freak out,â€ she continued. â€œI just kept training with other boards and thankfully they got delivered just in time. I'll try to up my game in the coming heats and hopefully I can go far in this event.â€
Gearoid McDaid (IRL) 17, took control of the second heat in Men's Round one, to move on to the top seeds round. The young British surfer, who won an ASP specialty event earlier this year in Ireland, looked sharp for his first appearance in Lanzarote.
â€œIt was pretty hard with small onshore waves, but if you wait for the sets, you can get a good double up to do a few turns on,â€ McDaid said. â€œI found one that kind of ran, with three turns on it, pretty fun ! This place looks really fun and I really hope we get a bigger swell, I'm stoked I'll have more opportunities to surf San Juan.â€
Gonzalo Gutierrez (ESP) 17, was the other form surfer of the opening four heats of the men's event, collecting good scores to advance. In his first full Junior season amongst the best European surfers, the Cantabrian surfer will look to carry momentum into the next rounds.
â€œWith the very low tide it wasn't easy, but I'm stoked I got a few little lefts to link a couple turns and win the heat,â€ Gutierez said. â€œI felt good surfing backside and am happy to be here. I don't really know Lanzarote but so far I love it, the people are nice and their local food is amazing.â€
Day 2 of the event will see a 7:30am call to try to capitalize on the morning's low tide conditions and an expected rise in swell on Thursday.