PRAIA DE GUINCHO, Cascais - Portugal - The Cascais Billabong Pro resumed at 8am in decreasing 3-to-5-foot waves at Guincho and completed two rounds of competition to decide the quarterfinalists.
The final Qualifying event in Europe for 2014, and Stop No.2 of 3 in the Portuguese Waves Series - Cascais trophy, this event brings some of the World's Best surfers to the pristine Cascais coastline in the hunt for crucial ranking points and a shot at the extra $50k to the winner of the series.
Julian Wilson (AUS) 25, who navigated the early rounds with three consecutive second places, started to reveal his true self today and built momentum with a first win in the morning against Ryan Callinan (AUS).
â€œIn that heat I still feel there was a plenty of room to improve,â€ Wilson said.â€But that was definitely a better heat for myself and one of the better heats I've had in a little while. It's playful out there, maybe the tide was a little bit too high towards the end but it was fun.â€
Later on, Wilson lit up the beach at Guincho with a huge air right in the opening minutes of his man-on-man matchup against fellow Top34 Nat Young (USA) for the highest score of the day, an excellent 9.30 out of 10. Wilson went on to backup his position with solid surfing on his backhand to put his opponent in a combination situation and seal the deal.
â€œI wanted to come out of the gate with something that would have an impact on the heat, and I pulled it off,â€ Wilson continued. â€œThat was the first heat where I've had any sort of a lead in the first half of the heat, so it was great to get a good start.â€
Carlos Munoz (CRI) 21, had long time WCT competitor Jeremy Flores (FRA) 26, against the ropes in their Round 5 matchup with only seconds on the clock. Under pressure, the talented French surfer from New Caledonia waited patiently with priority to select his last effort and collect the winning ride on the buzzer.
â€œIt's a lot smaller today and the waves are fatter, I'm riding the same board as yesterday, and I didn't realise how weak it was all of a sudden.â€ Flores explained. â€œYesterday was so powerful, so today I couldn't really hit my turns like I wanted to. On my first waves I knew I wasn't getting high enough scores, so I was waiting for a bigger one, cause I knew if I could make a couple of good turns on a big wave, they would have to score it.â€
In a critical position on the Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour, Flores is in need a big result to ensure he stays amongst the Top34 in 2015.
â€œCarlos is a hard man to beat, he rips,â€ Flores continued. â€œSo that was a good heat for me. I am super stoked, I think this is the best result I've had all year.â€
â€œIt was really frustrating that last heat, I couldn't catch anything and was completely lost out there,â€ Ferreira said. â€œMy goal for this year was to crack the Top100 and compete in all the primes, and I just did with this result so I'm pretty happy.â€
Despite his shocker round 5 matchup, Ferreira displayed a lot of maturity all-event and matched some of the world's best surfers blast for blast to reach his best result ever. The last remaining Portuguese surfer in the event, Ferreira had the crowds and whole contest site supporting him at Guincho.
â€œIt was an honor to compete against the CT guys, and when I started beating a couple of them I was just so happy,â€ Ferreira continued. â€œMy house is just 5 minutes away from here and this beach is my home. It was amazing to have my friends, family and sponsors supporting me here.â€
Current World No. 7 Michel Bourez (PYF) 28, rounded up the day's action when he dispatched of France's Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 26 in a very slow heat, to advance into the quarterfinals where he'll be facing Julian Wilson.
â€œMy plan was to stay away from Vincent and get two good scores, and then paddle towards him and try to block him.â€ Bourez said. â€œI've got no game plan for tomorrow's heat yet, I will have to wait and see what the conditions will be like. In surfing, and especially here in Europe the tide is changing so much, so it doesn't matter if you are from here or not. What matters more is how you adapt to the conditions, and then find a plan B quickly if plan A doesn't work out.â€
The final call of the ASP Prime Cascais Billabong Pro will be held at Guincho at 7:30am (local WEST) Saturday. Up first when the event recommences will be Wigolly Dantas (BRA) against Italo Ferreira (BRA) in quarterfinal No.1.