Excellent conditions in the two-to-three-foot range allowed competition to recommence at the Caparica Primavera Surf Fest powered by O'Neill, a 1,000-point Junior Tour event. Both the men and women's competitions ran, delivering an action-packed day for the many beachgoers and surf aficionados enjoying summer-like conditions in Caparica.
Day 1 highlight Charly Quivront (FRA), kept his momentum going, easily dispatching of his competition to land in the Quarterfinals.
Natxo Gonzalez (EUK), who finished last season in the European Top 5, came out swinging on Day 2, putting on a blistering performance in the third round and managing to navigate through a tricky Round 4 bout for his spot in the Quarters.
"That afternoon heat was super hard, a lot of closeouts," Gonzalez said. "I thought I didn't make it but I'm happy I did. This morning on the other hand was so much fun, the wave was great and I was really relaxed."
An accomplished big wave rider, who notably won the 2013 Punta Galea Challenge at home in the Basque Country, Gonzalez's approach to competition was calm and collected.
"I'm not feeling any pressure," Gonzalez continued. "Of course I want to win but the level is so high, anything's possible."
Andy Criere (FRA), dominated the field to advance into the Round of 16, tearing apart the peaky lefthanders to belt a massive 17.87 heat total.
"The tide came in fast and that left option along the pier was clear," Criere said. "It was so good to have that beautiful wave for the contest. I'm stoked to have been given that chance. I like surfing backside when conditions are trickier, but prefer my forehand when it's that good. I didn't really have a plan of attack, I just adapted to the wave and waited for the bombs."
Sitting comfortably in the lead with two big scores and his opponents in a combination situation, Criere let loose and started taking to the air, narrowly missing out on landing a huge frontside rotation.
"I'm a little bit reluctant to try airs during my heats, but I had this one under control so I figured why not," Criere continued. "It's a great trick to have in your pocket, especially when the wave is shorter and only offers one or two sections."
In the afternoon glare, Criere was later ousted by Portuguese competitors Tomas Fernandes and Miguel Blanco. While Fernandes put a clear distance between him and the other three surfers, Criere and Blanco went heat-to-head for second place. Ultimately the nod went to Blanco.
"I feel great," Fernandes stated. "Everyone was ripping so I'm stoked to get through and tomorrow is a new day so we'll see what it brings. I'm happy for Miguel to get second, it's great to have another Portuguese in the Quarterfinals man-on-man and I wish him good luck."
Camilla Kemp (PRT), secured the day's two highest scoring rides of the women's event, displaying her powerful fronthand attack on the clean righthanders on offer. With a solid 15.83 heat total, Kemp sent a warning to her competitors to watch out for her in the later rounds.
"There were some really nice waves and I caught the bigger ones so I could show what I'm capable of," Kemp stated. "I've been training a lot and traveling so I think it really improved my surfing. I've done some Qualifying Series (QS) events and stayed a month and a half in Australia so that helped a lot."
Kim Veteau (GLP), former runner-up in the European Junior title race, surfed a smart heat and played the patience game right, selecting the best waves on offer during the 20-minute exchange.
"It's a bit tricky cause I'm just back from New Zealand and feel a little tired," Veteau said. "The waves weren't easy, that peak changes constantly, but I'm happy I was able to find a couple fun ones. It's a good way to start the season."
In an effort to build precious experience amongst the world's best, Veteau made a move to compete on the QS this season, and she is starting to see her efforts pay off.
"It's great to win a couple of heats against some really good surfers on the QS," Veteau continued. "It's the next level events for sure, but competition on the Juniors is fierce as well so I won't take anything for granted here. I'm just surfing with more confidence and experience."