The Pantin Classic Galicia Pro, 28th edition of the event, launched in clean two-to-three foot surf and completed three rounds of the QS6,000 women's event and the opening four heats of the men's QS1,500 event.
France's Justine Dupont (FRA) 24, took top honors on Day 1, belting an impressive 15.50 heat total including an excellent 8.33 for a single maneuver. Dupont pulled an aerial maneuver out of her bag of tricks and impressed both the judges and her fellow competitors in the small surf.
"I love it here in Galicia, it's quieter, there's just way less people," Dupont said. "I haven't had the best of seasons in 2015 so I wanted to come here and perform to conclude the year. I'm super happy cause that's the first time I pull an air-reverse in a heat. I have to thank my coach Nicolas Fernandez for that, he's been pushing me to surf super small surf and that definitely helped."
Dupont, who has made the headlines of several magazines and websites recently for her big-wave heroics, and has been pushing her limits in aerial tricks in the freesurf, is still looking to perform to her standards in competitions. Sitting in 16th position currently on the Qualifying Series, the season is not over just yet for the Lacanau local.
"My results are definitely not showing the level I'm at, but it's my fault cause I haven't figured out how to surf a good contest so far," Dupont added. "But I'm building experience, I've been on the tour for some time now and I hope everything I've learned from previous mistakes will soon pay off."
Paige Hareb (NZL) 25, scored an equal 15.50 in her Round 3 matchup and claimed a near-perfect 9.50 for a combination of four excellent turns on her forehand. Well within striking distance of requalifying for the Samsung Galaxy Women's Championship Tour she has competed on for several years, Hareb will be looking to confirm her excellent form when the event resumes.
"I wasn't very confident cause the waves very small and not super powerful so definitely conditions I'm not used to," Arnaud reflected. "But my heat started well and I got a good score right at the beginning. I was patient and managed to select the right ones."
The former Junior World Champion, Arnaud has taken a season off competing and started working as a surf instructor, coming into the Pantin event poised and ready to surf without pressure.
"It's the first time of my career that I've come here not trying to qualify, I don't feel any sort of pressure," Arnaud continued. "I'm happy to surf against the top seeds and I hope I can beat a few more."
Philippa Anderson (AUS) 23, found her two good waves in the tricky small surf to net the third highest heat total of the day, a 15.00 out of 20 possible. Scoring on both her front and backhand today, Anderson exploited all the little sections on offer to advance.
"There's definitely waves out there, cause Paige dropped a 9.5, but it's super tricky we spent 7 minutes of our heat without a wave sliding by," Anderson said. "I got a first left and made a few turns which felt nice, then I went right a few times cause I feel more comfortable. I couldn't hear my scores and only learnt them when I came in but I'm happy with how that heat went."
The Australian, who has surfed in Pantin in previous years, sollicitated the help of a local coach to help her prepare for her heats and apprehend conditions at the ever-changing playa de Pantin.
"I'm with one of the local coaches here through my wetsuit sponsor and he's been really good and helping," Anderson continued. "Just to have someone to give you some tips and help with the local language is very useful. In the four heats prior to mine were all my friends so I watched them and was cheering for them. It's a beautiful day and I feel all the girls were happy to surf."
During low tide, while the women's event was put on hold, the men's opening four heats of competition were completed. Event favourite Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 30, advanced into the second round to please the crowds sitting on the iconic Pantin headland.
Event organizers and surfers will reconvene on Wednesday at 9AM for a potential re-start of either the men's or women's event.