The Pantin Classic Galicia Pro launched today in building two-to-three foot surf and completed two rounds of the women and the opening twelve heats of the men's first round. Surfers put on a great show as conditions kept improving throughout the day despite the strong side shore winds.
Philippa Anderson highlighted the women's event today, scoring an excellent 9 point ride in her Round 2 bout for a combination of powerful forehand carves and snaps on a beautiful little right-hander. With a few good results under her belt this season already, Anderson is in striking distance of the top QS spots and will look to go far in Pantin.
"I haven't surfed a heat in about a month since America, so the first one's always nervous but my board works great and I saw the other girls drop excellent scores so I knew there was potential for it," she reflected. "We have a couple of big events left this season so hopefully I can finish good. I love coming back here to Pantin every year, we're staying with a local family and they're so nice."
15-year-old Australian Macy Callaghan, has been on an absolute roll this season in her junior campaign in Australia and is now seeing her hard work pay off in the larger QS events as well. The young regular foot advanced into Round 3 ahead of current World N°11 Laura Enever (AUS).
"I look up to all these girls, especially Laura she's a great role model, coming up against them I know it's going to be a hard heat so I'm putting my 100% and I'm really happy with how it went," she admitted. "I've had a good year so far and it's been a big confidence boost going into those QS events. I just had my best result before coming here with an equal 5th at the Supergirl Pro and now ranked 16th on the rankings. I'm only fifteen so no pressure I'm not really focusing on qualifying just yet, I'm just having fun!"
Current World N°16 Alessa Quizon followed right in Anderson's footsteps and scored an excellent opening heat of her own to keep her Galician campaign alive. The talented Hawaiian, who had a hard time breaking the Round 3 barrier on the Samsung Galaxy Women's Championship Tour, is however in a good position to solidify her position with another big result on the Qualifying Series.
"It was a bit tricky but being selective there were definitely a few good rights," she commented. "This place is special to me, it is where I qualified for the CT my first year so hopefully I can get a good result again. My QS campaign has been a little inconsistent but I'm still excited about it, we have a few events remaining and I want to get a couple more results. There's no pressure, I'm just having fun competing."
Japan's Takumi Nakamura currently sitting in 96th place on the international QS ranks, set the pace in the men's opening round with powerful surfing on the improving lefts and rights to belt the day's strongest heat total of 17.30 out of 20 possible. A relatively unknown face in the European events, Nakamura sure put his name on the map today with excellent surfing.
"I got both lefts and rights and they were fun !" he said. "It's my second time here in Pantin and I'm having fun, I was a bit lucky to find those really good waves but really happy I made it through. The water is a bit cold but everything else is great, the food, the waves it's all good."
Recent winner of the Santa Cruz Pro 2016, Andy Criere brought his signature sharp carving turns to life again in Pantin to claim the day's second biggest total. The light and fast surfer from the French Basque Country had an unlikely early exit last week in Anglet and
"Waves have changed so much since this morning, it was a great heat with awesome waves," he commented. "I'm stoked to have had enough opportunities to show my surfing and keep improving my scores. Wave selection is important, everyone here is capable of getting a big score if given the chance so you need to be in the right spot at the right time."
Matthew McGillivray opened his European campaign with an excellent heat as well to easily make his way into the second round of competition. The talented South-African who has had a great run in the lower QS events this season with two final and two semifinal results, will be looking for a breakthrough result in this QS6,000 Pantin Classic.
"I got that right that was one of the best waves all-heat, it was a nice peak and you could tell the right was going to be good," he analyzed. "It's not nice to be competing against two other South-Africans cause we're good friends and we always wish all of us could have gotten through, but I tried to focus on my own thing and not think of who else was in that heat."
Surfers and event officials will reconvene Thursday at 7:45AM for another early start to capitalize on the improving conditions at the playa de Pantin.
MagicSeaWeed, official forecaster for the WSL Europe Qualifying Series events, calls for: "Combination pulse of mid period N and NW swells for punchy waves in the head high range with larger sets. With lighter NE winds." on Thursday.