The Las Americas Pro Tenerife launched today in fun two-to-three foot peaks to run the opening round of men and six heats of the women's. The main peak at Las Americas concentrated every inch of swell on offer to produce clean lefts and rights, groomed by a gentle offshore breeze.
The opening round usually features mostly locals and low-ranked surfers but a few late entries made things very interesting right from the start, first of which was France's Marc Lacomare.
Marc ripped apart a long left first for an 8.50 on a combination of forehand carves and off the tops. He then started on his backhand on what looked a bit of a closeout but managed to fit in three radical backhand turns somehow outpacing the wave, for a near-perfect 9.67.
"I just got here last night so I haven't had much training but the wave looks fun!" he said. "Today was a little small but I hope it's going to grow a bit and I'm stoked to be here. There's a little power even at that size and I can definitely see a lot of potential. The setup is really cool too with the wave right on the rocks and close to the beach for the people watching."
Another late entrant made an impressive debut this afternoon, the Basque Country's Hodei Collazo. One of the most experienced competitors in this event, Hodei has surfed this spot before and even though he admits it was much bigger and almost two decades ago, he picked up right where he left off with excellent surfing to post another massive heat total of 16.40.
"I surfed the last event we did here about 17 years ago but it was huge," he said. "I was in Tenerife about two months ago but we surfed other spots on the North coast and towards Los Gigantes where Jonathan (Gonzalez) lives. I've been out of the water for a bit due to a little injury of my right hand, so I was super psyched to get in the water and surf again. I have a great board for small waves so I had a lot of fun out there."
Hodei followed the path of fellow Basque surfer Jatyr Berasaluce, who also surfed a big heat only half an hour earlier to join the top seeds in Round Two.
"Conditions were super easy to surf, it was clean and a little hollow on the reef," Jatyr added. "I took a little break last year to free surf and film a project in Africa, I had an incredible time there and I'm excited to get back to competing."
Two other highlights from the men's opening round included Costa Rica's Jason Torres, who was the first and only surfer to reach rides over 7 points until Lacomare came along, as well as a great performance from 15 year-old local kid Paolo Giorgi, who advanced into Round Two as well.
"I'm super happy to be here, this place is amazing!" Jason said. "I'm stoked to make my first heat and focused on the next one now. It's my first visit to the Canary Islands and I'm staying with a friend from Venezuela who lives here which is great. This season I'm going to do a lot more events and try to make the Top 100 to surf in the big events."
The women then took control of the lineup for the first six heats of Round One, enjoying great waves as conditions kept improving until dusk.
Pauline Ado brought her A-game to the first heat, surfing faster and stronger than her opponents to post two excellent scores and logically make her way into Round Two.
"Conditions were very nice, offshore and really beautiful waves, and I finally got two!" she said. "The end of last year was a bit tough for me but I had a nice break in December and I'm super motivated again to train and get back to events."
Local surfer Daniela Quiros advanced in second and got the whole beach erupting when she surfed a great left with multiple turns for a 7 point ride and her own spot into Round Two.
Leticia Canales Bilbao came a close second in the day's top scores ranking, with a solid heat total 15.84 for her forehand attack of the long lefts at Las Americas.
Spanish surfers made a statement in the women's opening round of competition, claiming eight of the qualifying positions.
With potential improved conditions for Wednesday, event officials will reassess conditions at 7:30 a.m to decide of the day's schedule.
Tune in from January 29 - February 4, 2018 and check out all the photos, videos and updates right here!