The Pro Zarautz pres. by Oakley launched today in absolutely firing surf. Four-to-six foot waves broke all-day with strong offshore winds and occasional bigger sets closed the Zarautz beach completely.
Out of the roughly 100 surfers who competed on the opening day, one name in particular got all our attention. 14-year-old Adur Amatriain is rightfully hailed as the future of surfing in the Basque Country.
His dad, Ibon Amatriain, is a local legend and pioneer in big-wave surfing in the region. His exploits got coverage in the local and national news over the past few decades and paved the way for surfers like Aritz Aranburu, Axi Muniain and many more in the Basque Country.
"I love competing here with all my friends and family around to cheer me on," he said. "I'm all about the Juniors still so no pressure here in the QS, it's just about getting some experience. My dad did the Eddie a couple of times and he's pushing me little by little to surf bigger and bigger waves."
And the gene pool clearly didn't skip a generation as Adur's older brother Iker is also one of the rising talents hailing from Zarautz. Iker actually got a WSL wildcard as one of the best juniors from last season and will enter in Round Three against the event number two seed Maxime Huscenot. Oh, and there's a third brother Eki, the youngest, who'll probably make a name for himself in a few years.
"My brother Iker is two years older than me and he's always been better but I got a good result this year, better than him so maybe it's changing!" he added.
Anyway, Adur got through his opening heat on home turf, opting for slightly smaller waves that gave him much more wall to work with, when two of his opponents stayed out the back and surfed big closeout for minimal scores. What he clearly lacked in physique, he made up for in style and aggression, heat strategy and just straight up smarts.
"The two brothers clearly are the future of Spanish and European surfing," Philippe Malvaux, Hurley team manager explained. "Just like Aritz and Hodei (Collazo) were, Adur is a very talented surfer and already quite the charger. He has a surprisingly powerful surf and a really good rail-game already."
At only 14, it's already his third season competing and he's already getting results on the Junior scene, his best so far an excellent fifth place just a couple of weeks ago in Portugal. Now the QS is definitely not his priority at this point but it'll be extremely interesting to watch him compete in that field.
"He's afraid of nobody and has that competitive fire in him," Malvaux added. "Plus he's a super humble and nice kid, it's always been a pleasure to have him on my team. He's improved a lot this year and continues to surprise me every time I see him surf, keep his name in mind!"
Adur will surf again in Round Three, Heat 10 when the Pro Zarautz pres. by Oakley resumes.
Another 14-year-old made the headlines today, Portugal's Afonso Antunes who posted some of the biggest scores on his way to a Round Three berth in Zarautz. Marc Lacomare who entered the event late, also put on a big show in Round One with one of the day's highest single wave of 8.33, while compatriot Tristan Guilbaud continued on his incredible form and posted a solid 15.27.
Zarautz local Hodei Collazo gave a rail-game clinic later this afternoon in the pumping rights on a higher tide and collected the day's highest combined heat total, an impressive 16.57.
Event officials will reconvene at 8 a.m Thursday for an early start with the remaining eight heats of the men's Round Three, while the women will come in at 11 a.m to potentially start their event in Zarautz.
Find out all the results, photos, video highlights and daily recaps from Zarautz right here.