The Pro Zarautz pres. by Oakley resumed in firing surf this morning and completed two rounds of the men's event and one of the women to decide the event's semifinalists.
Pauline Ado had a bit of a scare in the first women's quarterfinal, sticking to the Western peak that stopped producing good waves quickly after her heat entered the water. Midway through she relocated to the main peak just out front of the judges tower where Carol Henrique was catching good rights. The French surfer proceeded to build a strong scoreboard and finished with an excellent 8.77 to seal the deal.
Garazi Sanchez-Ortun took out the second quarterfinal and will meet Pauline in the semis. The Basque surfer landed the turn of the day, an incredible carve fully committed in a steep section and was rewarded with an excellent 8.23 for this single maneuver.
"Waves were super fun out there and I'm stoked to perform in front of all the people I've known for so long," she said. "I think power surfing is one of my strengths and when I saw that big wall I just went for it. I was in a good lead and relaxed so I decided to push it a bit more and I was really happy with that turn and the score."
In an all goofy foot matchup, Leticia Canales Bilbao and Teresa Bonvalot went head to head on the long rights but only the Basque managed to find the steeper walls to perform. The battle then moved on to the lefts and both surfers got a final opportunity in the dying second of the heat. Teresa with a 6.33 briefly got into the lead but Leticia's last wave came in just over the requirement and she walked away with the win and spot into the semis.
"Competing against Teresa is always hard, she's one of the best surfers in Europe and I knew she could get that score on the left so I knew I had to take a wave myself," she said. "Waves were pumping, I'm not sure what's going to happen with the lower tide but I'm happy whether we finish today or tomorrow, the forecast is good as well."
Jorgann Couzinet started the men's first quarter the best way he possibly could, with an amazing right and a 9 point ride to put pressure on Luis Diaz. Waves pumped and Jorgann continued to lay down his signature carves on the big open walls to post a good backup and put his opponent in combo land. The Canarian surfer could never climb out of that difficult situation and Jorgann moved onto the semis.
"I was stoked when I saw that first wave come to me it looked so good," he said. "I did a couple carves and finished the wave how I could when it ran off but I wasn't expecting a score that good. We're extremely lucky to have those conditions, we surf a lot of events in terrible conditions so when it comes together for us like today it's just epic."
The second quarter was a nail-biter with Vicente Romero pulling a buzzer-beater on Rafael Teixeira. The Spaniard was chasing a score for the majority of their 25-minute bout and finally found the right wave in the dying seconds, turning the heat over the Brazilian for his spot into the semis.
"The heat before us had some really good sets but ours was a bit slow," Vicente said. "We missed the first set as we were fighting to get priority and it went kind of flat after that. I paddled in at the end as I didn't have priority and fortunately that wave came to me. I'm stoked to make the semis."
Tristan Guilbaud and Jose Gundesen put on a show in Quarterfinal Three in an opposition of styles. Tristan the regular foot carved his way on the rights but stayed on the open face mostly while Jose on his backhand attacked the lip vertically and repeatedly. The scores reflected the different approach and the Argentinian took the win.
"I was fired up when Tristan let me go on that left and I'm stoked I got the score," he said. "It's my first time making the semis of a QS and the waves are pumping so I'm super happy. I'm going to rest up a little now and prepare for tomorrow, I'm super excited."
Maxime Huscenot upset the local crowds eliminating the last Basque surfer in the men's event Imanol Yeregi in the final Quarterfinal. Maxime lit up in the pumping rights and posted a near-perfect combined heat total of 18.44.
Event official will hold a final call at 8:45 a.m Sunday for the finals of the 2018 Pro Zarautz pres. by Oakley.
Find out all the results, photos, video highlights and daily recaps from Zarautz right here.