Surfers spent the last two days invoking the surf gods to send a new swell their way. Their prayers have clearly been answered today with lined up four-to-six foot lefts riffling down the reef of Spanish Left for a second day of action at the QS1,500 Cabreiroá Las Americas Pro Tenerife.
Local Tenerife pro Jonathan Gonzalez was probably the most stoked of all, finally able to put on a show for the fans on home turf. Gonzalez did not look for the longer rides and repeated turns to the beach, instead he viciously attacked the gnarliest sections he could find and posted his highest scores on high-risk, fully committed single maneuvers.
"Waves aren't easy but there's plenty of them!" he said. "On that big turn I basically just tried to match the power of that section and go as hard as I could. I managed to get the tail out and stay on my feet so I was stoked. I really like the rights here too so hopefully we get some too."
Unfortunately Gonzalez was later unable to find the same rhythm and fell short in Round 4 to find the high scoring rides he surfed in the morning.
Former World Junior Champion Vasco Ribeiro stuck to a similar kind of approach and displayed his own backhand power repertoire to post some of the day's biggest heat totals and advance through two rounds. Finishing just outside the QS Top 20 last season - his best effort to date - the Portuguese surfer is poised to start strong in Tenerife if conditions keep favoring powerful surfers.
"It feels good to be surfing a really good point break we don't get many of those on the QS," he said. "I had a great season last year but I did make a couple of mistakes towards the end, especially in Ericeira which might have cost me the season. But I'm here to start strong, that's always the plan, and if the waves keep being that good I think I have my chances."
Ruben Vitoria was a surprise winner to most last year in Tenerife, and he came back with a target on his back this time around. The Basque surfer managed to advance through both rounds today and looked relaxed as ever.
"It's amazing to be back here," he said. "I know it's extremely hard to win again the same event so I'm out here just to have a good time, surf well and make a few heats. This is one of the best contests of the year and I'm stoked we're getting waves like this and I can't wait for the next heat!"
In a remake of last year's Final - where Vitoria climbed out of a combination situation with a 10 and a 9.10 to win the 2018 event - the Basque lit up in the late-afternoon sunset lineup and posted a near-perfect 9.50 to advance into Round 5.
Fuerteventura's Kalani Da Silva pulled a miracle come-from-behind win in the opening heat of Round 4 and advanced alongside Gran Canaria's Luis Diaz to strengthen the Canary Island crew. Da Silva's composure was impressive as he watched the clock run down to a minute, waiting patiently with priority for the right wave. When the wave came, the young regular foot capitalized with two solid turns on the outside, and a big finish to post a near-excellent 7.93 and take the win.
"I'm super happy to get through this one with my friend Luis," he said. "I was just waiting for the wave and honestly I wasn't under any pressure. I knew something would come and I was confident in my chances to perform on that wave and make it through. I know the spot quite well, I've competed a lot here so I had a game plan and I stuck to it."
Event officials will be back at 8 a.m Friday to potentially launch the women's opening round. Round 5 male athletes have a later call at 10 a.m.
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