Conditions remained extremely difficult on the fourth day of the Caparica Surf Fest powered by Oakley QS3,000's event as the event moved through the remaining eight heats of the men's Round 4, which featured the event's top seeds.
This however did not stop surfers from pushing their limits and finding sections to work with, as scores continued to flirt with the excellent category all throughout the day.
Vicente Romero was the first surfer to really figure out the moving lineup and capitalize on a smart approach to positioning and riding the right waves.
"It was hard work out there," he said. "With the incoming tide I knew there was going to be that left in the current, but everyone paddled out the back and I really tried to stay on that inside. My strategy worked well so I'm stoked to make it through like this."
Alonso Correa scored the round's highest single number of 8.00 in the following heat and former Championship Tour athlete Nat Young took a commanding win in Heat 12. But once again it was Noah Hill, the surfer from Maui who posted a near-perfect heat in the juniors yesterday (19.67 out of a possible 20), who showed the most confidence as he built a healthy total of 14.37 to take the win into Round 5.
"It feels really good to make heats and get scores considering I'm just coming off an injury." he said.
The next two heats were taken out by Frenchmen Maxime Huscenot and Charly Martin. Miguel Blanco and Frederico Morais advanced as well and will join Vasco Ribeiro in Round 5 to defend the Portuguese colors in Caparica.
Junior Divisions Set for Finals on Friday
With one less day on the waiting period, the Caparica Surf Fest Junior Pro powered by Oakley will culminate tomorrow with the event finals. To set up for an exciting finals day where surfers don't have to surf too many heats, two rounds of women and one round of men were surfed today in Caparica.
In the women's field, three surfers shone in the difficult conditions, and the winner in Espinho last Sunday Rachel Presti once again proved lethal on her forehand, posting an incredible 9.50 to advance into the Quarters.
"There's a lot of paddling and a lot of current so it's hard to get the good ones but it's kind of fun out there," she said. "I'm targeting doing all the biggest contests of the year but other than that I'm happy to do just random events, I need all the experience I can get and that's why I'm surfing in both events here, even though that's a lot of heats out there."
Young French surfer Illona Goasguen answered in the following heat with an excellent 8 point ride to put her name in the list of favorites for the event finals, and local hero Mafalda Lopes continued to impress with 14.70 heat total, the highest of the round, to advance in first as well.
In the men's field, all the remaining favorites negotiated their way through Round 5 to advance into the Quarters, including the winner last week Justin Becret, former European title holder Kauli Vaast as well as international powerhouses Daniel Templar, Fernando Junior, and Noah Hill which should set up an exciting final day tomorrow.
Juniors will be on deck at 9:30 a.m Friday and QS athletes at 8 a.m for the men and 10 a.m for the women.
Watch the Caparica Surf Fest powered by Oakley LIVE on the WSL platforms from April 15-20, and check out daily recaps, pictures, videos and more right here.