The QS10,000 ABANCA Galicia Classic Surf Pro wrapped up in three-to-five foot surf in Pantin. Here's a breakdown of the event's finals.
In a battle of youth vs. experience, Marshall got the first ride in with a combination of backhand turns for a 6.83 and Pupo on a slightly bigger and cleaner wave added an element of progression to post an excellent 8.50. He quickly backed it up with two committed turns on a slid wave for a 6.00 to take an early lead.
Marshall kept his composure under pressure and continued to build house, replacing his highest score with a 7.60 for a similar backhand effort but Pupo on a smaller wave attacked the lip three times for an 8.37 to extend his lead, Marshall needing a near-perfect score to turn the heat.
Time ran out with limited opportunities for the Californian to try to fight back and Pupo claimed a big win in Galicia. Today's victory marks his first since another QS10,000 win in Sao Paulo back in 2015 and will propel him from 23rd into the No. 3 spot on the Qualifying Series.
"I have no words to describe what I'm feeling right now," he said. "I've had a few hard years and this feels incredible to be back on the podium and especially winning. I feel lucky I've been winning the right events and at the right time. I lost early at the US Open and since then I've worked really hard so it's great that it pays off."
20 year-old Encinitas surfer Marshall claimed the biggest result of his young career, rocketing into the Qualifying Top 10 in 8th position. In his fourth full-year attempt on the Qualifying Series, this is the highest ranking the young surfer has ever reached and it will boost his confidence heading into two other major events in Europe in the coming weeks.
"This is amazing and it came at a great time so I couldn't be happier," he said. "I love Europe and Pantin is going to have a good place in my heart for a long time. I love surfing in a wetsuit and cold water it's just like home. My goal is obviously to qualify so now I'm going to focus on the next one and try to bag another big result."
By reaching the Final today, Marshall overtook Barron Mamiya in the rankings, and as the highest American athlete on the QS post-Pantin, he will be awarded a wildcard slot into the upcoming Freshwater Pro pres. by Outerknown, held at the WSL Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California from September 19-21.
"I'm not really sure yet if I'm going to go, I might just focus on my main goal to qualify and head to the Azores where my brother and my dad are meeting me soon," he added. "But I recognize this as a huge opportunity obviously and I'm going to have a long think about it and talk to a few people before I make a decision."
Semifinal 1: Jadson Andre vs. Jake Marshall
Andre started well with a solid aerial maneuver for a 7.17 and the early lead. Marshall on the other hand had a very slow start, posting his first good score roughly midway through the heat. Andre strengthened his lead with a backhand combo on a rare right but soon after Marshall managed to turn the heat with a 7.57 for four big turns on a long and fast left.
With only five minutes on the clock the situation remained and Andre posted an equal 3rd place result, taking a commanding lead on the Qualifying Series rankings with 22,500 points. The Brasilian also has a low result counting in his season tally, meaning a strong chance to further improve his situation that should see him stay with the world's best next season and perhaps even win the QS for the first time.
"I've been here three times in Pantin and never made a single heat so honestly I feel just as if I'd won the event," he said. "Coming into this week my goal was to solidify my spot for next year and I feel like I've done that so I'm very happy with my performance. I feel relieved and will definitely enjoy the end of my season both on the CT and QS a lot more."
Semifinal 2: Morgan Cibilic vs. Miguel Pupo
In the second Semifinal, Pupo put three big numbers on the board within the first five minutes and really put the young Australian under pressure early on. Cibilic answered with a combination of two backhand vertical turns for a 7.87 to get right back in the heat needing a slightly smaller backup to turn it.
Despite several efforts, the 20 year-old from Angourie was unsuccessful in posting the required score, but he walked away with the biggest result of his career, an equal third place in a QS10,000. This result will see him bump up into the Top 20 on the Qualifying Series and
"I've never even dreamed in the past couple of years to see myself in this position so I'm stoked," he said. "I focused on my heat strategy mainly and on these little lefts I can kind of rely on a couple of power maneuvers that the judges liked so I'm happy. I did win one of my heats with an air but I mainly stick to the face and I know there's definitely some work to be done in the air for me. I'm super excited about the next couple of events, I've only heard good things and I'm stoked to be able to explore more places in Europe."
With the completion of the ABANCA Galicia Classic Surf Pro, the global QS rankings have evolved, here's the new current Top 10:
Global Qualifying Series Men's Top 10:
1 - Jadson Andre
2 - Alex Ribeiro
3 - Miguel Pupo
4 - Jorgann Couzinet
5 - Matt Banting
6 - Deivid Silva
7 - Yago Dora
8 - Jake Marshall
9 - Barron Mamiya
10 - Liam O'Brien
The next big event on the Qualifying Series is the QS6,000 Azores Airlines Pro, held on the beautiful Sao Miguel island from September 17-22, 2019.
The ABANCA Galicia Classic Surf Pro is scheduled from September 1-7, 2019 at playa de Pantin, Galicia / Spain. For all results, photos, video highlights and press releases, log on to worldsurfleague.com.