- WSL / Pedro Mestre
Highlights: First Day Back in Santa Cruz
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The European QS starts again in good conditions for its first day back in over a year.

The Estrella Galicia Santa Cruz Pro pres. By Noah Surf House launched in decent surf and in most heat winners' words today "wow it's good to be back!".

The day had an unfamiliar vibe to it at first as crews from all over the continent rocked up to the beach and seemed particularly stoked to see everyone back on the road. Of course the obvious camaraderie quickly faded as heats got underway and the reality of fighting for points and money set back in.

Lucas Silveira Impresses In Opening Rounds

2021; Action; Santa Cruz; Men; Portugal; QS; QS3000; Roun1 Lucas Silveira (BRA) - WSL / Pedro Mestre

The former World Junior Champion originally from Brazil and now a part-time resident in Portugal, came out strong with two heat wins and (one of) the highest totals of the day, an impressive 15.67 out to 20. His motivation and enthusiasm transpired on his first back on the job in over a year.

"It's funny before all this you know when we had events all the time it was easy to get overwhelmed and be over it sometimes," he said. "But after such a long break I've been really missing it and I now realize just how much I love competing."

The powerful waves on tap in Santa Cruz matched the Brazilian's preferred style of surfing and the result was a display of big carves and committed turns which pleased the judging panel. After suffering a serious injury to his leg in early 2020, Silveira had all the time he needed to get back to 100% and now looks ready to chase the elusive top spots on the Qualifying Series.

"All in all the timing of it all wasn't too bad for me," he added. "It's a fresh start after I badly broke my tibia, I got time to heal and get back to training. I traveled a bit through Mexico and Indonesia and started my Youtube channel and brand called Hammer Tales. Now I'm ready to fully focus on the tour."

Gony Zubizarreta Drops Near-Perfect Hammer in Opening Heat
Estrella Galicia Wave of the Day 1
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Gony Zubizarreta lands the Estrella Galicia Wave of the Day 1 with an incredible 9.17 in Round 3.

It all started awfully wrong for the ever-smiling Galician as his first two waves were pointless and he got stuck paddling back out for 9 long minutes in the white water.

"It was horrible honestly," he said. "I just couldn't move, I was paddling non-stop and making no progress at all. The waves are really powerful, it doesn't look that hard but it is."

But as karma would have it, by the time Gony fought his way back to the outside, a bomb lined up and offered him a chance to bounce back, big time. The regular foot opted to go backside after a quick glance at the right, and logged in two huge turns for a near-perfect 9.17 and eventually the win in that heat.

"I'm stoked that we have events coming back," he continued. "Especially here with Estrella Galicia who are my sponsor as well and it feels great to start this way with a big score. I've trained lots over the break with the Spanish federation and we've traveled to many different places so I feel great and am ready to surf a few more heats."

Full Results Available Right Here

Results Santa Cruz Results - WSL

Mathis Crozon was another top scorer on the opening day of competition in Santa Cruz. The Frenchman ripped apart two frothy lefts with powerful turns and went home with a solid 15.40 heat total and a spot into Round 4.

Surfers and event officials will reconvene at 10 a.m Wednesday for the call on Day 2 of the event.

Watch the Estrella Galicia Santa Cruz Pro pres. By Noah Surf House LIVE on the WSL platforms from May 11-16, and check out daily recaps, pictures, videos and more right here.

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