An incredible fourth day of competition unfolded at the QS3,000 Estrella Galicia Santa Cruz Pro pres. By Noah Surf House as conditions cleaned up and surfers pushed through yet another level of performance.
Leaders emerged as Round 5 & 6 were completed to decide the event's Quarterfinalists who will fight for the title tomorrow in Santa Cruz. Upsets were also a big part of today's excitement with last-minute heroics in multiple heats throughout the day.
Timothee Bisso Returns to Form in Portugal
The Frenchman originally from Guadeloupe put together his best qualifying effort back in 2019 notably with back-to-back event wins. While 2020 was cut short, Bisso seems to have kept his form up during the long break and today showed brilliant surfing in Round 6 to advance through to the Quarters.
"I'm feeling great," he said. "In my morning heat I couldn't find a rhythm but I stuck to my option on the left and found some really good ones this afternoon so I'm stoked".
Bisso decided to move to Ericeira back in 2018 after four difficult seasons on the Qualifying Series and his act has been lifted way up ever since. Working with Portuguese coach Jose Seabra gave the young goofy foot a different perspective and results have shown the pair have made all the right choices.
"He picked me up at my lowest when I'd just lost my main sponsor," he added. "We've been working together for three years now and changed everything. He changed my life basically and I'm really grateful to have him in my corner. I'm super happy to be back competing!"
Lucas Silveira Finds Winning Formula in Round 6
The former World Junior Champion started his campaign from scratch rankings-wise in Europe and has been flying under the radar in previous rounds with three consecutive second-place results. This came to a smashing end when he put together one of the best performances of the entire event so far with an incredible 17.13 heat total in Round 6.
"Making finals day is everyone's goal so I'm stoked to get there for our first contest in a long while," he stated. "These are the best waves we've had this week so I really enjoyed today and I think tomorrow should be super fun as well, I can't wait!"
Youngsters Step Up Against CT Veterans
The third heat of Round 6 was a classic changing-of-the-guard scenario with two young up-and-comers Kauli Vaast and Leo Paul Etienne facing off with ex CT surfers Joan Duru and Aritz Aranburu. The Polynesian Vaast dominated the affair from start to finish and Etienne once again squeezed through in second.
The 3-time European Junior Champion Vaast has successfully graduated to the QS and will now chase the regional open title as well as a spot into the Challenger Series, the official pathway to the Championship Tour.
"I came super close to not making it through the first heat today it was heavy," he admitted. "So it was good to get better scores and win the second one this afternoon for sure. I have great boards from JS and I'm excited for the finals tomorrow."
Vasco Ribeiro Carries Local Hopes for Portuguese Title
The power surfer from Cascais will be the lone Portuguese representative on Finals day and as such carry his nation's hopes for the title to stay in Portugal after Frederico Morais' 2019 victory. Ribeiro put together an incredible performance in Round 5 with a 16.67 heat total and confirmed his dominant form in Round 6 for a spot into the Quarters.
"I started well so I was feeling very confident," he said. "I knew there were so many good waves and I had time to pick a good backup. I'm ready for Finals day!"
Full Results Available Right Here
The fourth day of competition offered plenty of drama with upsets lurking right from the get-go when Tomas Fernandes fell short in the opening heat. QS stars Charly Martin, Ramzi Boukhiam and Jorgann Couzinet followed suit with surprising early exits in the next heats.
Portuguese big-wave star but QS underdog Nic von Rupp was in control of a second-place advancing spot until the last few seconds when Leo Paul Etienne turned the heat and pushed him out.
The next call will be held at 9 a.m Saturday for a potential Finals Day in Santa Cruz.
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.