The women's QS1,000 Estrella Galicia Caparica Surf Fest resumed in clean small waves again today to run through two rounds of competition, deciding the event's Quarterfinalists. The men's QS3,000 division was called off for the day.
Lelior Comes Back to Full Form
The Israeli surfer had her best qualifying effort back in 2019 before the COVID pandemic put a halt to competitions worldwide. Today Anat Lelior came back firing out of the gates with an incredible display of backhand surfing in the small waves. Her powerful turns were linked perfectly together with flow and her result of 16.86 total remained the highest all day.
"I'm feeling great," she said. "The weather is nice, my dad's here, my coach too and I'm just really enjoying the contest. I was hoping the waves would increase a bit more but it is what it is and I'm here to compete whatever the conditions are."
Defending Winner Ado Survives Early Close Call and Moves On to Quarters
Things couldn't have gone any worse for the former CT competitor Pauline Ado and young up-and-comer Lucia Machado in their first heat today. Maybe it was the frustration of almost paddling out and being put on hold for three hours, maybe it was a little rust coming off over a year without competing. Either way both surfers opted to paddle for the same wave in the opening seconds of their heat, and crossed paths as one wanted to go left and the other right.
Because no priority was given at the time, a double-interference was called and the pair lost half of their second-highest score. However the true competitors they are simply stepped up and out-scored everyone, Ado advancing in first, Machado in second out of the heat.
"There weren't that many waves out there and we both wanted that one pretty bad I guess," Ado reflected. "We fought for it and both got dealt an interference. After that I knew with the second score halved I'd need to get something good going and thankfully I did. Two years ago I had a great experience winning here and I'd love to repeat it for sure so I'll try to find the same rhythm I found back then."
The defending event winner Ado made it through the following round as well but unfortunately Machado suffered another upset when Ariane Ochoa scored in the last seconds of their heat and advanced ahead of Machado and into the Quarters in the final heat of the day.
Mendes Impresses, Bonvalot Advances in Difficult Heat
In an extremely tense opening matchup in Round 3, Carolina Mendes belted one of the best wave of the day to secure an all-important spot into the Quarters.
"I knew this would be a really difficult heat," she said. "I knew I needed to give it my 100% best and I'm really happy I made it through. My board works really well and I've trained a lot in similar conditions so when that wave came I knew I could get a good score. It's so great to finally be competing against everyone from Europe."
Portuguese favorite Teresa Bonvalot was against the ropes in the dying moments of that heat but never lost faith and finally a long left to generate speed and lock in two good moves to turn the heat and squeeze in second place ahead of Juliette Lacome and Rachel Presti).
"That heat was actually super exciting but also a little bit scary," Bonvalot admitted. "Waves with actual high-score potential aren't that frequent, I didn't need a huge score to advance so I never gave up and finally I found one that had a bit of wall. I'm feeling really good at the moment, I'm in a nice place and I'm excited for the rest of the event. I don't think too much about the rankings and qualification this year, we're in a transition and I can only control so much so I'm enjoying the moment and we'll see what happens."
Full Results Available Right Here
The next call is set for 6:45 a.m Friday for the men's event while the women are invited to join later for a 12 p.m call.
Watch the Estrella Galicia Caparica Surf Fest LIVE on the WSL platforms from May 18-23, and check out daily recaps, pictures, videos and more right here.