A new push in swell finally gave surfers more to work with on Day 4 and allowed the completion of Rounds 4 and 5 of the men's QS3,000 Estrella Galicia Caparica Surf Fest. The women's QS1,000 division was called off for the day.
The day started again with minimal swell on hand but after another high-tide break, competitors returned to a pulsing new swell and waves in the three foot range with a lot more energy in the lineup.
French Superheat Wows Spectators in Caparica
As conditions continued to improve throughout the afternoon, Heat 5 rolled in with Tomas Fernandes, Justin Becret, Charly Martin and Tiago Carrique. A little crowd posted up on the promenade North of the peak with a perfect view on the waves rolling in front at sunset.
The French trio went blow for blow on the long and punchy lefts with a mix of massive turns and airs to each post scores in the excellent range.
Carrique's aerial skills were on full display as the young surfer punted for both his counting scores. His highest score came as a near-perfect 9.93 out of 10, for an insane full rotation landed perfectly ahead of the wave's explosion, which he backed up with an 8.00.
"I just found that really nice section, threw an air and luckily I landed it,' Carrique humbly commented. "Everyone had some pretty big scores so I'm happy I landed it. It feels good to finally get some scores on the QS. I was born and lived most of my life in Costa Rica so that's where I developed as a surfer."
Martin placed second with a 9 of his own. Likely disappointed were Becret and Fernandes, who finished third and fourth respectively with total scores that would have easily seen them through virtually any other heat today.
Vitoria Clicks Into Gear
If it wasn't for the heat right after his, the Basque surfer's performance in Heat 4 would have easily been the most impressive all day. Nevertheless Ruben Vitoria's 17.67 combined heat total for his collection of backhand powerful hacks was a strong statement that he'll be one to count with on finals day.
"This was like a dream heat for me," Vitoria stated. "I started with an 8 and a 9 so that was pretty stressless. That perfect little left was so much fun, I'm super happy to have made it through today."
Vaast Confirms Excellent Form in Portugal
Fresh off an excellent third place finish in Santa Cruz where he lost to eventual winner Ribeiro, Tahiti's Kauli Vaast nailed another big performance to move into Round 6 today in Caparica. The young goofy foot found his rhythm in the windy lefts and let his air game do the rest. A full rotation on a waist-high wave was enough to post a 9 point ride and advance in first.
"I'm feeling great, I just love doing airs," Vaast said. "I already had two good scores so when I saw that section I knew I could go for it. That was always part of the strategy, build a score then have fun with it."
Full Results Available on WorldSurfLeague.com
The final heat of the day was another superheat featuring none other than Portugal's favorite Vasco Ribeiro, Andy Criere, tour veteran Aritz Aranburu and Paul Cesar Distinguin. Criere got the best of the exchange with two high 8s but Ribeiro with a 9.00 took the second advancing spot into Round 6.
Surfers and event officials will be back at 6:45 a.m on Saturday for the first call of what is expected to be Finals day in Caparica. Round 6 of the men's event will go out first ad the women's Quarters have an 8 a.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.