The men's QS3,000 Estrella Galicia Caparica Surf Fest and women's QS1,000 got that much closer to crowning its winners today as the event ran through a few rounds of competition to decide the women's Final and the men's Semis.
Great conditions early on this morning allowed competition to resume shortly after dawn with high-octane action in the men's Round 6 followed by the women's Quarters, men's Quarters and women's Semifinals. Unfortunately as the day progressed, the swell faded away and conditions weren't good enough to go all the way tonight. Event officials expect a new little push in the morning to crown the event winners.
Teresa Bonvalot Charges Through to First-Ever QS Final
The Portuguese powerhouse who has been a standout on the Qualifying Series for years and a regular wildcard on the Championship Tour stops in Portugal, had prior to today never made it to the Final on the Qualifying Series.
Teresa Bonvalot closed the door on that shocking statistic with a brilliant display in the Quarters and Semis, a perfect blend of excellent surfing and impeccable strategy.
"It's nice to start the season with a new sponsor," she explained. "I haven't had a main sponsor on the nose of my board for a while. It's definitely nice surfing here in Portugal, having a contest at home and doing well. I'm really excited to go out again, give it my maximum and hopefully take the win! It's good to see so many Portuguese girls so far in the event, it shows how far Portuguese women's surfing has come."
Local Hero Mafalda Lopes Reaches New Heights
Caparica's very own Mafalda Lopes made the Final as a junior the last time this event ran in 2019 and today advanced into the QS Final, her first to date. She will meet Bonvalot in an all Portuguese, all goofy-foot exciting matchup for the event win on Sunday.
"I'm super happy I think this is the first Portuguese Final on the QS and I'm happy to be part of writing that page in our history," she said. "I have a feeling tomorrow is going to be the best day for conditions so I'm happy we're waiting and I look forward to surfing against Teresa, she's a great surfer."
Final Four Men Emerge in Tricky Conditions
The men's Quarterfinals offered four intense matchups and the outcome nearly every one of them was unexpected. Long time QS threat Gony Zubizarreta defeated one of the most prolific up-and-coming talents Kauli Vaast in the first, Ruben Vitoria won a Spanish matchup over Vicente Romero in the second.
Thomas Debierre eliminated another form surfer of the moment Timothee Bisso in the third and finally, probably the most hurtful for the local crowds, Charly Martin eliminated Vasco Ribeiro in the final Quarter for his spot into the Semis.
Vasco Ribeiro's Consistency Wins 2020/21 European QS Title
With a win last week in Santa Cruz, an equal 5th place today in Caparica, and two big results from 2020 in Sydney and Taghazout, the Portuguese surfer has built a big enough margin to claim this season regional Qualifying Series title.
After claiming the European Junior Title and the World Junior Title in Ericeira subsequently in 2014, Ribeiro reaches another important milestone in an achievement-rich career to further cement his place among the greats of European surfing.
"Now that we've gone back to a more regional QS tour I think this title carries even more significance and I'm really happy to win it," Ribeiro said. "Following in Frederico (Morais)''s steps and being on tour is where I want to be and to get there you have to go through all of these things. "
Competitors will be back early for a 7 a.m call on Sunday to crown the event winners in Caparica.
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