Ruben Vitoria and Teresa Bonvalot have won the men's QS3,000 and women's QS1,000 Estrella Galicia Caparica Surf Fest respectively today, claiming victory in the Finals against Charly Martin and Mafalda Lopes held in two-to-three foot waves surf at praia do paraiso.
Stop No. 2 of 3 on the 2021 World Surf League (WSL) European Qualifying Series (QS), the Estrella Galicia Caparica Surf Fest, has juggled with a very tricky forecast but culminated in good little conditions to crown Vitoria and Bonvalot this morning.
Vitoria Confirmed As One of the Best Backhand Surfer in the Region
"This feeling's still new for me I don't know what to say," an ecstatic Vitoria said. "This is my second QS win but it feels different and I'm really really happy. This is definitely the biggest win of my life, now the next goal is to make it to the Challenger Series."
With the win today, Ruben Vitoria climbed a dozen spots up the European Qualifying Series ladder and is in good shape to potentially make the Challenger Series later this season with one event remaining.
The Basque surfer, whose backhand attack was highlighted in the lefts of Las Americas when he won the event in 2018, reveled in the long lefts of Caparica this week to claim a second win on the QS.
Vitoria could not be stopped in the Final, he started with medium scores and kept building momentum as the heat went, improving score after score until dropping the hammer down with a near-perfect 9.40. He later posted another 9.17 for good measure and was chaired up the beach victorious.
Martin Climbs His Way Back to Challenger Series Qualification Bubble
A semifinalist in 2019 in Caparica, Charly Martin goes one better and posts his best result since a second place in Netanya in 2018. The Guadeloupe surfer who has been a threat in the QS Top 100 for over ten years has jumped into 10th on the European rankings and will have a little bit more work to definitely secure his spot into the Challenger Series in the final counting event in Pantin later this summer.
"Of course there's a little disappointment because I really wanted to win," he admitted. "I had some good waves and felt my surfing was there, I think I needed slightly bigger ones to make a difference. I came into this event under a lot of pressure to make the Top 10 so I'm very happy with this result and I'll do everything to make it. I'm stoked to be back competing and huge thanks to everyone involved in making these events happen for us."
Women's Final: the Bonvalot Show
Much like her compatriot Vasco Ribeiro last week in Santa Cruz, and despite being a force to be reckoned with in the past seven Qualifying Series season, Teresa Bonvalot had up until today never made the Final, let alone won a QS event.
She finally crossed the finish line today in Caparica with an incredible display in the Final to post an excellent 17.17 heat total for the event title.
"I'm super happy to claim my first QS win and in my first Final," she said. "I've had a lot of good results and at bigger events as well but it's definitely nice to take the win and especially at home and against another Portuguese. I was just having so much fun out there surfing and that was the key."
Bonvalot adds another line to a brilliant surfing resume which includes six wins on the European Junior tour, multiple big results on the international scene and recurring appearances as a wildcard on the women's Championship Tour.
While both surfers have similar styles and abilities, Bonvalot's experience at the highest level of competition showed dividends in the women's Final. Not only did she surf extremely well, she also selected the best waves and made all the right choices with her priority showing class and maturity in the lineup.
Local Hero Makes Another Final, Still Chases Victory at Home Break
Caparica local Mafalda Lopes made a name for herself with a stellar junior career that culminated with the European junior title in 2019, and this week showed she deserves a spot in the top Qualifying Series ranks as well.
"I'm super happy with my performance this entire event," she said. "I wasn't very lucky with the waves in this heat and Teresa got the best ones and surfed really well. I'm going to keep training for our upcoming events and hope for more Finals in the future."
Lopes reached the Final and placed runner-up in the Junior division in 2019 in Caparica and after another Final and second place, will undoubtedly be fired up to chase a win at her home break in future seasons.
With the completion of the Estrella Galicia Caparica Surf Fest, here's the new Top 10 in the European rankings:
European Men's QS Top 10:
1 - Vasco Ribeiro (PRT)
2 - Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
3 - Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR)
4 - Joan Duru (FRA)
5 - Timothee Bisso (FRA)
6 - Kauli Vaast (FRA)
7 - Charly Quivront (FRA)
8 - Tristan Guilbaud (FRA)
9 - Maxime Huscenot (FRA)
10 - Charly Martin (FRA)
11 - Ruben Vitoria (EUK)
European Women's QS Top 8:
1 - Leticia Canales Bilbao (EUK)
2 - Pauline Ado (FRA)
3 - Vahine Fierro (FRA)
4 - Maud Le Car (FRA)
5 - Johanne Defay (FRA)
6 - Eveline Hooft (NDL)
7 - Teresa Bonvalot (PRT)
8 - Rachel Presti (DEU)
The final event of the 2020 / 2021 Qualifying Series season in Europe will take surfers to Galicia at the end of June. Rankings after Pantin will determine the Top 10 men and Top 8 women who will qualify for the Challenger Series.
Check back all the content from the Estrella Galicia Caparica Surf Fest on the WSL platforms.