The Seat Pro Netanya, Stop No. 3 of 5 on the 2021-22 World Surf League (WSL) European Qualifying Series (QS), completed a big day of competition to decide the event's semifinalists and set up a finish on Saturday morning.
The land of the thousand moods once again provided plenty of entertainment, with thunder and crazy wind at first light, the occasional showers, all moving towards a beautiful sunny day this afternoon for the quarters.
Surfers faced tricky conditions once again but pushed through to reach the two-surfer heats and have a chance at finals day.
The Quarterfinals were matchups of nations, with Nadia Erostarbe taking the first one against compatriot Garazi Sanchez-Ortun. The next two were all-Portuguese and won by Francisca Veselko and Teresa Bonvalot, and the final one was the crunch, France vs England going Ellie Turner's way against Tessa Thyssen.
Once again it was Erostarbe that proved most skillful in the shifting peaks of Kontiki as the Basque surfer put together the highest total of the round. Although in the Round of 16 earlier today, Bonvalot posted a 9.17 for a combination of powerful forehand turns and backed it up with 7.50, which is until now the highest combined heat total of the entire event.
The men's Quarters were largely dominated by the French, with five out of eight surfers representing the country. Gatien Delahaye and Gaspard Larsonneur took out the first two heats, but their compatriot Jorgann Couzinet, the most consistent surfer in Israel throughout the years, was eliminated by youngster Adur Amatriain.
The 18 year-old from the Basque Country in his first visit to Israel definitely found the winning recipe, exploiting the little lefts to advance through stacked heats all the way into the Semis. A winner on the QS for the first time last season, Amatriain is on his way to potentially reaching the Challenger Series with a big finish in Israel.
"It's been a really different and really fun event so far," Amatriain said. "We're not used to having that many lay days, but it gave us time to explore, the trip to the Dead Sea was so cool. My main goal this season is to make the Challenger cut and I think I'm on my way to making that happen. Waves here are super different, there's so little period it just breaks all the time, but I think I found a way to surf them and work out the lineup."
Eight surfers remain in contention for the SEAT Pro Netanya title, and the next call will be at 8 a.m, tomorrow Saturday, March 26, 2022.