- WSL / Pedro Mestre
Highlights: Good Surfing in Minimal Waves in Caparica
Surfers take on small surf but rip it apart on opening day of competition in Caparica.

The QS 3000 Estrella Galicia Caparica Surf Fest 2022, Stop No. 4 of 5 on the 2021-22 World Surf League (WSL) European Qualifying Series (QS), launched today in clean, two-to-three foot surf at praia do paraiso to complete multiple rounds of both the men and women's competition.

Surfers took on the small punchy peaks of Caparica to get their Portuguese campaign underway in the men's and women's opening rounds as well as the first 14 heats of the men's Round of 128.

Coming back from an injury that sidelined him for a few weeks, the runner-up of 2021 Charly Martin had to surf in the very first heat of the first round, and narrowly escaped elimination with a buzzer-beater. He got into his rhythm quicker in the second round and celebrated his 32nd birthday with two straight wins to kickstart his week in Caparica.

Charly Martin (FRA), Caparica 2022 Charly Martin (FRA) - WSL / Pedro Mestre

"This is my first comp of the year so of course I'm stoked to take out my first two heats," Martin said. "I think it was a good call to get going again, I wasn't sure at first when it was called back on but the waves picked up a bit and there were plenty for everyone."

Conditions forced surfers to be extra light on their feet to compose with the low energy level in the lineup, quick and dynamic maneuvers taking center stage. At that game, Samuel Igo De Souza was voted best in class today with a pair of 7+ scores to take an easy win into the Round of 96.

Estrella Galicia Wave of the Day 1 - Caparica
Samuel Igo De Souza grabs the Estrella Galicia Wave of the Day on the opening day of competition in Caparica.

"I'm super happy to be here competing and that the hard work is paying off," De Souza said.

Other big scorers on the men's side of the draw on Day 1 include perennial threats Adrien Toyon, Ian Fontaine, Raul Bormann among others.

Rheanna Rosenbaum (BEL), Caparica 2022 Rheanna Rosenbaum (BEL) - WSL / Pedro Mestre

Earlier in the day, the women's opening round was completed as well, with a few familiar names taking out the four heats, namely Canarian duo Lucia Machado and Melania Suarez Diaz, Carolina Santos and Rheanna Rosenbaum.

Pressure will only keep building as the event continues when the top seeds enter the show and start battling for the top spots. The race to the 2022 Challenger Series is getting to a close in Portugal, this week for the women and next week in Santa Cruz for the men.

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