- WSL / Pedro Mestre
Highlights: Pressure Builds at Caparica Surf fest
Competition gets fierce as the last early rounds compete before the Estrella Galicia Caparica Surf Fest top seeds enter the show.

The Men's QS 3000 and women's QS 1000 Estrella Galicia Caparica Surf Fest 2022, Stop No. 4 of 5 on the 2021-22 World Surf League (WSL) European Qualifying Series (QS), continued today for a third straight day of action in building three-to-four foot surf. A solid day of action completed the men's Round of 128 as well as the women's Round of 48.

Surfers took on slightly bigger waves with more energy as a new swell started filling in at praia de paraiso, showing signs of potential for bigger surf in the coming days in Portugal.

Sam PiterSam Piter (FRA) and Raul Bormann highlighted the men's Round of 96 with the event's first excellent scores above 8 points. Piter dismantled a running little left with three radical forehand turns to post an impressive 8.83 (out of 10) and take the win into the following round.

Estrella Galicia Wave of the Day 3
Piter nails the Estrella Galicia Wave of the Day 3 at the Caparica Surf Fest with three good turns on his forehand.

"I'm super happy to get that good wave in a heat," Piter said. "It was a cold and small morning but the waves got better and I was stoked to surf. I focused on trying to get a set wave because that's really an advantage in those conditions, and then look for a decent backup."

A winner on the Junior Qualifying Series last year, the Frenchman now looks to make his mark on the QS where his best result to date is an equal 9th place finish.

Bormann had a different approach in mind to go excellent as the Brazilian went to the air, on a left as well, managing to land a full rotation on his forehand for an 8.00 point ride. In his fifth year competing on the Qualifying Series, Bormann is a familiar face across the European coastline and always a threat in a heat.

"Conditions are actually super fun and I've trained a lot in similar waves at home in Brazil," Bormann explained. "It's always fun to blow the tail up and I'm stoked. "

Mihimana Braye later managed to post an excellent 8.40 of his own for a similar air, a clean, tail high rotation on a left as well as he built the healthiest two-score combination of the event so far with 15.90 points (out of 20).

The women's Round of 48 followed and was dominated by Israel's Anat Lelior. The former runner-up in Caparica exploited the rights on her backhand and differentiated herself from the rest of the field with more power and precision in her turns to take a heat win into the top seeded Round of 32.

"I'm happy to be back after an injury that took me out for half a year," Lelior stated. "I love coming to Caparica and Portugal in general, and am enjoying every second of it."

Noa Lelior (ISR), Caparica 2022 Noa Lelior (ISR) - WSL / Pedro Mestre

Lelior's younger sister Noa Lelior also advanced through a later heat. The only surfers who came close to the numbers posted by Lelior were Carolina Mendes and the former World Junior Champion Vahine Fierro. Both surfers fought for the lead and eventually advanced out of the day's last heat together into the Round of 32.

Conditions degraded again towards the end of the afternoon on the incoming tide, forcing event officials to renounce plans to run heats from the men's Round of 64. The next call is set for 7a.m WEST on Friday, April 8, 2022 in Caparica.

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