- WSL / Pedro Mestre
Final Estrella Galicia Caparica Surf Fest Highlights
Huscenot and Bonvalot trample the competition on finals day in Caparica.

Teresa Bonvalot and Maxime Huscenot have won the men's QS 3000 and women's QS 1000 Estrella Galicia Caparica Surf Fest 2022 respectively, claiming victories over Maud Le Car and Lucas Silveira in the Finals held in three-to-five foot surf this afternoon in Portugal.

Stop No. 4 of 5 on the men's 2021-22 World Surf League (WSL) European Qualifying Series (QS) and the final stop on the women's European QS, this event carried massive importance in the race to qualify for the 2022 Challenger Series (CS).

A big day of competition remained when surfers rocked up to praia de paraiso this morning, with the men's Round of 32 taking it to the lineup first. Waves picked up drastically overnight and despite continued, light onshore winds, conditions provided plenty of power and sections for the best European surfers to perform.

Estrella Galicia Wave of the Day 5 - Caparica
Lucas Silveira grabs the final Estrella Galicia Wave of the Day in Caparica with a slick move in the Round of 16.

Incredible performances ensued with numerous excellent scores including a 9.37 from Mihimana Braye with a Kerrupt flip, a 9.70 from Silveira on a single high-risk, high-reward powerful turn on a closeout section, a 9.00 of her own for Mafalda Lopes and a flurry of numbers above 8 points throughout the rounds completed today.

Bonvalot's Dream Run Continues in Caparica

Teresa Bonvalot (PRT), Caparica 2022 Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) - WSL / Pedro Mestre

The women's Final was first to hit the lineup late this afternoon, for a superheat featuring local favorite Teresa Bonvalot and her challenger Maud Le Car. Both surfers got a very quick start, and in similar fashion, finding a 7+ score on backhand turns. The French surfer got in the lead as she backed up her higher score with another left and applied pressure on Bonvalot who up until then had pretty much led all her heats from the get-go.

It took the Portuguese every bit of 20 minutes to find a second substantial ride but finally she did and managed to turn the heat, pushing Le Car back against the ropes. Feeding off her momentum, Bonvalot kept improving with another vertical hit on a solid section to improve her situation and further up the requirement for Le Car. As time ran out, opportunities got rare and Bonvalot clinched the win, AGAIN, in Caparica.

Her 2021 win in Caparica was a breakthrough moment in Bonvalot's career as she finally broke the glass ceiling to claim a first QS victory. She belted a second win shortly after in the Azores and it sparked something in the Cascais' surfer and ignited an incredible winning streak. She has now won 15 consecutive heats on the Qualifying Series, three events back-to-back and is undefeated since July of 2021.

"I'm feeling amazing with another win here," Bonvalot said. "Caparica definitely has a special place in my heart. We finished in really good waves and everyone had plenty of opportunities, that's all we wished for. Off to Australia soon and I'm super pumped to finally travel around the world and I hope we score some good waves."

Le Car had her best season in a few years on the QS with a solid equal fifth place in Azores, and a runner-up today but unfortunately came up just short to make the women's Top 7, synonymous with a spot in the 2022 Challenger series. The multiple winner on the QS from St Martin will be back at it when the QS resumes later this year with hopes of claiming a spot back on the top tours.

"I'm a little disappointed of course to come that close but overall super happy with my performance and this result," Le Car said. "It's been nice to surf some good waves and make some heats. I think I needed to win to make the Challenger cut but I'll keep working to improve and let's see what the future holds."

Bonvalot and Le Car had previously dispatched Yolanda Hopkins and Vahine Fierro respectively in the Semifinals.

Huscenot Claims 2021/22 European QS Title with Season's Second Win

Maxime Huscenot (FRA), Caparica 2022 Maxime Huscenot (FRA) - WSL / Pedro Mestre

In a clash of past World Junior Champions, Lucas Silveira started his Final quick with two 6+ scores really fast, but Maxime Huscenot's first real effort, a combination of two massive turns came in as a 9.57, giving him a virtual edge. He quickly backed it up with another decent ride and before the first 10 minutes of the heat were gone, the Frenchman was sitting on a 17+ heat total.

Unfortunately for Silveira, the form surfer of the event, and the season, Huscenot found another solid wave to attack on his backhand with two huge turns for an 8.77 to bury his opponent's hopes with 5 minutes on the clock and eventually take the win.

Huscenot claimed a career-third QS win and the second this season after his exciting performance in Azores. With a Quarterfinal finish in Israel and the win today, the French surfer from Reunion Island comforts his pole position on the European rankings and actually claims the 2021/22 European QS Title a few days shy of the final counting event in Santa Cruz.

"It's amazing, I'm having a great year," an emotional Huscenot said. "I worked so hard on my surfing to make it good and when the conditions are like this and you can finally show it to everyone it feels really good. It was a really long day and I'm exhausted now but I think it was worth it to finish in the best conditions. Congrats to Lucas, he was on fire all week."

A regular standout on the European QS, Lucas Silveira (BRA) is yet to win on the Old Continent but he continued to show he's deserving of a spot among the region's best talent.

"I love Portugal, it's really a second home for me and I'm stoked to be here today," Silveira said. "I want to thank everyone here for the support and Caparica for providing an exciting finals day in pumping waves."

Silveira and Huscenot eliminated Gatien Delahaye and Marco Mignot respectively in the Semifinals earlier today.

Challenger Series European Women Qualifiers Determined

The Challenger Series Gauntlet is Set
The WSL Challenger Series is the battleground where surfing's next generation compete to qualify for the Championship Tour.

8 surfers have now officially earned the much coveted invites for the inaugural full Challenger Series season, which will take surfers across 5 continents for a series of prestigious events, and a chance down the line to join the world's best athletes on the Championship Tour.

The 2021/22 European QS title winner Teresa Bonvalot will lead a talented crew into the CS season, made up of Francisca Veselko, Mafalda Lopes, Nadia Erostarbe, Pauline Ado, Garazi Sanchez-Ortun, Rachel Presti as well as European wildcard recipient Vahine Fierro.

These lucky 8 will have a golden opportunity to compete on some of the best waves on the planet, including Snapper Rocks' Superbank, Ericeira's famed righthand pointbreak of Ribeira d'Ilhas, the glamorous beachbreaks of Southwest France and the North Shore of Hawaii among others. Full schedule below:

2022 Challenger Series Schedule:

  • Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro pres. by Rip Curl: May 7 -15
  • Sydney Surf Pro pres. by Rip Curl: May 17 - 24
  • Ballito Pro presented by O'Neill: July 3 - 10
  • VANS US Open of Surfing: July 30 - August 7
  • EDP Vissla Pro Ericeira: October 1 - 9
  • Quiksilver / ROXY Pro France: October 12 - 23
  • Corona Saquarema Pro pres. by Banco do Brasil: November 1 - 8
  • Haleiwa Challenger: November 26 - December 7

Following the completion of the Estrella Galicia Caparica Surf Fest 2022, here are the European Qualifying Series standings:

2021/22 European Men's QS Top 10: (potential CS qualifiers)

1 - Maxime Huscenot (FRA) European Title Winner
2 - Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR)
3 - Gatien Delahaye (FRA)
4 - Adur Amatriain (EUK)
5 - Lucas Silveira (BRA)
6 - Gaspard Larsonneur (FRA)
7 - Tristan Guilbaud (FRA)
8 - Jorgann Couzinet (FRA)
9 - Thomas Debierre (FRA)
10 - Timothee Bisso (FRA)

2021/22 Final European Women's QS Top 5:

1 - Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) European Title Winner
2 - Mafalda Lopes (PRT)
2 - Francisca Veselko (PRT)
4 - Nadia Erostarbe (EUK)
5 - Pauline Ado (FRA)

Europe's best male surfers will now shift their focus to the final QS event of their 2021/22 season, the Estrella Galicia Pro Santa Cruz pres. By Noah Surf House, starting just up the coast on Tuesday, April 12, 2022.

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