- WSL / Damien Poullenot
Highlights: Vaast & Dominguez Come Out on Top of Pumping Finals Day in Ferrol
Aelan Vaast (FRA) and Yago Dominguez (EUK) go all the way at the Cabreiroa Junior Pro Ferrol to claim their first-ever pro wins on the WSL tours.

Aelan Vaast and Yago Dominguez have won the Cabreiroa Junior Pro Ferrol today, claiming victory in the Finals against Janire Gonzalez Etxabarri and Noa Dupouy respectively, held in excellent three-to-four foot surf at praia de doniños, in Ferrol.

Stop No.2 on the European JQS, the Cabreiroá Junior Pro Ferrol has been treated to great conditions all week, culminating today with the finals held in reeling lefts and mild winds.

Tahiti's Aelan Vaast had an impressive run in Ferrol, consistently posting big scores all the way to the event's highest single-wave number in the Final to take her first-ever pro win on the WSL tours. The young regular foot who was defeated twice by Gonzalez Etxabarri in previous events got her revenge at the best possible time in the Final. After a disappointing 13th place in Morocco, the win today pushed her up to second on the regional junior rankings, virtually qualifying for the World Junior Championships at this point.

"I feel amazing, this is such a great experience and feeling to win an event," she said. "I'm super stoked because I knew Janire was capable of turning the heat at any point with a big score. Scoring that 9 point was super cool, I pushed my turns harder and it felt good to get the score."

Aelan Vaast (FRA), Ferrol 2022 Aelan Vaast (FRA) - WSL / Damien Poullenot

The first exchange of the Final went Vaast's way with a good combination of backhand turns for a 6.50 over Extabarri's opening ride of 4.83. Both surfers opted to surf the main lefts and the Basque surfer stepped up her game with a big, single closeout turn for a 7.83 to get right back in the heat with the lead change. Vaast quickly answered with a near-perfect score of 9.33, pushing her maneuvers in bigger sections to turn the heat once again and put her opponent under pressure. Gonzalez Etxabarri was left chasing an 8.01, her best score in the final with 10 minutes on the clock, but waves did not offer her opportunities and the Polynesian walked away with the win.

The reigning event winner in Ferrol, Janire Gonzalez Etxabarri continued to impress with flawless surfing in the great conditions all week. Her fifth Final at the junior level with four wins and despite having to settle for the runner-up spot today, the Basque surfer comforts her commanding lead on the European junior rankings after two events of a 5-stop series in 2022.

"I'm very happy with this result," she said. "You can't win them all, but I felt my surfing was good and I'm happy with my performance. I'm training hard at the moment and I'll be ready for the next event in La Torche. My goal is to qualify for the World Juniors and I'm on my way to do it so I'm super happy."

Gonzalez Etxabarri and Vaast had previously dispatched Lucia Machado and Juliette Lacome respectively in their Semifinal matchups.

The first ten minutes of the men's Final between Yago Dominguez and Noa Dupouy were relatively slow, both surfers only able to post mid range scores. Dominguez was first to find real potential in the lineup with two turns on a good set wave, and behind him Dupouy found a slightly smaller but longer ride, giving the judges a first good exchange to analyze. The Frenchman got the slightest edge with a 7.13 against Dominguez' 6.67, but the Basque surfer managed to back his up super quickly with a 7.00 of his own to claim back the lead halfway through the heat.

With only a few minutes on the clock, both surfers let loose and went to the air on back-to-back waves, Dominguez with a rotation and Dupouy with a straight air. Dominguez once again got the nodge with an 8.93 over Dupouy's 8.33, leaving the Frenchman chasing a high 7 with virtually no time. The talented goofyfoot tried his luck on a massive closeout re-entry but failed to stay on his board and Dominguez claimed his first-ever pro win.

Yago Dominguez (EUK), Ferrol 2022 Yago Dominguez (EUK) - WSL / Damien Poullenot

Dominguez came in as the underdog in this Final, his previous best-ever result being a Quarterfinal way back in 2018 and just off an equal 33rd in Morocco last week. But the Basque surfer showed no mercy en route to his Final appearance, posting excellent scores in each and every one of his heats, including three scores above 9 points, and finally claiming his first big win on the WSL tours. This result pushed him up into 4th on the European rankings.

"I feel super happy, this is one of the best moments of my life," he said. "I've never been in the Semis let alone the Final so winning a pro junior for me is one of the best feelings. I feel ready for the next events, my surfing is feeling good so let's keep going!"

Dupouy made his second Final appearance at this level today in Ferrol but is yet to claim a maiden event win in his young career. However, fresh off an excellent equal 3rd in Morocco, it seems the momentum is on his side and he'll be a force to be reckoned with in the remaining three events on the European Junior Qualifying Series this year. Jumping up to second on the regional rankings, the Frenchman virtually holds a qualifying spot for the WJC as well.

"It was fun surfing with Yago cause he's one of my good friends," he explained. "It was tough to lose but that's how contests go, I'm still happy with my second place after a third in Morocco and I'm feeling good for the year, hoping to keep dropping good scores in the next contests."

Earlier in the Semifinals, Dominguez and Dupouy advanced past Keoni Lasa and Sam Piter respectively.

With the completion of the Cabreiroá Junior Pro Ferrol, the European junior rankings have changed here is the new current Top 5:

European Men's JQS Top 5:

1 - Bitor Garitaonandia (ESP)
2 - Noa Dupouy (FRA)
3 - Markel Vizcarguenaga (ESP)
4 - Yago Dominguez (EUK)
5 - Keoni Lasa (EUK)

European Women's JQS Top 5:

1 - Janire Gonzalez Etxabarri (ESP)
2 - Aelan Vaast (FRA)
3 - Lucia Machado (CNY)
4 - Maelys Jouault (FRA)
5 - Gabriela Dinis (PRT)
5 - Juliette Lacome (FRA)

Surfers will now have roughly four months to prepare for the next event on the 2022 European Junior Qualifying Series, the E.Leclerc Pont-L'Abbé Junior Pro La Torche, from September 7-11, 2022 in Brittany, France.

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