Adur Amatriain and Teresa Bonvalot have won the QS1,000 ABANCA Pantin Classic Galicia Pro today, claiming victory in the Finals against Kai Odriozola and Alys Barton held in one-to-two foot surf. Stop No. 1 of 10 on the 2022-23 European QS, the ABANCA Pantin Classic Galicia Pro has been navigating a challenging forecast with three days of action earlier in the week, the men's Semifinals ran on Saturday and the Finals today.
Amatriain Goes Back-to-Back, Basque Youth on Fire
The men's Final was a display of youthful exuberance between Amatriain and Odriozola, two junior surfers hailing from neighboring towns in the Spanish Basque Country. Since their Semifinals were completed yesterday, both surfers entered the lineup fresh and extra motivated to put on a good show.
The ocean was very slow to distill opportunities and while Amatriain got busy chasing multiple waves, Odriozola played the patience game and spent over 20 minutes being inactive in the lineup. An interesting exchange happened midway through where Odriozola found a long but soft wave and behind him Amatriain had a steeper one that only allowed two turns but much better turns, giving him a comfortable lead.
Odriozola later found his rhythm on a good right with a three-turn combo to post a good score of his own and get right back in the fight. Both surfers kept trying to replace their backup number, Amatriain primarily on the lefts while Odriozola stuck to the rights. Time eventually ran out and Amatrian kept his edge to claim back-to-back wins in Pantin.
The 18 year-old from Zarautz claimed his career-second event title on the Qualifying Series, and remains undefeated in the Pantin lineup for one more year.
"Last year I was competing against Joan (Duru) who has made lots of finals and this time around with Kai who made his first one," Amatriain said. "But both were equally as hard to win and until the timer went to zero I didn't know if I was going to win it. I'm super happy to go back-to-back here." At only 16 years old, Odriozola made his debut Final appearance and fought hard for a shot at lifting the winner's trophy. Unfortunately he came just 0.13 short and his quest for a first win will continue on the WSL tours.
"I'm really happy to make my first Final here in Pantin at such an iconic event," Odriozola said. "I'm stoked with my surfing the whole week, it was a great Final with Adur and a close one, I'm happy for him and really excited for the next events." Amatriain and Odriozola had previously eliminated Luis Diaz and Tiago Carrique respectively in the semis.
Bonvalot Continues to Dominate, Epic Winning Run Up to Four in a Row
In the women's Final, a little confusion on the very first wave thankfully didn't result in an interference call and both surfers got away with a clean slate. Teresa Bonvalot had her foot on the gas pedal from the get-go, posting a good score early on to pressure Alys Barton in her first WSL Final.
The Portuguese powerhouse quickly found a very good right to perform two big backside turns on for a 7.43, leaving the young British surfer chasing a near-perfect requirement. Bonvalot definitely shut all hopes for Barton with an excellent 8.33 on the 5-minute and walked away with the win.
Bonvalot is undeniably the strongest surfer in Europe at the moment and has been since last November. She has won her last four consecutive events on the regional QS, making it an unprecedented run of form. She is also currently ranked fourth on the Challenger Series and fighting for a spot on the Championship Tour next year. "It was an amazing event once again even with the tricky conditions we ended up having lots of waves," Bonvalot said. "I've been competing for a very long time and traveling the world and picking up experience and I think it really helps. I've really been enjoying myself lately and it shows. Even in the small stuff you really have to find the best sections and push your turns and go big."
Barton's very first Final on the QS didn't quite go as planned but she fought hard and never backed out, continuously chasing waves in a tricky lineup and posting a couple of decent scores. The experience built throughout this event will undoubtedly come in handy as she heads home to Great Britain for the next stop on the regional series.
"This event has been super amazing, a big thank you to everyone involved," Barton said. "With the heat and the waves it's been a real challenge to run it. Surfing against Teresa has been a great opportunity and it really inspires me to push my surfing all the time. And everyone else too, who I've looked up to for a long time have been pushing me to do better. I remember my first event at Boardmasters I didn't even catch a wave, so I've come a long way and it's amazing." Bonvalot and Barton had previously eliminated Yolanda Hopkins and Rachel Presti respectively in their Semifinal bouts.
With the completion of the ABANCA Pantin Classic Galicia Pro, the race to the 2022-23 European title is underway, here are the current rankings:
European Men's QS Top 5:
1 - Adur Amatriain (EUK)
2 - Kai Odriozola (ESP)
3 - Tiago Carrique (FRA)
3 - Luis Diaz (CNY)
5 - Kauli Vaast (FRA)
5 - Dylan Groen (DEU)
5 - Leon Glatzer (DEU)
5 - Joan Duru (FRA)
European Women's QS Top 5:
1 - Teresa Bonvalot (PRT)
2 - Alys Barton (GBR)
3 - Yolanda Hopkins (PRT)
3 - Rachel Presti (DEU)
5 - Janire Gonzalez Etxabarri (ESP)
5 - Pauline Ado (FRA)
5 - Maud Le Car (FRA)
5 - Lucia Martino (ESP)
Surfers will now have three weeks to prepare for the next event on the 2022-23 European QS, the Animal Pro, held at Fistral beach, Cornwall - England from August 10-14, 2022.