- WSL / Pedro Mestre

The men's QS 3,000 and women's QS 1,000 Caparica Surf Fest 2023 is approaching fast and with it the conclusion of the 2022-23 European Qualifying Series (QS). The event holds a running window from April 3-8, 2023.

The last counting stop on the European QS, this event is of the utmost importance for Europe's best surfers trying to qualify for the 2023 Challenger Series (CS).

It's the eighth time surfers will take on the punchy beachbreaks of Caparica, and the event has delivered over the years with conditions ranging from playful 2-to-3 foot peaks, to solid surf and thumping barrels on the day.

A short drive from the capital city of Lisbon across the Ponte 25 de Abril (the iconic suspension bridge over the Tejo river), Costa da Caparica is host to miles of empty beachbreaks and a variety of conditions. Breakwalls in town fix the sand banks and produce repetitive conditions while the open beaches to the south are subject to more unpredictability.

A favorite among surfers for the warm climate and very consistent surf, the Caparica Surf Fest also boasts fun activities for the large crowds, especially on weekends.

Teaser: Caparica Surf Fest
The Caparica Surf Fest is ON from April 3-8, 2023, the last QS event in Europe for the 2022-23 season, it's huge in the race to qualify for this year's Challenger Series!

The European QS Has Seen it All Again this Year

Five events have been completed so far, counting in the 2022-23 European QS rankings: Pantin, Boardmasters, Lacanau, Anglet and Taghazout more recently. The unfortunate cancellation of Azores means surfers will count their four best results out of six (including Caparica).

Once again surfers have been faced with a variety of conditions in the last ten months and the current rankings reflect the level of adaptability with a lot of experienced competitors currently making the cut.

The reigning event winners in Caparica Maxime Huscenot and Teresa Bonvalot, both competing on the Championship Tour (CT) this year, will not be able to defend their titles which opens a door for the rest of the field.

2023 Challenger Series Schedule Is Set!
Qualification for the 2024 Championship Tour starts in May with a Six-Stop Tour in Australia, South Africa, USA, Portugal and Brazil.

Challenger Series: Who's In, Who's Out?

When the dust settles in Portugal, the Top 7 men + 1 wildcard as well as the Top 4 women + 1 wildcard will be awarded spots into the upcoming 2023 CS.

A few surfers have already punched their ticket courtesy of their results on the CS last season. That is the case for Joan Duru and Gatien Delahaye in the men's as well as Teresa Bonvalot and Vahine Fierro in the women's. The reigning Women's World Junior Champion Francisca Veselko also secured a guaranteed spot in this year's CS. Frederico Morais is also guaranteed a spot as a Championship Tour (CT) surfer in 2022 who failed to requalify.

If rankings remain unchanged after Caparica, a few new faces could represent the European region on the CS this season, including the recent MEO Rip Curl Portugal Pro wildcard and current rankings leader Tiago Carrique, former European Junior Champ Marco Mignot as well as Canary Islands' Luis Diaz.

Big names are missing from the current crop of potential qualifiers and competition will be fierce in Caparica to move into the bubble.

2022/23 Current European Men's QS Top 7: (potential CS qualifiers)

1 - Tiago Carrique (FRA)
2 - Kauli Vaast (FRA)
3 - Gatien Delahaye (FRA) (already qualified through 2022 CS ranking)
4 - Jorgann Couzinet (FRA)
5 - Joan Duru (FRA) (already qualified through 2022 CS ranking)
6 - Marco Mignot (FRA)
7 - Timothee Bisso (FRA)
8 - Luis Diaz (CNY)
9 - Marc Lacomare (FRA)

2022/23 Current European Women's QS Top 4: (potential CS qualifiers)

1 - Yolanda Hopkins (POR)
2 - Pauline Ado (FRA)
3 - Francisca Veselko (POR) (already qualified, World Junior Champion spot)
4 - Carolina Mendes (POR)
5 - Ariane Ochoa (EUK)

The 2023 Challenger Series will feature six events across Australia, South Africa, the U.S.A, Portugal and Brazil. Fields will be reduced compared to the previous season, to 80 men and 48 women. Detailed schedule below:

  • Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro Presented by GWM (Queensland, Australia): May 6 - 13, 2023
  • GWM Sydney Surf Pro Presented by Bonsoy (New South Wales, Australia): May 17 - 24, 2023
  • Ballito Pro Presented by O'Neill (KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa): July 2 - 9, 2023
  • US Open of Surfing presented by Pacifico (Huntington Beach, USA): July 29 - August 6
  • EDP Vissla Pro Ericeira Presented by Estrella Galicia (Ericeira, Portugal): October 1 - 8, 2023
  • Corona Saquarema Pro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil): October 14 - 21, 2023

Read more about it here.

Watch All the Action LIVE from Caparica

The Caparica Surf Fest will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, the free WSL app, and the WSL's YouTube channel. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL's broadcast partners.

The Caparica Surf Fest is scheduled from April 3-8, 2023 at Praia do Paraiso, Costa da Caparica - Portugal. It is brought to you by WSL, sponsored by Estrella Galicia, Almada City Council, Millennium BCP, Meo, Hertz.

World Surf League
Download it for free on the App store. Download it for free on Google Play.