- WSL / Damien Poullenot
Highlights: Champions Crowned on Epic Finals Day in Razo
The Cabreiroá Junior Pro Razo-Caión wraps in super fun surf and crowns Nicolas Paulet and Janire Gonzalez Etxabarri as the 2023 winners in Galicia!

PLAYA DE RAZO, A Coruna, Galicia / Spain (Sunday, September 24, 2023) - Today, Nicolas Paulet and Janire Gonzalez Etxabarri won the Cabreiroá Junior Pro Razo-Caión, the third and Final stop on the 2023 World Surf League (WSL) European Junior Qualifying Series (JQS), defeating Sam Piter and Aelan Vaast respectively in the event Finals held in clean two-to-three foot waves at Razo.

Competition resumed early with the women's Quarters and ran all the way up to the men and women's Finals in quality surf and under the Galician sun. The last time a WSL (then ASP) event was held at Razo, Ramzi Boukhiam and Maud Le Car were victorious, back in 2012.

Nicolas Paulet (FRA), Razo 2023 Nicolas Paulet (FRA) - WSL / Damien Poullenot

Nicolas Paulet Posts Last-Second Upset Against European Junior Champ

In a mostly anticlimactic Final, the freshly crowned European Junior title winner Sam Piter (FRA) took on Nicolas Paulet (FRA) for the last heat of the regional junior season. For 25 minutes the lineup only distilled small running lefts and Piter made short work of them with his signature aerial moves to build a healthy 14.33 total.

A more traditional rail surfer, Paulet sat patiently in the lineup waiting for a proper set and with five minutes on the clock was still on a 1 point heat total. But eventually that bomb came and the Biarritz surfer nailed a two-turn combo for an excellent 8.93 to get out of his combination situation. Paddling back out to the peak with seconds remaining, Piter let him go on a small inside right and Paulet pulled a rabbit out of his hat with a forehand rotation.

The judges took some time to compare with previous maneuvers and gave him a 5.83, just enough to overtake Piter and take the win. Both surfers waited on the beach for the last score and hugged it out, Piter gracious in defeat even lifting his opponent for the traditional carry up the beach.

"I'm super happy," Paulet said. "I haven't done much this season so it's great to finish on a positive note. That Final really wasn't going my way but it goes to show it's not over til it's over. I've been working on the airs and that was the only thing I could have done on that little last wave so I'm stoked I made it."

This result marks Paulet's second junior tour victory after La Torche last year and propels him into 3rd on the rankings in his second-to-last year as a junior.

Sam Piter (FRA), Razo 2023 Sam Piter (FRA) - WSL / Damien Poullenot

Sam Piter Capps Off Epic Season with Another Final in Razo

The 20 year-old from Seignosse, Sam Piter (FRA) was crowned the 2023 European junior title winner yesterday, courtesy of an extremely consistent season where he placed 5th in Morocco, won in Brittany and reached the Final again today in Galicia. Piter will now be carrying the region's hopes in the world final early next year.

"Winning the title was my major goal coming here so I'm really happy I made it happen," Piter said. "I was more relaxed today and enjoyed a couple of heats against my friends. I thought I did the job in the Final but I made a little mistake at the end, those things happen."

Piter and Paulet had previously defeated Noa Dupouy and Francisco Mittermayer respectively in the Semifinals.

Janire Gonzalez Etxabarri (ESP), Razo 2023 Janire Gonzalez Etxabarri (ESP) - WSL / Damien Poullenot

Janire Gonzalez Etxabarri Wins Again, Turns Season Around with WJC Berth

In the women's Final, 3-time European junior title winner Janire Gonzalez Etxabarri (ESP) took on Aelan Vaast (FRA), both surfers trying to redeem a somewhat poor season for their standards. A really close battle ensued as both surfers took on the clean little rights and lefts chasing the elusive big section that would give them an advantage.

The Tahitian found the best wave of the heat with a solid 6.93 but it was the Basque who found better backups and eventually took the win, the sixth of her career, all tours combined. With her result today, Janire Gonzalez Etxabarri managed to climb all the way up into second on the regional rankings behind her younger sister Annette Gonzalez Etxabarri (EUK) and both surfers will be traveling to the next World Junior Championships.

"I'm happy to get another win today, I think my sister and I are doing something right," Gonzalez Etxabarri said. "I had no expectations coming here, nothing to lose and I just enjoyed competing in fun waves. I was stoked to see my sister win her title and so happy we get to compete together at the World Juniors."

Aelan Vaast (FRA), Razo 2023 Aelan Vaast (FRA) - WSL / Damien Poullenot

Aelan Vaast Finds Form Again to Wrap 2023 Qualifying Effort

18 year-old Tahitian Aelan Vaast (FRA) posted her best result of the season with the runner-up finish today in Razo. A 2-time winner as a junior and runner-up to the regional title race in 2022, Vaast didn't quite convert this year and was yet to post a big result. Job done and the regular foot from Vairao can now focus on getting ready for the next season.

"That season was quite complicated for me so to finish with a second place is really nice for morale," Vaast said. "It was a super fun event with great waves so I'm really happy and motivated for next year!"

Gonzalez Etxabarri and Vaast had previously defeated Annette Gonzalez Etxabarri and Maria Dias respectively in the Semifinals.

With the 2023 European Junior Qualifying Series now in the books, here is the final regional rankings Top 5:

Men's European JQS Top 5:

1 - Sam Piter (FRA) Qualified for the WJC
2 - Elay Bochan (ISR) Qualified for the WJC
3 - Nicolas Paulet (FRA)
4 - Tim Elter (DEU)
4 - Paco Alonzo (FRA)

Women's European JQS Top 5:

1 - Annette Gonzalez Etxabarri (EUK) Qualified for the WJC
2 - Janire Gonzalez Etxabarri (ESP) Qualified for the WJC
3 - Nahia Milhau (FRA)
4 - Sarah Leiceaga (FRA)
5 - Maria Salgado (POR)

The Cabreiroá Junior Pro Razo/Caión was scheduled from September 21-24, 2023 at Praia de Razo, A Coruna, Galicia / Spain. Find out all about the event's live scores, results and updates at WorldSurfLeague.com, on the free WSL app as well as our social networks Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

*The CABREIROÁ JUNIOR PRO RAZO-CAIÓN 2023 is an event organized by the Club Praia de Pantín / Classic Surf Pro and has the institutional support of the Xunta de Galicia, Axencia Turismo de Galicia, Diputación de A Coruña, Consellería de Promoción do Emprego e Igualdade, Plan Corresponsables, Government of Spain, Carballo City Council, Laracha City Council and the Federación Galega de Surf. It is also sponsored by Cabreiroá, Vithas, Gadisa, Jael Joyería, Intermax Technology, and Surflogic.

    1 - Janire Gonzalez Etxabarri (ESP) 13.44
    2 - Aelan Vaast (FRA) 12.00

1 - Nicolas Paulet (FRA) 14.76
2 - Sam Piter (FRA) 14.33

SF 1: Janire Gonzalez Etxabarri (ESP) 17.17 def. Nahia Milhau (FRA) 10.83
SF 2: Aelan Vaast (FRA) 13.00 def. Maria Dias (POR) 4.53

SF 1: Sam Piter (FRA) 16.87 def. Noa Dupouy (FRA) 6.06
SF 2: Nicolas Paulet (FRA) 13.00 def. Francisco Mittermayer (POR) 6.00

QF 1: Janire Gonzalez Etxabarri (ESP) 6.67 def. Annette Gonzalez Etxabarri (EUK) 5.10
QF 2: Nahia Milhau (FRA) 8.00 def. Erica Maximo (POR) 5.20
QF 3: Aelan Vaast (FRA) 10.57 def. Hina-Maria Conradi (FRA) 7.27
QF 4: Maria Dias (POR) 9.10 def. Clemence Schorsch (FRA) 8.36

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