- WSL / Laurent Masurel

GRANDE PLAGE, Lacanau / France – Day 3 of the ASP 5-Star Soöruz Lacanau Pro witnessed great performances among major upsets, disputed in four-foot, bumpy surf. With the event top seeds entering the show today, the level of expertise rose and with it big scores started dropping.

Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 19, netted the biggest score of the event so far, an incredible 9.17 out of 10 for a succession of powerful turns in the critical sections of the wave.

Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) Ribeiro, standout surfer of the day. - WSL / Laurent Masurel

“It is a great confidence boost to get scores like that, but I know this is just the beginning of the event and I have to keep my focus on what's ahead.” Ribeiro said, analyzing his own performance. “To be honest I'm not sure which score is which wave, I didn't hear much cause we're so far from shore, but I heard at some point that I was in the lead.”

Ribeiro and compatriot Miguel Blanco (PRT) were responsible for the first major upset, defeating France's Joan Duru (FRA) on the final exchange of the 25-minute bout.

“I've been training a lot with Yann, and in previous years my approach was wrong,” Ribeiro said. “I used to try to perform as many turns as possible with little to no regards to the wave itself, whereas now my focus is on surfing the way the wave allows me to. Select the right wave and surf it smart, utilizing critical sections.”

Steven Pierson (PYF) 30, collected an impressive 16.16 out of 20 for two long waves that he surfed to perfection. Extremely patient and cautious in the lineup, the Tahitian ambassador selected only four waves with a sufficient scoring potential and focused on exploiting all sections perfectly.

“It's not easy but I managed to find two good waves early on, and then I just had to manage the lead, basically,” said Pierson. “I'd love to win this event but it's a long road, what's most important is that I enjoy myself in the process. I'm stoked to see another Tahitian doing great and I hope at least one of us can go far!”

Heremoana Luciani (PYF) 24, continued his tear through the Soöruz Lacanau Pro, winning his third consecutive heat in fantastic fashion. The powerful Tahitian, previously unknown by the French public, made a strong impression at each three appearances.

“I've been lucky enough to attract all the waves for the past couple of days,” Luciani said. “I'm really careful when identifying the peaks and preparing my heat, I'm happy that this part of the job pays off.”

Gaspard Larsonneur (FRA) Gaspard Larsonneur found a little coverup at high tide. - WSL / Laurent Masurel

Advancing into the fourth round alongside Italian ripper Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA), Luciani caused another big upset, eliminating California's Patrick Gudauskas (USA).

“I came here just to test myself really,” he continued. “I usually am busy with work and can't travel much, but this year I planned in advance and I'm stoked to have come here and made a few heats. I'll continue without thinking too much of the end result, I just want to build experience and confidence in the process.”

Charly Martin (GLP) 24, defending event champion, kicked off the competition with a solid heat win and one of the best scores of the event, an excellent 9-point ride. Displaying a big smile after his heat, Martin seemed unconcerned by high expectations from his fans.

“I'm happy I got that best wave right from the start, it was a great righthander, probably the best of the whole heat,” Martin said. “I can't say I'm not feeling the pressure, but honestly I don't pay too much attention. I'm simply happy to be here and compete.”

Maxime Huscenot (FRA) Maxime Huscenot on a clean one this morning. - WSL / Laurent Masurel

Surfers will reconvene Friday at 9:00 AM local time for a potential start of the fifth round of competition.

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