PLAYA DE PANTIN, Galicia - Spain (Saturday, August 31, 2013) - The wave factory of Pantin produced clean 2-to-3-foot surf again today to complete the ASP 3-Star Pantin Classic Galicia Pro that crowned Steven Pierson (PYF) the 2013 event champion. Surfers competed in no less than four heats including the final, an exciting 35mn bout punctuated by the Polynesian's victory.
Pierson, 29, was on a lethal form today in Pantin, posting an incredible four 9+ scores on his way to his maiden Star tour win. His powerful and fast backhand surfing was unmatched today and Pierson conquers the Galician crown.
"I'm so stoked to win here, I love Pantin, the landscapes are amazing and the waves are fun !" an ecstatic Pierson said. "There's a good little left like home, except the water's freezing ! I think Michel Bourez and Alain Riou both got second here and I believe I'm the first Tahitian to win in Pantin so it makes it extra special !"
A discrete surfer and competition dark horse before the final day, Pierson let his surfing speak for him today, dominating some talented opponents all the way to the final. With a good momentum going into the ASP Prime in Azores, Pierson will be looking to confirm his form against the world's best.
"I'm super motivated, I had friends here with me and my girlfriend's been supporting me. For me the most important thing is to have your head straight and she gives me that, cause everyone's ripping and you got to be strong mentally. Next stop Azores, I'm grateful to get the ASP wildcard and I hope I can do good there too and climb a few spots on the rankings.."
Billy Stairmand (NZL) 23, past winner of the Pantin Classic Galicia Pro in 2010, takes the second place today, unable to repeat his semi-final scenario where he advanced ahead of Pierson. Stairmand graced the massive crowds today with a spectacular full rotation aerial in the semis and has been one of the most entertaining surfers in the draw.
"I feel amazing !" Stairmand said. "I come here every year and it's super fun to be back in Pantin, there's always good memories here. There's good little lefts out there and coming from Raglan I love them and also love doing backside airs. It's been amazing everyone's been surfing incredible, too much fun ! I've been on kind of a roll at the moment so hopefully I can keep that ball going !"
Carlos Munoz (CRI) 20, current World No.83 from Costa-Rica, places third in a final where he couldn't find the ramps he's been attacking all week to produce his progressive aerial surfing. The young regular footer, who still competes in the junior series, builds confidence and momentum before taking things to the next level come Tuesday.
"Last year I lost in the second round so I guess I'm pretty happy with a third place today !" Munoz said. "I came here to train and to make it all the way to the final is amazing. I was really tired by the end, but I'm stoked for Steven he's been ripping I was watching him in the water throwing so much spray ! This confidence boost will definitely help next week, I'm surfing in a Prime for the first time."
Jose Ferreira (PRT) 21, takes the fourth place on the podium of this 2013 Pantin Classic Galicia Pro, and attains the final of a major European event for the first time. In his first full year on the qualifying series after campaigning the Junior European tour, Ferreira has shown determination throughout the earlier rounds of competition but was unable to find the necessary backup score he needed in the final.
"It's been a tough last couple of years, I haven't been able to show my best surfing in competitions," Ferreira commented. "I guess it made me work harder and this year I'm way more loose and relaxed and the results are coming to me. I feel very happy and confident, this is my first final on a Star event so I'm building things slowly and that's the way I like to do it."
In last position and needing a combination of two scores in his semi-final, Ferreira kept his composure to start on a long running lefthander he destroyed on multiple occasions to claim a near-perfect 9.60. Quickly backing it with another excellent ride of 8.77, Ferreira won the heat. History repeated itself in the final, with Ferreira left chasing two scores when he surfed a very similar wave to post a 9.20, but this time he didn't find the second wave he needed to take the win.
"I never quit. I guess it's like a Portuguese thing, it's in our blood." Ferreira explained. "I never quit on heats, it came from the bottom of my heart and I let it out today. Next is the Prime, it's where I want to be to compete against the Top100 and hopefully integrate it to surf all the Primes next year."
The ASP 6-Star Women's Pantin Classic Galicia Pro will enter its final day tomorrow with a lot on the line for surfers trying to qualify or maintain their spot on the Elite ASP Top17 next year. Organizers will hold a Call at 9:30 to assess conditions and determine the schedule.
The 2013 Pantin Classic Galicia Pro is scheduled from August 27 - September 1, 2013 in Playa de Pantin, Galicia. For all results, photos, video highlights, press releases and LIVE webcast, log on to aspeurope.com/pantin2013.
The Pantin Classic Galicia Pro is made possible with the support of the following event partners: Ãrbol Es Vida, Vodafone Yu, Diputación de A Coruña, Xunta de Galicia, Deporte Galego, Concello de Valdoviño, Concello de Ferrol, Garnier Delial, Estrella Galicia, Cabreiroá, Surfing Latino, Novagalicia Banco, Surfer Rule, Pequot, Spotfav, RockStar Energy Drink, CarrÃs Hoteles, Intermax, Gadis, Concello de Cedeira, Coca-Cola, Federación Gallega de Surf amongst others.
PANTIN CLASSIC GALICIA PRO MEN'S SEMI-FINALS RESULTS:
Heat 1: Billy Stairmand (NZL) 17.23, Steven Pierson (PYF) 16.50, Hiroto Arai (JPN) 14.10, David Do Carmo (BRA) 13.57
Heat 2: Jose Ferreira (PRT) 18.37, Carlos Munoz (CRI) 16.34, Jordin Watson (AUS) 16.23, Marlon Lipke (PRT) 13.94