Movistar O’Neill Pantin Classic
ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 5-Star event
ASP WQS European Series Stop No. 9 of 13
Ericeira – Portugal
September 2-7, 2008
Patrick Gudauskas (Ca, USA), current ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) No. 4, was one of today’s top performers. Photo courtesy Aquashot/ASP Europe
PANTIN, Spain (Wednesday, September 3, 2008) – Day 2 of the Movistar O’Neill Pantin Classic was treated to a full day of action with twenty heats taking place in testing five to eight foot (1.5 to 2.5 meter) waves taking the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 5-Star event into the top seeded surfers’ round with big names getting their start in the event.
William Cardoso (BRA) took top honours again winning Heat 5 of Round 3 with the second best heat tally of the event so far including the best wave score, respectively 16.56 points (out of a possible 20) and a near perfect 9.73 (out of a possible 10) to advance. Cardoso, a power surfer from Brazil, was at ease in the testing eight foot sets and defeated defending champion and current ASP WQS No. 9 Marlon Lipke (DEU) to secure his spot in Round 4.
“I am pretty stoked with that heat and I was lucky to surf with the tide coming in because it cleaned up the line-up,” Williams said. “I had that good 9.57 point ride yesterday in Round 2 and I did better in that one so it is a great confidence boost.”
Cardoso, who lost early in all events in Europe this summer, came to Pantin with a fresh mental ready to start from scratch and get a result under his belt.
“It has been pretty hard for me and I was feeling very bad after that loss in Ericeira last week,” Cardoso said. “I decided to try harder in a positive way and it seems like I am back on the right path so I am stoked. I cannot wait to paddle back out and surf those big waves coming soon, it seems like it will very solid Friday.”
Cardoso’s performance was just a starter to the upcoming show with most of the current ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) leaders being present at Pantin.
The opening clash of Round 3 saw last week’s ASP WQS 6-Star runner-up Patrick Gudauskas (USA) come up with some of the most impressive surfing of the day posting a 7.83 point ride out of a possible 10 after landing an eight-foot high floater on one of the set waves.
Gudauskas, who is rated No. 4 on the international ratings, finished second though after Reunion Island born surfer Christophe Allary (REU) went from fourth to first in the last minute with the highest singl wave score of the event so far, an impressive 9.57 point ride after busting a huge double-grab frontside air.
“I went out there to have fun and try a lot of maneuvers but kept falling on all my waves,” Allary said. “I knew I needed more than seven points to catch up with the guys so I paddled in that last wave with nothing to lose and went for that big air which I landed. Pretty stoked to make this one.”
Allary, who has had a disappointing European leg so far, let go the pressure for his second heat in the event and left the water smiling.
“It has been pretty hard for me this year and to make a heat with that kind of finish is pretty good for my confidence,” Allary said. “This event and the next ones will be my main focus to get back at my level and I am definitely ready to surf again in bigger waves tomorrow.”
With crowds cheering their local heroes despite the rains and winds blowing all day, the Movistar O’Neill Pantin Classic got into serious business and the pressure definitely rose upon those chasing points counting for the end-of-the-year possible ASP World Tour qualification.
Gony Zubizarreta (ESP), 23, the best local surfer ever who currently sits 44th on the ratings, was much awaited for his start in the only local event of the year and handled the pressure pretty well getting a confident second place to advance behind ASP WQS European No. 3 Glenn Hall (IRE).
“There was a bit of pressure on me for that heat as you always want to do good at home and the public wants you to win,” Zubizarreta said. “That first wave came and it was pretty good but I fell and started getting nervous a little but it all ended up well so I am happy. Lots of waves came in and it was just a matter of choice.”
Zubizarreta, who is looking to better his overall 7650 point total, has all chances to shine at his home break of Pantin and will be a serious contender for the crown if he reaches the finals where massive crowds are expected.
Ten to twelve foot (3 to 4 meter) waves are supposed to hit Pantin from tomorrow night and today will feature all Round 3 remaining heats and possibly some of Round 4 clashes with more and more points on offer to those campaigning for a possible Dream Tour inception next year.