FIGUEIRA da FOZ, Portugal - An overnight increase in swell saw Round Three of competition completed at the ASP 6-Star Lusiaves Figueira Pro. Moving back to the main event site at Praia do Cabedelo after having gone mobile on the opening days, event officials and surfers were greeted with long, clean lines in the 4ft (1m) range for the running of today’s 12 intense heats of competition.
The early morning high tide conditions were optimum with many excellent displays of modern, progressive surfing. Later in the afternoon with the lower tide and such a straight swell, wave selection became crucial when looking for the waves which would open up down the line.
With only six minutes remaining in his 25-minute clash, Richard Christie (NZL) did not have a scoring ride. Sitting in fourth place he finally got his tally underway and within the space of a few waves was leading the heat and on his way to a comfortable victory. Combining savage turns and high boosted airs, Christie demonstrated again that he has the repertoire in his kit to go all the way with a combined heat total of 15.83 out of 20.
“I have been doing quite a few airs in the last contests and it seems to be working so I just go out there and try and do them. That’s what I do when I am free surfing so I am more relaxed in the heat if I am doing things I usually do and not trying moves I don’t really know how to do.”
“The waves are super fun today and although I didn’t have a heat yesterday I was there watching. The waves are beautiful today and the spot is amazing.”
Mitch Coleborn (AUS) continued on his winning way with his best performance of the ASP European summer leg. Getting off the mark with an 8.00, two powerful forehand smashes, Coleborn built on his comfortable lead adding several more solid scoring rides and a heat total of 15.77.
“Before my heat I was looking at it and there were some good ramps and turn sections on this fun left running into the pier. I couldn’t be happier and I went out there to have the most fun possible.”
“That was actually the best heat I’ve had this whole leg,” stated Coleborn. “I want to keep my momentum going and hopefully the waves stay fun and my boards are going unreal so I just want to keep it going. I mean this beach is even better than the last one, and everywhere we have been has been small. It looks like swell for this whole event so if it keeps going it will be great.”
Young South African, Shaun Joubert was forced to leave it to the last seconds of his Round Three match-up to take victory and secure his pass into the next round. Sitting down the beach looking for the rights coming through, Joubert took to the air and landed to claim his much needed score.
“I wasn’t having the best heat and I sitting far away and I thought I needed a 7 so I went for the air and luckily I went big and stoked to get the score.”
Competing more than ever on the ASP Men’s Star-Series this year, Joubert explains how he is approaching the big events in Europe this year.
“I have just started doing it this year because I finished school last year and we didn’t have too many juniors at home so I have got into the serious side and start the grind. I am taking it seriously because I want to do well and be able to surf in the Prime events next year. I want to do it properly so I am trying my best in every contest.”
“You kind of come up against the same guys who step up from the juniors that come on to the WQS,” continued Joubert. “Obviously a little bit harder and we surf more heats but it is fun to get out there and surf with some of the best guys in the world.”
Leonardo Neves (BRA) gave another power-house display with excellent wave selection in the tricky afternoon session of competition. Looking strong and on a different board today, Neves is in form and going for a result here at the Lusiaves Figueira Pro.
“The heat was very slow with not too many sets because the tide is changing so much. I got some good waves and then it got better and there were some lefts but I surfed the rights better.”
“I changed my board this morning and it is going a lot better in these waves today. I surfed yesterday on my old board and today I have used my normal board I ride all the time and it worked really well.”
Francisco Bellorin (VEN) has turned a lot of heads this week with his progressive surfing and ability to maintain his composure in pressure situations. In one of the closest heats of the event so far, less than one point between the first three surfers, Bellorin hung on to claim victory and find himself in the last remaining 24 surfers of the event.
“I am really happy with the result of the heat which was very close. I was up against one of the hardest competitors from Brazil (Messias Felix) and for me the best Spanish competitor too (Gony Zubizarreta). I felt under a lot of pressure and a little scared but I managed to get two good waves. My legs were trembling when I was waiting for my last scores and so I marked the other guys and I heard I was third but then on the beach I jumped to first so I am very happy.”
“I hope I can continue with this good fortune of mine and there are the best surfers in the world here so I am pleased with my results so far.”
After monitoring conditions during the last heats, organisers and surfers alike decided to call it a day due to the very low tide and close-out conditions. Tomorrow at 07:30 a first call will be made and a start shortly after to Round Four of the Lusiaves Figueira Pro.
Upcoming Round 4 Lusiaves Figueira Pro Match-Ups
Heat 1: Austin Ware (USA), Richard Christie (NZL), Charles Martin (GLP)
Heat 2: Heitor Alves (BRA), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Andre Silva (BRA)
Heat 3: Marc Lacomare (FRA), Mitch Coleborn (AUS), Gony Zubizarreta (ESP)
Heat 4: Rudy Palmboom (ZAF), Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY), Francisco Bellorin (VEN)
Heat 5: Shaun Joubert (ZAF), Tanner Gadauskas (USA), Maxime Huscenot (FRA)
Heat 6: David do Carmo (BRA), Tim Boal (FRA), Royden Bryson (ZAF)
Heat 7: Jano Belo (BRA), Leonardo Neves (BRA), Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK)
Heat 8: Pablo Paulino (BRA), Yadin Nicol (AUS), Glen Hall (IRL)
Lusiaves Figueira Pro Round 3 Results
Heat 1: Austin Ware (USA) 14.60, Heitor Alves (BRA) 10.40, Alain Riou (PYF) 10.24, Blake Jones (USA) 4.50
Heat 2: Richard Christie (NZL) 15.83, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 10.50, Eneko Acero (EUK) 7.34, Jean Da Silva (BRA) 7.30
Heat 3: Andre Silva (BRA) 13.17, Charles Martin (GLP) 11.43, Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 7.66, Manfred Adrio (ZAF) 6.23
Heat 4: Marc Lacomare (FRA) 12.73, Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) 11.00, Miguel Mouzinho (PRT) 10.50, Txaber Trojaola (EUK) 6.24
Heat 5: Mitch Coleborn (AUS) 15.77, Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 13.63, Jay Quinn (NZL) 13.33, Jayke Sharp (AUS) 11.64
Heat 6: Francisco Bellorin (VEN) 11.83, Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 11.83, Messias Felix (BRA) 11.14, Madison Williams (AUS) 6.37
Heat 7: Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 12.40, David do Carmo (BRA) 12.36, Joan Duru (FRA) 11.63, Billy Stairmand (NZL) 9.14
Heat 8: Tanner Gadauskas (USA) 12.80, Tim Boal (FRA) 10.34, Nathan Hedge (AUS) 9.30, Brian Toth (PRI) 7.57
Heat 9: Royden Bryson (ZAF) 14.84, Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 10.06, Tonino Benson (HAW) 8.30, Gustavo Fernandes (BRA) 6.33
Heat 10: Jano Belo (BRA) 10.73, Pablo Paulino (BRA) 10.10, Adrien Toyon (REU) 7.36, Romain Cloitre (FRA) 4.82
Heat 11: Leonardo Neves (BRA) 11.66, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 8.93, Bruno Rodrigues (BRA) 5.66, Yuri Sodre (BRA) 3.44
Heat 12: Glen Hall (IRL) 12.97, Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK) 8.14, Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 8.06, Yannick de Jager (NDL) 6.04