GRAN CANARIA, Canary Islands - The Islas Canarias Ocean and Earth Pro was forced to call a second consecutive lay day due to small inconsistent conditions and is preparing for a huge ground swell expected to show signs of life overnight to allow the crowning of the 2010 champion tomorrow afternoon. The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) sanctioned event has one day remaining in the official waiting period and with only four hours needed to complete the event a swell window is guaranteed to open producing excellent conditions for the final day.
Small lines in the 2ft (0.5m) range pushed in as the tide rose but inconsistency and the promise of better conditions tomorrow lead to the decision being made. The swell coming is big enough to push in earlier than expected the first barrage of waves which could produce spectacular over-head barrels at El Confital.
“There will be waves tomorrow,” affirmed contest organiser Federico Garcia. “I am sure we are going to see some great surfing and the barrels will come. Everybody is here and everything is set up and ready to go. Early tomorrow we will check it and then when the tide comes in it will be good and then on the outgoing tide it will be better.”
ASP Europe president Dave Mailman is on-site for this final event of the season here in Europe and is putting things into perspective about what is the reasoning behind the waiting to run the remaining seven heats of competition.
“Mother Nature makes the calls not us so we are just going to cross our fingers and go home and be nice and hopefully there will be waves tomorrow. It is always much better to have the final rounds in pumping surf and that is what Federico Garcia, the organiser of the Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro, likes to see too. We didn’t come here to surf knee high, waist high surf. We came here to see the boys in pumping barrels at El Confital. Hopefully that is what we are going to have tomorrow and that is why we are waiting.”
One of ‘the boys’ literally speaking, that we are waiting to see is young Brazilian Jesse Mendes 17, who will be up first in quarter-final nº1 against Glen Hall (IRL) when competition resumes tomorrow. On his first trip to Europe Mendes has impressed after his Round Five finish in Lanzarote and now a quarter-finals birth at the Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro.
“It is hard to surf today with the off-shore and the small swell but there are a couple of waves out there. I got lucky because I went out there for ten minutes and two sets come through, the best of the day. I don’t know really, I would surf today but then also I wouldn’t. I would definitely love to surf this spot when it gets bigger. I have seen the forecasts and hopefully it is better conditions for tomorrow.”
Nick Riley (Manly, AUS) 22, is pitted against Charlie Brown (BRA) in quarter-final nº4 and after a free surf at lunch time talks about the decision made and what he hopes for to end the contest.
“The waves are not too fantastic at the moment so it is a hard decision to make and maybe they are gambling a bit on waiting but the reports do show it is going to be big tomorrow so they have probably made the right decision to hold off and try and punch it out as quick as possible.”
After this event Riley will return home after two visits this year to main land Europe. A continent that he has found fascinating and is keen to return to next year to compete again.
“After here I am going to head home for the summer and see my family and relax a little and then get stuck into it again for next year. I would love to come back over to Europe because I love the areas and the lifestyle here is awesome.”
First call will be at 12 noon with a possible start shortly after starting off with quarter-final nº1 and running through to the crowning of this year’s Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro 2010 champion.
Upcoming Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro Quarterfinal Match-Ups
QF 1: Jesse Mendes (BRA) Vs Glen Hall (IRL)
QF 2: Shaun Joubert (ZAF) Vs Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY)
QF 3: Tim Boal (FRA) Vs Heath Joske (AUS)
QF 4: Charlie Brown (BRA) Vs Nick Riley (AUS)