PANTIN, Spain (Friday, September 5, 2008) The expected massive swell hit Pantin on Day 4 of competition and the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) Women and Men's events faced some of the biggest conditions ever surfed on the European leg paddling out in eight to eleven foot (2.5 to 3.5 meter) waves to try and advance. It was more a battle against elements then opponents today as strong side-shore winds and rains made the setting even harder for some of the world's best qualifiers.
In the men's division, Round 4 was wrapped up today as well as the first four heats of Round 5 and four men were able to advance through to the first man-on-man battles of the event at the end of the day, finding their way out of the 3-man-heat round.
William Cardoso (BRA) and Patrick Gudauskas (USA) were among those getting through both winning their respective encounter with solid surfing and scores. Gudauskas, rated No. 4 on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) ratings before the event, unleashed again mixing strong turns and progressive surfing including an impressive double-grabbed frontside air that gave him a 6.17 point score (out of a possible 10) to advance ahead of Luke Campbell (AUS).
Campbell, who has not secured any big result this summer, is through to the first man-on-man battles and will be looking forward to grabbing the opportunity to make the Quarterfinals of a major ASP WQS event.
"It was pretty testing out there but I got the right ones and had a good heat," Campbell said. "I like big waves if there is enough potential so I will take whatever we get tomorrow but it is definitely a good event with waves."
Campbell, who has been on the road for five weeks now following the ASP caravan, came up with confident and comitted surfing to secure his Round 5 ticket and remains in good form.
"I have had close heats, got through a couple and I am stoked to make it further in this contest for sure," Campbell said. "I am a bit tired but all the travel is great, you meet people, see countries and it is always great to paddle out to do your job. I am looking forward to surfing tomorrow for sure."
Campbell, known for his powerful assaults, followed the foot steps of morning top scorers with his strong forehand surfing and will meet William Cardoso (BRA) in Round 5.
Experience and patience paid off as well on Day 4 of competition and former ASP World Tour surfer Yuri Sodre (BRA) was today's tactician posting the second highest heat result of the day surfing three waves only. Sodre, who is still chasing a good result in Europe since he landed a month ago, got one step further in the event.
"I watched all day and I decided to stick to the outside and surf the righthander which usually gives more potential," Sodre said. "It was really windy and lots of water moving around and the main difficulty was to find the right spot. I remained calm and waited for the better waves which paid well. I already focused on my next heat and I hope I can keep the feeling right."
Power surfers were once again advantaged using the bigger set waves to their maximum to set records and break top scores. Nic Muscroft (AUS) and Michel Bourez (PYF), who got through their Round 4 battle earlier in the day, waited for the bombs to secure some solid turns on the most critical sections of the righthanders and respectively ended up with 19.03 and 17.20 point heat results (both out of a possible 20), some of today's best scores.
The women's division, an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 3-Star event, got underway today and Round 1 was completed in smaller low-tide conditions, the girls still taking-off on some five foot (1.5 meter) waves and struggling to reach the line-up.
Pauline Ado (Hendaye, FRA), 18, reigning ASP European Women's Junior champion and current ASP WQS Women's European Series leader, was a standout on Day 1 of competition posting a solid 15.50 point heat tally (out of a possible 20) in Heat 3 to keep her closest ratings' follower Caroline Sarran (Anglet, FRA) in a distance of the 2008 ASP WQS Women's European. Both will surf in the Quarterfinals when competition resumes.
"It was hard to get through and reach the line-up," Ado said. "I started on the smaller waves in the middle of the beach but decided to move to the bigger ones halfway through the heat and I am stoked I got that 8.67 point ride. Some sets were pretty big out there."
Ado, who is in position to grab her maiden regional crown, will try and keep the pressure away but will meet solid big wave female surfer and reigning regional champion Lee Ann Curren (FRA) in Quarterfinal No. 2.
"I am not thinking of any title and I don't want to be under pressure," Ado said. "I am just ready to surf well and if I can get this title it will be great. We will see how things go but I am feeling good."
All favorites made it to the Quarterfinals today, Fransisca Santos (PRT), Marie Dejean (FRA), Lee Ann Curren (FRA) and Argentina's second best scorer of the day Ornella Pellizzari (ARG). Both women and men will meet at 9 AM Saturday to make the call and witness some expected bigger waves.
ASP Men's WQS 5-Star Movistar O'Neill Pantin Classic
UPCOMING ROUND 6 HEATS
Heat 1: William Cardoso (BRA) Vs Luke Campbell (AUS)
Heat 2: Adam Melling (AUS) Vs Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 3: Yuri Sodre (BRA) Vs Drew Courtney (AUS)
Heat 4: Antonio Bortoletto (ZAF) Vs Leigh Sedley (AUS)
Heat 5: TBA
Heat 6: TBA
Heat 7: TBA
Heat 8: TBA
REMAINING ROUND 5 HEATS
Heat 5: David Weare (ZAF), David Richards (ZAF), Nathan Hedge (AUS)
Heat 6: Jarrad Sullivan (AUS), Ryan Campbell (AUS), Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 7: Shaun Gossmann (AUS), Hodei Collazo (EUK), Tim Boal (FRA)
Heat 8: Hizunome Bettero (BRA), Patrick Beven (FRA), Nic Muscroft (AUS)
ROUND 5 RESULTS
Heat 1: William Cardoso (BRA) 15.76 pts, Adam Melling (AUS) 15.27 pts, Nathan Yeomans (USA) 13.00 pts
Heat 2: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 15.00 pts, Luke Campbell (AUS) 14.57 pts, Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 10.20 pts
Heat 3: Yuri Sodre (BRA) 17.67 pts, Antonio Bortoletto (ZAF) 12.33 pts, Bobby Hansen (NZL) 7.67 pts
Heat 4: Leigh Sedley (AUS) 14.84 pts, Drew Courtney (AUS) 14.44 pts, Dane Gudauskas (USA) 10.17 pts
ASP Women's WQS 3-Star event
Heat 1: Caroline Sarran (FRA), Ornella Pellizzari (ARG), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Maria Gonzalez (PRI)
Heat 2: Pauline Ado (FRA), Filipa Prudencio (PRT), Lee Ann Curren (FRA), Amandine Sanchez (FRA)
Heat 3: Marie Dejean (FRA), Nicole Morgan (IRE), Francisca Santos (PRT), Jessica Grimwood (AUS)
Heat 4: Charlotte Hand (AUS), Anne Cecile Le Tallec (FRA), Justine Dupont (FRA), Martine Geijels (NDL)
ROUND 1 RESULTS
Heat 1: Caroline Sarran (FRA) 9.13 pts, Filipa Prudencio (PRT) 9.00 pts, Joana Rocha (PRT) 8.41 pts, Casandra Castanos (ESP) 4.73 pts
Heat 2: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 12.33 pts, Amandine Sanchez (FRA) 11.00 pts, Mirka Martin Solar (ESP) 6.03 pts
Heat 3: Pauline Ado (FRA) 15.50 pts, Ornella Pellizzari (ARG) 15.33 pts, Anne Paar (NDL) 4.10 pts, Leticia Canales (EUK) 3.20 pts
Heat 4: Lee Ann Curren (FRA) 9.50 pts, Maria Gonzalez (PRI) 3.40 pts, Caroline Perret (FRA) 2.03 pts
Heat 5: Marie Dejean (FRA) 9.34 pts, Anne Cecile Le Tallec (FRA) 8.00 pts, Sarah Beardmore (AUS) 4.60 pts
Heat 6: Fransisca Santos (PRT) 9.83 pts, Martine Geijels (NDL) 3.30 pts, Flavia Brana (ESP) 1.83 pts
Heat 7: Charlotte Hand (AUS) 13.17 pts, Nicole Morgan (IRE) 9.27 pts, Erica Franco (ESP) 2.87 pts
Heat 8: Justine Dupont (FRA) 15.76 pts, Jessica Grimwood (AUS) 10.67 pts, Estitxu Estremo (EUK) 8.67 pts, Loiola Canales Bilbao (EUK) 2.17 pts