The Caparica Primavera Surf Fest came to a close today, crowning six champions in windy three-to-five foot surf at praia do paraiso. The day was filled with excitement and good performances from some of the best European and international athletes on the QS, Junior and Longboard tours.
The first final in the water was the women’s longboard, and it came down to the wire with late scores coming in well after the horn sounded the end of the heat. Honolua Blomfield (HAW) was in the lead the whole time, but French waterwoman Justine Dupont didn’t need much to overtake the Hawaiian and take the win.
Dupont got a last wave, a good left into the channel near the North break wall and cruised through a couple of nose ride sections. She needed a pretty small score and got it, but in the meantime Blomfield posted a higher back-up and walked away with the win.
“In these events you go against the girls that are on the world tour so it’s really good practice,” Blomfield said. “I came to England with my boyfriend who’s from there and realized there was a contest on. Ben Skinner gave me a board to use while I was in England and I just decided to come here last minute. My first heat was my first surf here and I’m glad it all worked out.”
The reigning World Champion kept her winning streak alive and well, Dupont took a second place, Chloe Calmon (BRA) in third and Alice Lemoigne (REU) in fourth.
The men’s longboard Final was a completely different scenario in which Antoine Delpero (FRA) posted a near-perfect 9.87 in the opening minutes and dominated all through the Final. England’s Ben Skinner did everything he could to try to upset the hierarchy but the reigning European Champion was untouchable today. Delpero bounced back after an uncharacteristic early exit in Espinho last week, eliminated in the early rounds by Skinner himself.
“Espinho was a bit of a shock for me so I’m stoked to get back on the horse and win an event again,” Delpero said. “It was a tough long day with only four-man heats so it wasn’t an easy one. I’m happy Edouard and I have a win each and I look forward to the next ones.”
Julian Schweizer (URY) placed third, Rodrigo Sphaier (BRA) fourth.
With the growing swell and strong onshores, all four surfers in the women’s Junior Final struggled to find the right spot to sit in the lineup. Anat Lelior (ISR) found the first decent score and took the lead. Melania Diaz (CNY) came back strong with a single turn for an average number but got stuck paddling back out for a little bit and could never chase the required back up. The Israeli surfer took out her first-ever Junior final.
“This win is for my sister, I’m super happy to win this with my amazing friends and super coach around,” Lelior said. “I couldn’t believe I won the Juniors and I already had to paddle back out for the QS final, so I tried to settle down and got back into it. A second place in the QS is amazing too.”
Half an hour later she was in the water again, and took a close runner-up spot in the QS women’s Final. The Canary Island surfer Diaz, placed second of the Junior Final, Nadia Erostarbe (EUK) third and Portugal’s Camila Costa fourth.
Marco Mignot (FRA) took his time to get in a rhythm in the men’s Junior Final, but went all out with a forehand rotation in the blown-out conditions and landed it perfectly for an 8.17 and a strong hold on the Final. Tiago Carrique (FRA) and Thomas Debierre (FRA) both had a 7+ wave but couldn’t find a second good score as Mignot won his third Pro Junior event.
“I really needed that win to get in a better mental place for this season,” Mignot said. “When I saw Kauli (Vaast) and Mathis (Crozon) lose I had a little smile and I knew it was my time. I’m stoked to get the win and I hope I can win one or more again this season to get the title.”
Tiago Carrique came in second, Thomas Debierre third and Erwan Blouin (FRA) fourth.
The Women’s QS Final featured three Junior surfers, including two that also made the Junior Final, and the defending event champion Justine Dupont (FRA). Dupont let her power do the talking in the meaty sections and posted two good scores for her forehand attack and lead the heat all the way into victory.
“I’m stoked to win again here in Caparica, I was a little disappointed about the longboard final but the other girls are some of the best in the world so I can’t be too sad to place second,” Dupont said. “It’s been a long day, I surfed five heats and was starting to feel the burn by the end there. This was a nice break and I’m off to chase big waves again as we have a swell for Nazare in just two days.”
Anat Lelior (ISR), the junior winner took the runner-up spot, Nadia Erostarbe (EUK) third and England’s Ellie Turner fourth.
The Men’s QS Final was the 174th heat surfed at Caparica this week, plus there were two re-surfs, so technically the 176th. A massive achievement in just four days of competition.
It lasted 25 minutes and in the end Imanol Yeregi (EUK) emerged victorious of a battle with last year’s winner Gony Zubizarreta (ESP). The Basque surfer, Yeregi will carry momentum and confidence into next week’s Pro Zarautz on home turf and hope to represent the local colors all the way again.
“I’m super happy to win my first QS event ever, especially against Gony who was surfing so good during the whole contest,” he said. “I couldn’t hear anything out there and I only realized I had won when I came in and Hodei (Collazo) was standing there congratulating me. Ruben (Vitoria) and I train together all the time and we hope to make a big effort in Zarautz next week.”
Zubizarreta placed runner-up, Ugo Robin (FRA) third and Yael Pena (CNY) fourth.