WSL Men's & Women's QS1000 event
Praia do Paraiso, Costa da Caparica, Portugal
10 - 15 April, 2017
An incredible 72 heats contested as event runs on double banks
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 12 April, 2017 - It was a really hot day under the Caparica sun, and the national holiday meant crowds in the thousands came to enjoy the show at the Caparica Primavera Surf Fest.
The second day of the event’s waiting period delivered fun peaky waves again to run through multiple rounds of the men and women’s QS and Junior divisions.
Justine Dupont (FRA), 25, spent her whole winter chasing monsters between Hawaii for the Pe’ahi Women’s Challenge, France where she tackled the infamous Belharra paddling, and finally nearby Nazare where she relocated temporarily for the end of the big wave season. Today the Lacanau local came out in waist-high Caparica surf and managed to put two waves above 8 points on the board to advance into the quarters.
“I feel so much more relaxed in heats this year,” Dupont said. “Since I lost my main sponsor I don’t have that pressure to qualify anymore and I enjoy myself more. Training that much for big waves is actually very beneficial for this as well, your legs get more dynamic and powerful. All I want to do right now is push my surfing to the next level and in all sorts of conditions.”
Edouard Delpero (FRA), 27, was treading barrels at the Kumul PNG World Longboard Championship two weeks ago. Today he went back to a shorter quiver and negotiated the small surf perfectly to make his way through a tricky bout against former Championship Tour surfer Tiago Pires (PRT) amongst others.
“When events coincide I always love to enter a shortboard event,” Delpero said. “I do less events like that but I always practice a lot on shortboards when I free surf.”
“We were so lucky to get an incredible swell in PNG for the whole event,” he continued. “The place was just magical, and conditions were epic. That wave is basically a mini Nias and it’s just an amazing spot for all sorts of boards. It was an incredible experience to discover a new place like this.”
Vahine Fierro (PYF), 17, came to Europe for the first time two years ago and already blew minds as a fifteen-year-old junior hailing from Tahiti. She managed to reach the semis and was only defeated by the eventual winner, an experienced competitor and Sopela local five years her senior, Leticia Canales Bilbao (EUK).
Today she once again impressed and advanced into the semis of the Junior’s event, ahead of two-time winner and Portuguese superstar Teresa Bonvalot (PRT). She also entered the main QS event and qualified for the quarterfinals.
“I’ve been at the beach since 6 a.m and waves have been tricky to say the least,” Fierro admitted. “I still managed to do a couple of maneuvers so I’m super happy to continue. Wetsuits are not really my thing and the water is freezing for me here. I’m going to be doing more events here this season as I now compete for the European region and title.”
Thomas Debierre (GLP), 16, won the Caparica Junior Pro in 2016. Today he was surfing the main event and did well to advance into Round Four. Debierre has a chance this week to defend his title in the Juniors when the event reaches the top seeds third Round, and also to make his mark against some of the top QS athletes in the region.
“I only did one QS in Lacanau last year before this,” Debierre stated. “Conditions were tough and I only made one round, but it was good for the experience. I’m going to do a couple more this year but my focus is still very much on the Junior tour. ”
In the actual Junior division that ran today, seventeen-year-old Eño James (GBR), 17, came out firing out of the gates in Round Two to post a near-perfect 18.10 heat total for a spot into the next round.
Event officials will reassess conditions at 7 a.m Wednesday for a potential start of the men’s Junior event, then at 11 a.m for the women, both juniors and QS.