Harrison Roach in the Quarters. Pic: Poullenot /WSL
Rachael Tilly on her way to the Semis. Pic: Masurel /WSL
The beautiful beach at Pantin. Pic: Masurel /WSL
The event site from the water. Pic: Poullenot /WSL
Australia’s Emily Lethbridge in the Quarters. Pic: Masurel /WSL
31 August 19
Playa De Pantin: Another massive day of action to select the last four surfers in contention for the Longboard Classic Galicia title. Competitors took on fun little lefts and rights all day and once again used the full length of their 9Ft+ boards to cruise through sections and post high scores.
Current World No. 1 Chloe Calmon (BRA) put an end to young French surfer Zoe Grospiron’s run in Pantin in the Quarters with a dominant display on a long left. The graceful Brazilian surfer has looked very comfortable in all her heats so far and is poised to post another strong result towards her bid for a first-ever World title.
In the second Quarter, big wave surfer, reigning European longboard Champion and all-around water woman Justine Dupont (FRA) put together one of the best displays of nose riding to post a 14.33 and advance into the Semis ahead of Emily Lethbridge (AUS).
“I’m stoked I was able to surf well and improve during the contest to fit the criteria better,” Dupont said. “I have a great support crew and people around me giving me great advice, I’ve even watched the replay and heard the commentators describe how I can do better so that’s very helpful. I look forward to the next heat against Chloe, both of us are going to do our best and hopefully give a good show.”
Former World Longboard Champion Rachael Tilly (USA) is clearly vying for a second crown as she reached the Semifinals for the second time this season, courtesy of her signature footwork to reach the nose of her board and the control she displayed racing down the line of the lefts of Pantin.
“That was a really fun heat and a tough Quarter against Avalon who’s been posting the highest scores of the contest,” Tilly said. “It was just super nice to share waves with her and we had a great time out there.”
Another former World Champ Honolua Blomfield (HAW) took out the final Quarter and will join Tilly in a major Semifinal clash when the event resumes.
When the men’s Quarters paddled out, Edouard Delpero (FRA) put on a clinic on nose riding as he faced one of the best in the business, Harrison Roach (AUS). The Frenchman who has been quite vocal recently about the scores he was getting, put everyone in agreement with an incredible display of control and grace on the nose. Delpero posted an incredible 16.17 heat total on his way to a Semifinal berth in Pantin.
“I’ve been struggling since the beginning of the contest so this definitely feels great,” he said. “I got lucky with the waves I got and I had a great time hanging five and ten out there.”
The second Quarterfinal was a clash for the ages between two of the most impressive surfers in the entire event so far, Kaniela Stewart (HAW) and Justin Quintal (USA). The Hawaiian started quick with a 7.83 on his opening ride but never to be counted out, the current World No. 1 Quintal came back in the fight with a never-ending left with multiple nose sections for an excellent 8.50 and the win into the Semis.
“Going into a heat with him (Kaniela Stewart) I knew that I would have to step it up,” Quintal said. “There was plenty of time left after his first good score but I was definitely behind the 8 ball from the get-go. I sort of knew or felt that that new peak closer to the rocks would start working a bit more and I was lucky to catch a few there.”
Kai Sallas (HAW) continued his dominant streak in Pantin and took out the third Quarter against an impressive Jefson Silva (BRA).
Young Japanese surfer Taka Inoue (JPN) took out the final Quarter and will face tour veteran Sallas in the second Semifinal.
The final call will be held at 1 p.m tomorrow for a late afternoon finish and celebrations in Pantin.
- REPORT BY NICHOLAS LEROY / FOR THE WSL