Tristan Guilbaud (FRA) was on point today in Azores. Credit: © WSL / Masurel
- Men and Women Semifinalists Decided
- Final Call 7:45 a.m Saturday
- More at www.WorldSurfLeague.com
A pattern emerged early on with surfers wearing the blue jersey racking up the wins and sure enough it turned out to be more of a trend than a coincidence. Every single Quarterfinal matchup was won by the surfer in blue, some of these results being completely unforeseen by most.
The women’s first two Quarterfinals were low scoring affairs as surfers struggled to find the right waves in the moving lineup of the incoming tide. Rachel Presti (DEU) and Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) took the wins with under 10 point totals and will meet in the Semis.
Mafalda Lopes (PRT) on the other hand found the right gear in the wedging lefts as she put together great two-turn combos for a solid win over Janire Gonzalez Etxabarri (ESP) who opted to surf the rights and couldn’t quite match the Portuguese’s flair.
“That was a good heat, I got a high score early on and I should have tried to back it up quicker but I really wanted to get some of these little barrels,” Lopes said. “I did manage to back it up eventually and I was pretty confident for the rest of the heat.”
In the last Quarter, Pauline Ado (FRA) was under the gun with only a couple of minutes on the clock, but Garazi Sanchez-Ortun (EUK)’s lead was precarious with only a small backup. The French surfer drew on a wealth of experience to find the right wave and when it manifested she performed a couple of good turns to post the winning 6.67 into the Semis.
“I started alright but I was struggling to improve on my scores,” Ado explained. “So on that last opportunity I really tried to be more aggressive and fortunately it was enough. It’s pretty stressful to be in that position in the end of a heat but I tried to keep my mind clear. Waves were quite tough to surf with that strong wind.”
The men’s Quarters resumed after a couple of hours on hold due to the high tide, and by the time competitors hit the lineup, waves started firing again. Frenchmen Maxime Huscenot and Charly Martin launched the round and it was an-all Huscenot show, the Reunion Island surfer with the best wave selection and an incredibly precise attack of the lefts on his backhand.
“It’s good to make the Semis for the first time this year,” Huscenot stated. “I just came from a Quarters result in France so hopefully I can go all the way here. We always have really intense battles with Charly, he won the last one we had in Israel at the last second and he’s a really great competitor.”
Timothee Bisso (FRA) will join Huscenot in Semifinal No.1 after a walk-in-the-park type of performance to dispatch Patrick Langdon-Dark (GBR) in their Quarter matchup.
The dream run continued for 15 year-old Ryan Kainalo (BRA) who eliminated one of the form surfers of the event so far, France’s Jorgann Couzinet. The surfer from Ubatuba put together a smart heat and built house early on with some action on the insiders, then waited for a set and capitalized to distance himself from the longtime QS campaigner. The young regular foot is guaranteed his best-ever result on the Qualifying Series and could do more damage when the event finishes on Saturday.
“This is definitely the biggest result of my life,” Kainalo stated. “I’m going to sleep well tonight and I’ll be back on fire tomorrow cause I’m so happy and excited for the finals.”
Tristan Guilbaud (FRA) picked up the last ticket for the Semis after coming out on top of a tense battle with Justin Becret (FRA) in the final heat of the day.
The final Call will be made at 7:45 a.m on Saturday for a potential finish of the events during the morning.
The Azores Airlines Pro will unfold from November 1-6, 2021 at PRAIA DE SANTA BARBARA, Sao Miguel – Azores Islands. For all results, photos, video highlights and press releases, log on to worldsurfleague.com.
The Azores Airlines Pro are organized by DAAZ Eventos with the support of the following event partners: Azores Airlines, Governo Regional dos Acores, Turismo dos Açores, Câmara Municipal da Ribeira Grande, MEO amongst others.
UPCOMING AZORES AIRLINES PRO MEN’S SEMIFINAL MATCHUPS:
SF 1: Maxime Huscenot (FRA) vs. Timothee Bisso (FRA)
SF 2: Ryan Kainalo (BRA) vs. Tristan Guilbaud (FRA)
UPCOMING AZORES AIRLINES PRO WOMEN’S SEMIFINAL MATCHUPS:
SF 1: Rachel Presti (DEU) vs. Teresa Bonvalot (PRT)
SF 2: Mafalda Lopes (PRT) vs. Pauline Ado (FRA)
AZORES AIRLINES PRO MEN’S QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 15.94 def. Charly Martin (FRA) 9.13
QF 2: Timothee Bisso (FRA) 13.06 def. Patrick Langdon-Dark (GBR) 7.36
QF 3: Ryan Kainalo (BRA) 12.10 def. Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 8.10
QF 4: Tristan Guilbaud (FRA) 12.27 def. Justin Becret (FRA) 9.00
AZORES AIRLINES PRO WOMEN’S QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Rachel Presti (DEU) 7.60 def. Francisca Veselko (PRT) 6.67
QF 2: Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) 9.33 def. Maud Le Car (FRA) 8.60
QF 3: Mafalda Lopes (PRT) 13.83 def. Janire Gonzalez Etxabarri (ESP) 10.90
QF 4: Pauline Ado (FRA) 12.17 def. Garazi Sanchez-Ortun (EUK) 11.43
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