Pantin Classic 2008

Day 2 of the Movistar O’Neill Pantin Classic was treated to a full day of action with twenty heats taking place in testing five to eight foot (1.5 to 2.5 meter) waves taking the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 5-Star event into the top seeded surfers’ round with big names getting their start in the event.

William Cardoso (BRA) took top honours again winning Heat 5 of Round 3 with the second best heat tally of the event so far including the best wave score, respectively 16.56 points (out of a possible 20) and a near perfect 9.73 (out of a possible 10) to advance.

Cardoso, a power surfer from Brazil, was at ease in the testing eight foot sets and defeated defending champion and current ASP WQS No. 9 Marlon Lipke (DEU) to secure his spot in Round 4.

"I am pretty stoked with that heat and I was lucky to surf with the tide coming in because it cleaned up the line-up," Williams said. "I had that good 9.57 point ride yesterday in Round 2 and I did better in that one so it is a great confidence boost."

Cardoso, who lost early in all events in Europe this summer, came to Pantin with a fresh mental ready to start from scratch and get a result under his belt.

"It has been pretty hard for me and I was feeling very bad after that loss in Ericeira last week," Cardoso said. "I decided to try harder in a positive way and it seems like I am back on the right path so I am stoked. I cannot wait to paddle back out and surf those big waves coming soon, it seems like it will very solid Friday."

Cardoso’s performance was just a starter to the upcoming show with most of the current ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) leaders being present at Pantin.

The opening clash of Round 3 saw last week’s ASP WQS 6-Star runner-up Patrick Gudauskas (USA) come up with some of the most impressive surfing of the day posting a 7.83 point ride out of a possible 10 after landing an eight-foot high floater on one of the set waves.

Gudauskas, who is rated No. 4 on the international ratings, finished second though after Reunion Island born surfer Christophe Allary (REU) went from fourth to first in the last minute with the highest singl wave score of the event so far, an impressive 9.57 point ride after busting a huge double-grab frontside air.

"I went out there to have fun and try a lot of maneuvers but kept falling on all my waves," Allary said. "I knew I needed more than seven points to catch up with the guys so I paddled in that last wave with nothing to lose and went for that big air which I landed. Pretty stoked to make this one."

Allary, who has had a disappointing European leg so far, let go the pressure for his second heat in the event and left the water smiling.

"It has been pretty hard for me this year and to make a heat with that kind of finish is pretty good for my confidence," Allary said. "This event and the next ones will be my main focus to get back at my level and I am definitely ready to surf again in bigger waves tomorrow."

With crowds cheering their local heroes despite the rains and winds blowing all day, the Movistar O’Neill Pantin Classic got into serious business and the pressure definitely rose upon those chasing points counting for the end-of-the-year possible ASP World Tour qualification.

Gony Zubizarreta (ESP), 23, the best local surfer ever who currently sits 44th on the ratings, was much awaited for his start in the only local event of the year and handled the pressure pretty well getting a confident second place to advance behind ASP WQS European No. 3 Glenn Hall (IRE).

"There was a bit of pressure on me for that heat as you always want to do good at home and the public wants you to win," Zubizarreta said. "That first wave came and it was pretty good but I fell and started getting nervous a little but it all ended up well so I am happy. Lots of waves came in and it was just a matter of choice."

Zubizarreta, who is looking to better his overall 7650 point total, has all chances to shine at his home break of Pantin and will be a serious contender for the crown if he reaches the finals where massive crowds are expected.

Ten to twelve foot (3 to 4 meter) waves are supposed to hit Pantin from tomorrow night and today will feature all Round 3 remaining heats and possibly some of Round 4 clashes with more and more points on offer to those campaigning for a possible Dream Tour inception next year.

Red Bull Junior Surf Masters

After an action packed finals day Lincoln Taylor has been crowned the winner of the inaugural Red Bull Junior Surf Masters. The innovative new event showcased the outstanding depth of talent in the Australian junior ranks and Taylor's victory did not come easily.

Taylor won three tight heats today including an exciting dual with dynamic south coast surfer Owen Wright in the final. Wright pulled off a huge air reverse early in the heat and had the lead until Taylor answered back with a long wave and a series of searing backside snaps.

On the winner's podium Taylor gratefully accepted the $10,000 winner's cheque and made a humble acceptance speech. "The conditions were pretty tricky out there and I was lucky to get the better waves in the final. It's been such an awesome event. It's the best set up I've seen for a junior surfing event."

Taylor, 20, is currently ranked second on the Australian Junior Series. "I don't have a sponsor at the moment so this is an awesome win for me," he said. "I'd like to have a crack at the World Qualifying Series next year and I'll use this prize money to help with my travel expenses."

Equal third today were Heath Joske (Coffs Harbour) and Chris Salisbury (Newport).

Red Bull Junior Surf Masters, presented by Mick Fanning, offers the biggest prize pool for an Australian junior event ($50,000) and introduced a brand new contest format called 'Torched'. The premise for the event was to support junior surfing at a grass roots level and to help talented young surfers achieve their dreams of succeeding as professional surfers.

Mick Fanning was a keen onlooker throughout the final three days and labeled the series a success. "I've been really impressed with the standard of surfing I've seen throughout the event," said the current ASP World Champion. "I've been talking with the competitors and they all seem happy with the series which is the main thing."

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Pantin Classic 2008

After a day of travel from Portugal, the first competitors of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 5-Star Movistar O’Neill Pantin Classic were able to get their Spanish campaign underway in good four to five foot (1.2 to 1.5 meter) waves.

Round 1 was completed and 10 heats of the second round were done today offering some excellent and promising levels of surfing.

With less entries than on the previous events, proceedings got into serious clashes straight away and some renowned names who have already shined this summer in Europe had their go on Day 1 of competition.

Wiggoly Dantas (BRA), 18, who won the ASP WQS 5-Star event in England and placed equal 9th in the ASP WQS 6-Star contest in Portugal last week, lost no time to remind his opponents of his good form and improving surfing. Dantas, who arrived a month ago out of the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) Top 100, now sits No. 55 and will once again be a potential giant killer when he reaches Round 3.

"It is good to have some consistent waves and be able to have fun competing," Dantas said. "It was hard in the last event but I was stoked to make it that far. It looks like Pantin is going to be big and today was already solid enough to get some scores so it is really good."

Dantas, who posted an excellent 9.33 point ride out of a possible 10 in his first encounter of the day, managed to get through Round 2 after placing second in Heat 8 of Round 2.

Dantas was not the only Brazilian to shine on Day 1 of competition as fellow coutryman and current WQS No. 10 Pedro Henrique (BRA) came up with two strong performances winning both his heats after starting in Round 1 due to a late entry. Henrique, who placed equal 9th in Portugal last sunday, was on fire in the consistent surf and will be looking for another keeper for his ratings’ total in Pantin.

"I am so stoked to already have these two heats out of the way," Henrique said. "I was not planning to come here but I decided to enter while in Portugal knowing I was risking a shocker in first round but it is done now. It seems like we are going to get some solid waves this week so it is event better.

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Dimitri Maramenides, the founder and owner of Epic Kites, rode his kite a few hours before Hurricane Florence hit the East Coast of the United States.

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