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This Friday, Leça de Palmeira beach was the stage for a long inaugural day at Joaquim Chaves Saúde Porto Pro, the third of five stages of the MEO Surf League.
With quality waves ahead, the best national surfers competed from sun to sun and managed to star in good performances and high scores. In this field, Vasco Ribeiro stood out among all the competition in the men’s competition, while Teresa Bonvalot was in good shape on the women’s side.
The action started very early, at 7 am, with the men’s trials, where Nic von Rupp, winner of this stage in 2011, was in a prominent position, being one of the surfers to guarantee entry into the main board. Further on, in round 1, Nicolau kept the pace and secured a new ticket for round 2, confirming that it is a name to consider for the more advanced stages of the race.
After a start of the race at a good pace, with high scores and with surfers like Guilherme Fonseca (14.20) standing out, he was the leader of the ranking Vasco Ribeiro managing to shine higher in the middle of the morning, winning the heat 8 with 15.50 points, in what was the best score of the day. Vasco repeated the feat in round 2 and managed to win a super heat against Miguel Blanco, Francisco Mittermayer and Pedro Coelho, with the last two remaining in the way.
In the inaugural round there were more high-level performances, such as João Kopke (13.30) or Arran Strong (13.70). Local surfers were also in evidence, with Salvador Couto winning the heat 14 and with Zema Bruschy also moving forward. Conversely, the big surprise of the round turned out to be the elimination of Francisco Almeida, a finalist who won this stage last year and the only top seed to stand in the way at this stage.
The second round was played at the end of the afternoon and the show remained high, with Tomás Fernandes (14.25 points) in a special highlight. Joaquim Chaves, Marlon Lipke, Francisco Alves, Halley Batista and Luís Perloiro were the other surfers to repeat in round 2 the triumphs they had already achieved in the morning.
With the sun already set, the race ended after the penultimate heat of the round, with an incredible heat between Arran Strong, Gony Zubizarreta, Nic von Rupp and Eduardo Fernandes being postponed until early Saturday morning. Also noteworthy is Tiago Faria, who was the member of the new generation of national surfing to advance to round 3, being the big surprise of the day, after leaving Diogo Martins along the way.
Between the two men’s rounds, there was also the inaugural women’s round, where the candidates did not give rise to surprises. The yellow lyric Carolina Mendes managed to qualify quietly for the next stage, but it was Teresa Bonvalot who gave more attention, making the best female score of the day: 12.60. Word still for the performance of the return Camilla Kemp, with 11.15 points, who, like Teresa, had missed the stage of Figueira da Foz.