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Teresa Bonvalot once again made history for national surfing, after winning, this Tuesday, the triumph at the Sydney Surf Pro, the second stage of the Challenger Series circuit.
A victory achieved after a luxury performance on the final day of the Australian event puts Teresa in the top 3 of the ranking of this important circuit, which gives access to the World Tour of the World Surf League.
After having managed to reach the semi-finals the day before and having stamped, right there, the best result of a Portuguese surfer in this Challenger Series Tour, which had the first edition last year, this Tuesday the Portuguese surfer lived longer a day of glory, confirming on the water that she is the fittest surfer on the waves at Manly Beach.
In the first semi-final, played at the beginning of the Portuguese dawn, Teresa faced the Hawaiian Keala Tomoda-Bannert, starting the dispute over her opponent. However, Tomoda-Bannert responded in the second half of the heat and took the lead. With priority in the last minutes of the heat, the European champion knew how to wait for the right moment and at the last minute, she launched a lethal attack to victory. Needing a score of 7 points, Teresa Bonvalot used all the radicalism of her surfing to get a score of 7.37 points.
The result was announced after the end of the heat, giving even more drama to Teresa’s passage to the grand final of the Australian race. With this favorable outcome, Teresa Bonvalot scheduled a meeting in the heat of all decisions with the Australian Nikki van Dijk, former world top and one of the most experienced surfers on this circuit.
The decisive heat took place only at 5:30 am in the Portuguese morning, since the semi-finals of the men’s event and the finals of the longboard events were still held in the middle. Despite Van Dijk’s experience and some favoritism, Teresa opened the dispute in a very strong way, putting herself in a firm lead. After surfing four waves, Teresa already had 15.83 points, which left the Australian in combination.
In the final stretch, Nikki van Dijk responded, managed to get out of a combination and even forced the Portuguese surfer to know how to manage priority in the final minutes. After a luxury performance in the first half of the heat, Teresa knew how to manage her emotions and let time roll until the horn that confirmed the historic triumph, with the Australian not managing to score more than 13.13 points.
Carried on her shoulders from the water to the interview area, where the Portuguese anthem was sung by a handful of Portuguese people present on the beach, including colleagues Kika Veselko and Mafalda Lopes, Teresa Bonvalot was a surfer happy to have achieved the biggest victory of her career. , at age 22. After dominating and winning the European qualifying circuit, Teresa now shows all her worth at the world level.
“It’s an incredible feeling“, began by saying the surfer from Cascais. “I love Australia and coming back after two years of a pandemic seemed surreal. I had already had a great result here in the past and now I’m very happy to put the Portuguese flag at the top. I just worried about surfing and showing the best of my surfing. Winning was a great feeling, especially having faced such a good surfer as Nikki van Dijk in the final. It’s a very good feeling“, he said.
Teresa Bonvalot’s victory helped to maintain the isolated lead of American Caitlin Simmers in the women’s ranking of this circuit, with Nikki van Dijk missing the assault in the first place. The Australian appears in 2nd position, with Teresa in 3rd place, just 2845 points from the lead. After two stages, out of the eight that make up the circuit, the Portuguese surfer is thus well positioned to attack the five female spots available for the CT 2023.
In Sydney, we also highlight the 25th position achieved by Mafalda Lopes, the 33rd by Yolanda Hopkins and the 49th by Kika Veselko. Among the three, the best in the ranking is Yolanda Hopkins, who is now in 19th place, after having been 9th in the inaugural stage, on the Australian Gold Coast. Mafalda occupies the 33rd place and Kika appears in the 58th position.
On the men’s side, the triumph belonged to the Indonesian Rio Waida, in an equally historic result. Here, the Portuguese accounts are not so encouraging, with Frederico Morais, who was 49th in this championship, in 80th place in the ranking, and Vasco Ribeiro, who was 25th in Sydney, in 19th place, in a ranking led by Italian Leo Fioravanti and who clears the top 10 for the CT 2023.
With the “Australian leg” over, the Challenger Series circuit will now face a month break, returning with the Ballito stage, in South Africa, from the 3rd to the 10th of July. From there the circuit heads to Huntington Beach, California, still in July. In October the action takes place in Portugal, more specifically in Ericeira, followed by Hossegor, in France. Saquarema, Brazil, hosts the penultimate stage in November, with all decisions taking place at the final stage, in early December, in Haleiwa, Hawaii.