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This Saturday Vasco Ribeiro and Teresa Bonvalot won the triumph at Joaquim Chaves Saúde Porto Pro, the third leg of the Liga MEO Surf, the main surfing event in Portugal and the one that defines the titles of national champions of the sport. Vasco and Teresa thus repeated the triumphs achieved last year in this stage, after dominant performances over the two days of the event. Regarding the rankings, Vasco Ribeiro cemented the leadership in men, while on the female side Carolina Mendes kept the yellow lycra.
– Second consecutive triumph for Vasco and leadership of the cemented ranking;
– Teresa Bonvalot repeats triumph of 2020 and wins for the sixth time in Porto;
– Carolina Mendes held the leadership of the female ranking;
– Three crowned winners at the Go Chill Expression Session;
– Tomás Fernandes and Guilherme Ribeiro with wildcard for QS de Santa Cruz;
The final day of the northern stage had an early start, with the action starting at 06H45 on the beach of Leça da Palmeira, which again offered waves of great quality. After the final heat of round 2 for men, the action progressed at a good pace in the morning, with high scores and some surprises in between. With very balanced heats, round 3 immediately saw big names like Miguel Blanco, Guilherme Fonseca, Guilherme Ribeiro or Luís Perloiro staying on the way, while Vasco Ribeiro was already starting to give a show.
In the quarter-finals man-on-man, Marlon Lipke started by eliminating Joaquim Chaves, who reached this stage for the first time, followed by an emotional heat between Vasco Ribeiro and Tomás Fernandes. Tomás launched a strong attack on the triumph in the final stretch of the heat, but ended up losing the duel by just 0.15 points. In the remaining heats of the quarter-finals, Afonso Antunes beat Francisco Alves and Halley Batista overcame Gony Zubizarreta, immediately starting to surprise.
In the semi-finals, Vasco Ribeiro continued to dominate the action and registered the best wave of the event, with 9 points, and the best score of the entire event, with 16.75 points, winning with ease Marlon Lipke. In the other heat of this phase, Halley Batista, an experienced surfer residing in Portugal and with a vast international curriculum, continued to do well and stamped his passport to the first final of his career in the Liga MEO Surf, after eliminating Afonso Antunes.
In the decisive heat, Halley even started out stronger, seriously threatening to win, especially after getting a great aerial, which earned him 7.75 points. But in the final stretch of the dispute Vasco managed to respond to the letter, showing all his power surf and turning the battery with a wave of 8.15 points. An answer that allowed the four-time national champion to turn the heat and win with 14.35 points against 14.00 of the surfer coming from the Algarve, who made here the first leg of the year in the Liga MEO Surf.
“Porto is the stage that I like the most because I have a lot of friends here and I feel practically at home,” Vasco Ribeiro started by saying after the final. “In the final, Halley Batista started well, while I was a little lost, but I kept my strategy and limited myself to waiting for the right wave and surfing the best I know. This triumph gives extra motivation to the important championships that follow, leaving me more prepared and with more pace. As for the title, every year I believe I will get it. This year I am well positioned and I only depend on myself, being able to do it in Praia Grande, which is a place where I train frequently and I also like it very much ”, he admits.
This was Vasco Ribeiro’s fifth victory in the Porto stage, as well as the 14th triumph in stages of the Liga MEO Surf. Vasco thus matches Frederico Morais ‘record of triumphs and is just two of João Antunes‘ record of 16 victories. More important than that is the fact that Vasco Ribeiro is only dependent on himself to become the national champion for the fifth time – which will be a record -, already in the next stage, in Sintra, in advance.
In the women’s competition, Teresa Bonvalot turned out to be the dominator of the final day, finishing her performance only at the highest place on the podium. In round 2, in addition to guaranteeing the triumph, Teresa also got the best female score of the entire event, with 15.25 points, which earned her the triumph in the exclusively female trophy Bom Petisco Girls Score. After that, the national champion in title was advancing heat after heat always with robust scores.
In the semi-finals, Camilla Kemp, who also returned to action in the Liga MEO Surf after failing the stage of Figueira da Foz, started by eliminating the leader of the ranking Carolina Mendes. In the other semi-final, Francisca Veselko had the chance to reach the yellow card if she beat Teresa Bonvalot, but the national champion did not allow such a scenario, advancing at full speed to the final. In the decisive heat, despite the balance, Teresa’s final touch ended up making all the difference, with the result settling at 14.50 points, against Camilla’s 9.75.
“I love Porto”, started by saying Teresa Bonvalot after the triumph. “I always liked this stage a lot and it was here that I got my first victory in the Liga MEO Surf, in 2013. I love the environment, the way they support us and how they love surfing. I have a lot of people here sending messages of support. It is something inspiring for us. Whenever I come here I am also lucky to catch good waves. It was two days of big waves. It was a great stage and this triumph helps the next championships, which will be on the world qualifying circuit and the ISA World Cup, where the Olympic qualification is discussed ”, she stressed.
With this victory, Teresa Bonvalot, who had not competed in the stage of Figueira da Foz, repeated the success achieved last year in this same event. This was Teresa’s 21st victory, just 21 years old, in stages of the Liga MEO Surf and the sixth achieved in Porto. In fact, it was at this stage that she achieved her first career victory, in 2013, at just 13 years old.
This Saturday there were also three Go Chill Expression Sessions, the first of them before the finals, the first female Go Chill Expression Session of the entire season. After not taking place in the stage of Figueira da Foz, in Leça da Palmeira, Leonor Fragoso won the dispute for the best maneuver. After the finals, there was also the women’s and men’s Go Chill Expression of this Joaquim Chaves Saúde Porto Pro. Teresa Bonvalot made the best manoeuvre among women, while in men it was Arran Strong to win.
Final results of Joaquim Chaves Saúde Porto Pro:
Men’s final: Vasco Ribeiro 14.35 x Halley Batista 14
Women’s final: Teresa Bonvalot 14.5 x Camilla Kemp 9.75
Go Chill Expression Session for women (Figueira da Foz): Leonor Fragoso
Go Chill Expression Session for women (Porto): Teresa Bonvalot
Go Chill Expression Session for men: Arran Strong
Joaquim Chaves Saúde Best Wave: Vasco Ribeiro’s 9, in the semi-finals
Bom Petisco Girls Score: 15.25 by Teresa Bonvalot in round 2
Also noteworthy is Tomás Fernandes and Guilherme Ribeiro, who left Porto and Matosinhos in the 3rd and 4th positions of the ranking, respectively. In this way, they won both wildcards for the Santa Cruz QS3000. This important European event of the WSL qualifying circuit starts on Tuesday and Tomás and Guilherme guarantee, thus, direct entry to round 3, together with all the top seeds.
The Liga MEO Surf will now go to Praia Grande, where from 25 to 27 June the Allianz Sintra Pro will be held, the fourth and penultimate stage of the MEO Surf 2021 League and also the decisive stage of the Allianz Triple Crown sub-trophy. Vasco Ribeiro and Carolina Mendes arrive in Sintra at the head of the respective rankings and also of the Allianz Triple Crown.
On television, bearing in mind the public ban under legal terms, Joaquim Chaves Saúde Porto Pro can be followed from home live on Sport TV, as well as in other official media: MEO’s facebook, in position 810 of the grid MEO channels, on ligameosurf.pt and social networks on @ansurfistas.
Liga MEO Surf 2021 was an organization of the National Surfers Association and Fire !, sponsored by MEO, Joaquim Chaves Saúde, Allianz Portugal, Bom Petisco, Go Chill, Rip Curl, Ericeira Surf and Skate, the sustainability partner Jerónimo Martins, local support from Porto City Council and Matosinhos City Council, and technical support from Onda Pura and the Portuguese Surfing Federation.