Vasco Ribeiro and Yolanda Hopkins with triumphs of excellence at Allianz Figueira Pro

Liga MEO Surf

Vasco Ribeiro and Yolanda Hopkins won this Sunday, the triumph in Allianz Figueira Pro, the second of five stages of the League MEO Surf 2021, the main surfing event in Portugal and the one that defines the titles of national champions. On a long final day marked by demanding and potential waves that reached Praia do Cabedelo, Vasco and Yolanda took advantage of the surfing power that characterizes them to achieve various notes in the house of excellence, which led them to dominate and unquestionable triumphs.

– Vasco beat Guilherme Fonseca in the final with an almost perfect score (19.00);
– Yolanda overcame Kika Veselko, Carolina Mendes and Mafalda Lopes in the final;
– Final day marked by waves of quality and excellent scores;
– Vasco Ribeiro and Carolina Mendes go to Porto and Matosinhos of yellow lycra;
– Diogo Martins won the Go Chill Expression Session;

With the sea still very challenging, but with more potential than the day before, it was up to the men to go to the water in the morning. And it was soon realized that it was going to be a day of great surfing. In round 3 Guilherme Fonseca, Tomás Fernandes, Vasco Ribeiro and Miguel Blanco were the surfers with the highest level of evidence, showing right there that they were the ones that best adapted to the conditions. It was no accident that they all made it to the semi-finals, thanks to very high scores, with several grades above 9 points.

In the quarter-finals came the first big surprise of the day, with ranking leader Afonso Antunes losing against Guilherme Fonseca and leaving the yellow squad at the mercy of the main rivals. Among them was Tomás Fernandes, who eliminated Jácome Correia at this stage, always showing an effective surf and with beautiful lines. Taking advantage of Afonso’s slip, Vasco capitalized on the moment and started to start the engines on the right of Cabedelo, with monstrous rips that earned him high marks after high marks, beating Guilherme Ribeiro and avenging the defeat in the semi-finals in Ericeira. Finally, Miguel Blanco used the same recipe to beat young Diogo Martins.

With the four surfers in better shape to reach the semi-finals, the dispute for the decisive heat began with Guilherme Fonseca giving a surf show and beating Tomás Fernandes. In this way, Gui stamped the second career final in the Liga MEO Surf. In the other semi-final, Vasco started to raise the bar even more. Miguel Blanco was of little use having picked up a rare and beautiful tube, punctuated with 7.50 points. This is because the four-time national champion added a score of 7.90 to one of 9.75 to leave the opponent in combination.

With much of the favouritism pending for Vasco in the final, Guilherme Fonseca still managed to balance the dispute, being even in the front until the middle of the heat, due to a wave scored with 7.40 points. But Ribeiro’s last few minutes were truly devastating. In the antepenultimate wave, Vasco got a note of 9 points, which threw him to the lead, And in the last seconds, so that there were no doubts in the air, he made the best wave of the entire championship, with four very strong manoeuvres, which were rewarded with the maximum score of 10 points.

In addition to leaving another opponent in combination, with 19 points against 13.05, and having achieved an almost perfect heat in one of the best scores ever in the Liga MEO Surf, Vasco Ribeiro scored in Figueira da Foz the 13th triumph in stages, matching the register of historical names like Tiago Pires or José Gregório, and being only one of Frederico Morais’ register and three of the record holder João Antunes. A victory that also allowed the surfer from Estoril to steal the leadership of the ranking from Afonso Antunes and be launched in the fight for a historic fifth national title.

I finished with the icing on the cake,Vasco said after the final. “The sea was getting better and better. At the beginning of the day, it was difficult to find the good waves, but as the day progressed I became more and more adapted to the conditions. It was the first time I won at Figueira da Foz, which is always good. I felt good and I will try to take this form to Porto and then to all the international events that follow. Wearing yellow is good, but it is important to have the lead at the end ”, concluded the surfer who managed to make four of the five best male scores in the championship – all over 15 points – and four of the five best male waves – all over 9 points.

In the women’s race, the second round only went to the water in the early afternoon, with less heavy conditions, but still very demanding. And in this type of conditions, the national tops soon started to use the experience to make high scores on the way to the final stages. In this second round, Carolina Mendes stood out from her rivals, with a score of 16.30, which immediately secured the Bom Petisco Girls Score award. This was at a stage when there was already a decision to take the women’s event to the end without woman-on-woman heats.

In the semi-finals it was Yolanda Hopkins to show that she feels at ease in challenging conditions, achieving a wave of 9.50 points, which was the best of all the female competition. The Algarve surfer thus started to build a good moment to take to the final, where the yellow lyric Carolina Mendes, Kika Veselko and Mafalda Lopes would also be, all of them in great prominence in these semi-finals.

In the grand final, Yolanda continued to produce high-level surfing, where a wave scored 9.00 stood out. The 2019 national champion dominated the final from start to finish, thus guaranteeing a victorious return to the MEO Surf League, after failing the Ericeira stage. It was the sixth triumph of Yolanda Hopkins and the second in Figueira da Foz, repeating the success of 2019.

It was an incredible championship,” said Yolanda Hopkins.Cabedelo beach did not disappoint, there were incredible waves. It was a good option not to have done the women’s race yesterday. Despite being well prepared for these types of conditions, it could be a complicated sea for the youngest. And today, it turned out to be very good conditions. I didn’t even want to leave the water to be able to continue surfing these waves. This was a good victory to prepare for the ISA World Cup and attack the dream of Olympic qualification ”, she stressed.

As for the rest of the surfers, Kika Veselko got 13.25 points and repeated Ericeira’s second place, while Carolina Mendes’ 12.15 points, which was hampered by breaking the board in the middle of the heat, losing some precious time in the board exchange, were enough to guarantee a 3rd place that keeps her in the leadership of the female ranking. In turn, Mafalda Lopes finished in 4th and final position of the final, with 4.25 points.

In the middle of the day, and before the decisive heats dispute, the Go Chill Expression Session was also played, with the final triumph smiling at Diogo Martins, who managed the best manoeuvre. A great championship outcome for Diogo Martins, to which he added a 5th final position.

Final results of Allianz Figueira Pro:
Men’s final: Vasco Ribeiro 19.00 x Guilherme Fonseca 13.05
Women’s final: Yolanda Hopkins 15.25 x Kika Veselko 13.25 x Carolina Mendes 12.15 x Mafalda Lopes 4.25
Go Chill Expression Session: Diogo Martins
Joaquim Chaves Saúde Best Wave: 10 points from Vasco Ribeiro, in the final
Figueira Best Surfer: Ivo Cação and Natacha Vieira
Bom Petisco Girls Score: 16.30 points from Carolina Mendes, in round 2

The Liga MEO Surf now goes to the North of the country, to the waves of Porto and Matosinhos, where from 7 to 9 May the Joaquim Chaves Saúde Porto Pro will be played. The best national surfers will thus arrive at the equator of the Liga MEO Surfing with Vasco Ribeiro and Carolina Mendes in the lead of the respective ranking and also in front of the Allianz Triple Crown, at a time when there is only the Sintra stage to decide the champions of this sub-trophy.

At the television level, bearing in mind the public ban under legal terms, Allianz Figueira Pro can be followed from home live on Sport TV, as well as in the other official media: MEO’s Facebook, in position 810 of the MEO channel grid, at and social networks at @ansurfistas.

The Liga MEO Surf is the 1st division of the modality, being Surf an individual sport in the open air without physical contact and considered of low risk by DGS, for it meets all the requirements that allow its return in the competitive plane.

Liga MEO Surf 2021 was an organization of the National Surfers Association and Fire!, sponsored by MEO, Allianz Portugal, Bom Petisco, Go Chill (official cafe), Joaquim Chaves Saúde, Rip Curl and Ericeira Surf and Skate, the sustainability partner Jerónimo Martins, local support from the Municipality of Figueira da Foz, and technical support from the Figueira da Foz Surfing Association and the Portuguese Surfing Federation.

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