Credit: WSl / Poullenot
Italo Ferreira Continues Incredible Winning-Streak
The Euro Cup of Surfing continued today as the opening rounds of the MEO Portugal Cup of Surfing got underway in clean three-to-four foot rights at the famed Portuguese point break.
A beautiful day of competition unfolded with standout performances from some of the world’s best surfers, back in Portugal for the first time in a year. Competition wrapped up after Round 1 of both the women and men were completed and the next call will be made on Wednesday morning.
The Morrocan surfer who honed his game on endless rights in the Taghazout region came out firing in his first heat as waves matched perfectly his backhand skill set. Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) sat patiently in the lineup, but when he got moving the talented goofy foot posted two back-to-back big scores to take the lead and eventually the win over Jadson Andre (BRA) and Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA).
“I really like Portugal, I’ve been coming here since I was a kid and have a lot of good friends here,” Boukhiam stated. “I’ve always struggled a little bit surfing this spot so I’m happy to find a couple of good waves this morning and I have great boards, they worked really well.”
Italo Ferreira Continues Incredible Winning-Streak
Straight off two consecutive wins in Brazil and France, Italo Ferreira (BRA)’s devastating form continued in the first day of competition in Portugal. A runner-up in the 2014 World Junior Championship on this very wave, Ferreira got a chance to redeem himself against Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) who claimed the junior world title that year, in their Round 1 matchup this morning.
“I’m a lot stronger right now, I was so skinny back then,” Ferreira joked about their 2014 battle. “It was a good heat for the first round, there are a lot of strong surfers in this event. I’m stoked to be back in Portugal, it is one of my favorite places in the world, I just love to eat here and surf.”
French Powerhouses Dominate Women’s Opening Round
Anat Lelior (ISR) put on a solid performance in the day’s opening heat to advance in first into the Quarters, but unfortunately her excellent form got quickly eclipsed by the Jeep yellow leader jersey Johanne Defay (FRA) in the very next heat. The World No. 8 Defay was in difficulty with only minutes on the clock and dropped a radical single turn on a closeout for the first excellent score of the event, an impressive 8.27 to turn the heat.
“It was a little bit tricky for me this morning,” Defay admitted. “I kind of blew it early with priority so I always had the third and could never really choose the right waves. With only a few minutes left I figured I needed to try something different so I paddled around and finally got that wave with one good turn.”
Former Championship Tour competitor Pauline Ado (FRA) picked up where her good friend Defay left off in the third heat, and posted the round’s best performance with a solid 15.00 total for her forehand attack of the clean Ribeira d’Ilhas walls.
“It’s super fun to be back here,” Ado said. “I think the first contest I did here was as a junior when I was 14yo, so I have really good memories of this place. I tried to contain myself cause I wanted to go on every single wave but you have to think strategically and choose your waves carefully. My goals remain unchanged even though they’ve been pushed a year, I want to get back on tour and try to qualify for the Olympics so I’m looking forward to next season.”
Anat Lelior Opens Strong in Ericeira
One of the surfers with likely the least experience in Ericeira, Anat Lelior (ISR) showed no hesitation on the long rights as she built a healthy heat total in the very first heat of the day. The Israeli surfer admitted to surfing sub-par waves on beach breaks at home and was excited to suit up on a high-performance venue like Ribeira d’Ilhas.
“I arrived at the beach in the dark and when the first light came up conditions were beautiful,” Lelior said. “I haven’t surfed a point break in so long, so to be able to do it in a heat with only three other girls I feel blessed. These events are a great opportunity for us, we haven’t competed in so long, it’s great to be able to do the thing that we love again, I’m really happy to be here in Portugal and scoring some fun waves.”
Surfers will be back at 7:30am GMT+1 / 2:30am ET / 11:30pm PT (day before) at Ribeira d’Ilhas tomorrow for the next call. This event will stream LIVE on worldsurfleague.com, the WSL app, and Fuel TV.
The MEO Portugal Cup of Surfing is supported by MEO, Tourism of Portugal, Portuguese Waves, Jeep, EDP, Hertz, Buondi, Oceano Azul Foundation, with official broadcast partner Fuel TV.
UPCOMING MEO PORTUGAL CUP OF SURFING MEN’S QUARTERFINAL HEATS:
QF 1: Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) vs. TBD
QF 2: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. TBD
QF 3: Maxime Huscenot (FRA) vs. TBD
QF 4: Aritz Aranburu (ESP) vs. TBD
UPCOMING MEO PORTUGAL CUP OF SURFING WOMEN’S QUARTERFINAL HEATS:
QF 1: Anat Lelior (ISR) vs. TBD
QF 2: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. TBD
QF 3: Pauline Ado (FRA) vs. TBD
QF 4: Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) vs. TBD
UPCOMING MEO PORTUGAL CUP OF SURFING MEN’S RD2 HEATS:
Heat 1: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Vasco Ribeiro (PRT)
Heat 2: Henrique Pyrrait (PRT) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 3: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Gatien Delahaye (FRA)
Heat 4: Frederico Morais (PRT) vs. Afonso Antunes (PRT)
UPCOMING MEO PORTUGAL CUP OF SURFING WOMEN’S RD2 HEATS:
Heat 1: Rachel Presti (DEU) vs. Camila Cardoso (PRT)
Heat 2: Carolina Mendes (PRT) vs. Ariane Ochoa (EUK)
Heat 3: Yolanda Hopkins (PRT) vs. Francisca Veselko (PRT)
Heat 4: Nadia Erostarbe (EUK) vs. Mafalda Lopes (PRT)
MEO PORTUGAL CUP OF SURFING MEN’S RD1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 14.84, Jadson Andre (BRA) 10.97, Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 10.33
Heat 2: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14.67, Henrique Pyrrait (PRT) 10.67, Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 9.23
Heat 3: Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 12.50, Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 12.37, Afonso Antunes (PRT) 8.84
Heat 4: Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 12.47, Frederico Morais (PRT) 12.27, Gatien Delahaye (FRA) 8.73
MEO PORTUGAL CUP OF SURFING WOMEN’S RD1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Anat Lelior (ISR) 13.24, Rachel Presti (DEU) 11.67, Ariane Ochoa (EUK) 6.27
Heat 2: Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.27, Carolina Mendes (PRT) 12.07, Camilla Cardoso (PRT) 5.67
Heat 3: Pauline Ado (FRA) 15.00, Yolanda Hopkins (PRT) 9.93, Mafalda Lopes (PRT) 9.07
Heat 4: Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) 11.46, Nadia Erostarbe (EUK) 10.77, Francisca Veselko (PRT) 7.44