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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa
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Mon, 4 September 2017

Mikey February hit a snag in his bid to get on the Championship Tour next year when he was knocked out in Round 2 of the Pull&Bear Pantin Classic Galicia Pro in Spain, writes Spike.


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WHIP SLASH: Jess Mendes cemented his number 1 ranking on the QS. Photo WSL / Masurel


February lost his 2nd slot in the WSL Qualifying Series rankings to American Kanoa Igarashi, who made it as far as the Quarter-finals of the QS6,000 event, while ratings leader Jesse Mendes (BRA) solidified his lead after he got as far as the Semis. In the final, Jorgann Couzinet (FRA), 23, beat Michael Rodrigues (BRA), 22, in 2-3' surf at the beach of Pantini in northwestern Spain yesterday.

Bianca Buitendag made it as far as the 4th round in the women's event to gain six places on the women's QS to now stand #22 in the rankings. Buitendag was knocked out by Aussie Keely Andrew. Hawaiian Coco Ho won the event on Saturday to make it back-to-back wins after her Pro Anglet victory last week. Ho overcame a determined effort from 15-year-old American Caroline Marks, who reached her first major QS final in front of a big crowd of boisterous Spaniards.

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BACK SLASH: Coco Ho puts some oomph in another round-house. Photo WSL / Masurel


All the other South Africans who entered the 6,000 point QS event - barring Dylan Lightfoot - were knocked out early. Dylan Lightfoot managed one heat further than February, winning his Round 2 heat, but had to settle for 3rd in Round 3 to miss out on a chance to advance. Richard Kidd, Slade Prestwich, Matt McGillivray and Shane Sykes were all done by the end of Round 1.

The beach of Pantin, in the Spanish municipality of Galicia, had contestable waves all week in the 2-4' range, with the men's finals yesterday running in clean 3' surf.

In the opening semifinal, QS rankings leader Mendes notched up two good scores for his backhand attack of the Pantin rights but the dark horse on finals day Rodrigues came back with a winning 7.50 ride, handing Mendes equal third. With the 3,550 points collected here, the Brazilian builds his tally to more than 25,000 points: light years ahead of the rest of the field.

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YAGO AIRWAYS: Yago Dora spent a lot of time on his own flight path. Photo WSL / Masurel


In the second semi, an all-regular foot battle between Couzinet and perennial threat Keanu Asing (HAW), 24, took it to the Pantin lineup for a spot in the final. Couzinet took to the air while Asing displayed his Hawaiian power carves. The light-footed approach of the Frenchman paid off and Asing placed equal third.

With three event wins in 2017 and the extra 3,550 points, Asing climbs three spots up the QS ladder to 5th, and eyes a potential re-qualification for the elite tour after two years there. Brazilian Yago Dora moves to 6th, and Couzinet jumps 10 spots to 7th. Thomas Hermes (BRA) stays in 4th.

Next up in the region is the men’s QS6,000 Azores Airlines Pro presented by SEAT from tomorrow September 5 to 10. The women have a week before the QS1,500 Anfaplace Pro Casablanca from September 12-17 in Morocco. For more, check out www.worldsurfleague.com.

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PERUVIAN RAIL GRAB: The talented Migel Tudela made it to the quarters. Photo WSL / Masurel


PANTIN CLASSIC GALICIA PRO MEN’S FINAL
1 - Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 16.60
2 - Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 14.20

PANTIN CLASSIC GALICIA PRO MEN’S SEMIFINAL
SF 1: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 13.83 def. Jesse Mendes (BRA) 12.07
SF 2: Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 12.17 def. Keanu Asing (HAW) 11.47

PANTIN CLASSIC GALICIA PRO WOMEN’S FINAL
1 - Coco Ho (HAW) 16.50
2 - Caroline Marks (USA) 11.17

PANTIN CLASSIC GALICIA PRO WOMEN’S SEMIFINAL
SF 1: Caroline Marks (USA) 11.77 def. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 9.60
SF 2: Coco Ho (HAW) 9.67 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 6.27

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