The Pull&Bear Pantin Classic Galicia Pro culminated today with the men's finals in fun, two-to-three foot surf late before sunset. The finalists surfed four times and fought hard for their spot in the event's grand finale.
Jorgann took the first step in the right direction with a solid 8.93 for his rail game punctuated by a little fin drift, taking an early lead. He quickly backed it up and applied pressure to his opponent. Michael, whose road to the Final included defeating Jesse Mendes and Yago Dora, did not stop trying and eventually posted the Final's single-highest score of 9.03 for a massive straight air.
But as time ran out, opportunities got scarce and Jorgann's 16.60 scoreboard was enough to claim his first-ever victory in Pantin. A Finalist three times already this season, he was yet to break the ceiling glass and claim an event win on the Qualifying Series. The timing couldn't have been better for the young surfer whose sole goal is to qualify for the Championship Tour.
"I was going crazy with those runner-ups!," he said. "To get my first win here at a QS6,000 is insane, it feels like an early Christmas. I want to celebrate this so bad, but it's not the time to do so, we have two very important events coming up and I'll try to keep my focus for those."
Runner-up for the second consecutive time, Michael Rodrigues' aerial antics got everyone in Couzinet's corner anxious, but unfortunately the Brazilian fell short of finding the final opportunity he needed to try to turn the final. Once again Pantin represents his season-best result and helps him climb on the rankings before the final stretch of qualifying events for 2017.
"I love competing here, it's always a great time," he said. "I need to win one at some point, it's a bummer to finish second again but it's a great result and I'm stoked and excited for the next events. Losing with the highest single score is not easy, but that's how it goes, and Jorgann surfed really well. Azores should be fun too, some good ramps usually so it should be fun!"
In the first Semifinal, QS rankings leader Jesse Mendes was in control with two decent scores for his backhand attack on the Pantin rights. But the real underdog on finals day, Michael Rodrigues, came back in the fight with a good forehand rotation followed by a couple turns for the winning 7.50 ride, handing Jesse an equal-third place result (his "worst" result at a QS6,000 this season.).
"It's been a very blessed year for me and I'm super stoked the good results continue," he said. "Being consistent on tour has been my goal ever since I started competing and finally I'm able to put together a full season. This year I wanted to get things done as soon as possible, but tried not to rush it either."
With the added 3,550 points collected in Galicia today, the Brazilian who took command of the 2017 season right from the get-go, builds his tally up to over 25,000 points, light years ahead of the rest of the field.
"I'm really enjoying the places that I'm at right now, whether it's pumping and beautiful weather or trickier waves and rainy I just soak in all the experiences," he added. "Competing is just what I love doing. If I lose in an event I'll just go visit and enjoy the surroundings, you can't deny how beautiful the places we visit truly are."
In the second semi, Jorgann and perennial threat Keanu Asing took it to the Pantin lineup for a spot in the Final. In an opposition of styles, Jorgann took it to the air while Keanu tore apart the little rights with his Hawaiian-powered carves. Eventually, the light-footed approach of the Frenchman paid off and Keanu placed equal third.
The winner in Virginia last week, Keanu's three event wins of 2017 plus the additional 3,350 points from today's result will go a long way in trying to re-qualify for the Championship Tour, on which he spent the last two seasons.
"I'm very happy to just keep surfing heats and a third place is pretty awesome," he stated. "I was here pretty early and we went on hold for a long time, plus conditions were tough, but we got the work done and it was still a beautiful day. We're off now and have an early flight to the Azores tomorrow morning, I'm really excited about warmer conditions."
With the Pull&Bear Pantin Classic Galicia Pro completed today, the new European QS Top 5 is as follows:
Next up in the region will be the men's only QS6,000 Azores Airlines Pro pres. by SEAT from September 5-10. The women will have a week to rest before the QS1,500 Anfaplace Pro Casablanca from September 12-17 in Morocco.
Check out all photos, videos, results and live webcast right here.