PLAYA DE PANTIN, Galicia - Spain - The 27th edition of the Pantin Classic Galicia Pro started in powerful 4-to-6-foot surf at the iconic Playa de Pantin, with the 3-Star Men's event opening the show.
Marc Lacomare (FRA) 24, dominated the day's proceedings, netting two incredible scores of 9.70 and 9.33 out of 10 in the process. His powerful backhand attack and an impeccable wave selection was highly rewarded by the judging panel.
â€œIt was fun, I haven't had waves like that at an event for a while,â€ Lacomare said. â€œThere's a fair bit of size and the righthander was epic. There were different options out there so everybody was spaced out and we all had waves.â€
A recent semi-finalist at the Soöruz Lacanau Pro, Lacomare currently sits in third position on the European rankings and will try to lock more ranking points in Pantin, as well as get his equipment and game dialed before the two upcoming Prime events.
â€œI came here to have fun and try to get good scores so I'm stoked,â€ he added. â€œI have a brand new board that works well, and these conditions suit my style. If that swell hangs around all week we're going to have a lot of fun !â€
Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 24, followed in Lacomare's footsteps with a very similar approach, destroying a couple of righthanders on his backhand to net an impressive 16.94 heat total in the opening round. The talented Brasilian came close to elimination later in Round 2 but luckily found a good score in the dying seconds of the exchange.
â€œThis morning the conditions were much better on the low tide,â€ Ribeiro said. â€œIt's changed a lot now and the strong wind and high tide made it very difficult. I'm happy I made that air reverse just at the end to get the score and qualify.â€
Portugal's Miguel Blanco (PRT) 18, was the strongest natural-footer all-day, taking full advantage of riding on his forehand to execute sharp turns with speed, power and flow.
â€œI'm feeling good,â€ Blanco stated. â€œComing from Lacanau I feel in a good rhythm, I was lucky to find a couple fun rights and I'm stoked to move to the next round. I have the same boards than in the previous event, I can adjust fin setups and details like that but mostly I'm very happy with my boards right now.â€
Heat 9 of the second round saw the return to competition of Australian legend Jake Paterson (AUS) 41, who has been coaching Junior sensation Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) lately. Paterson advanced through two elimination rounds, proving the former Pipeline Master's fitness and technique are still of today's standards.