Jonathan Gonzalez (Tenerife, CNY), 29, has won the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 2-Star Movistar Ocean & Earth Pro after defeating fellow finalist Ruben Gonzalez (Cascais, PRT), 31, in clean three-to-four foot (1 to 1.2 meter) waves at the world famous right-hand pointbreak of El Confital.
Second-to-last event of this year’s ASP European WQS tour, the Movistar Ocean & Earth Pro lived-up to its reputation of exceptional waves and world class surf witnessing an excellent three-day swell that turned the event into a tube and vertical-maneuver festival.
Gonzalez, who was considered a favorite for the crown, made his way through five rounds before dominating the playful conditions of the final encounter, the Canarian athlete posting four of the event’s top ten scores throughout the competition.
With a series of detonating forehand top turns and utilizing his experience for an impeccable wave selection, Jonathan Gonzalez was unstoppable towards the 2009 edition victory posting a 9.00 point score for his opening ride before backing it up with a 7.17.
“I am so happy right now, it’s been so long since my last win in an ASP WQS event,” Gonzalez said. “I was aiming at a final here and to take the win is really nice, especially in front of the Canarian crowd who has been so supportive for years now. It wasn’t an easy finish with fewer good waves but I really waited patiently for the better ones and got them.”
Finishing atop the 64-man pack, the nearby island of Tenerife resident was cheered by massive weekend crowds on his way from the dry reef of El Confital to the prize-giving stage, celebrating his victory with his public in the sunset.
“We’ve had another great edition with sick waves and the support of everyone here makes this win even more special,” Gonzalez said. “This venue deserves a big event and I hear it could happen sooner than expected so let’s hope to see the world’s best surf here soon.”
Placing runner-up after a solid run in the ASP WQS 2-Star event, Ruben Gonzalez got back in the spotlights of European surfing today netting his best result this year. Opting for a different positioning at the line-up in the 30-minute final bout, Gonzalez was not able to catch the better set waves and display his natural aggressive and vertical style.
“Getting a 2nd place here is really great for me and is a true comeback after missing all the summer events due to a back injury,” Ruben Gonzalez said. “It’s not a major event but to make a final is always very satisfying and is a great confidence boost for the next one.”
Having stamped his authority over the competing contingent on Day 3 of the Movistar Ocean & Earth Pro with exceptional tube-riding in classic six-foot (two meter) conditions netting the only perfect 10.00 point ride of the event, Ruben Gonzalez leaves Gran Canaria island with solid confidence for the upcoming event starting in a week-time on the nearby island of Lanzarote.
“We had exceptional waves and I am super happy with the way I surfed the barrels the other day,” Gonzalez said. “To get that 10 was a bonus and I am already looking forward to the next event which I usually like.”
Getting a deserved equal 3rd finish in the coveted event were Felix Ortega (Gran Canaria, CNY) and Abdel El Harim (Rabat, MAR), both men being stopped in the Semifinals respectively by Jonathan Gonzalez and Ruben Gonzalez.
Coming from Round 1 and representing the local community with great strength through the epic surf on the first couple of days, Ortega, 33, achieved his career best result in an ASP sanctioned event today, failing to counter his opponent’s effortless and solid style.
“I am super happy to make the Semis of this event and to get to surf against Jonathan (Gonzalez) was great,” Ortega said. “It’s my career best today in an ASP WQS event so I couldn’t hope for much more. The conditions were kind of small for my type of surfing and it definitely made a difference with such a technical and experienced opponent as Jonathan. It’s been a great event with good waves and I am stoked with my run, in front of my home crowd.3
Equaling Ortega with a 3rd today after going down to Gonzalez in Semifinal No. 2, El Harim, 24, ended his run despite a tight exchange where he managed to score a solid 7.50 point score but lacked a good back-up wave to go further.
“It would have been better to make the final but I am relieved to get a 3rd here in these good waves,” El Harim said. “It’s a good comeback since my best result this year in Portugal (5th in ASP WQS 6-Star in Carcavelos) last April and I hope it helps me find a new sponsor because it’s been hard travelling across Europe. I am super–pumped for the next event now, especially for the main venue which is a left and it suits me better.”
The ASP European caravan will meet next in Lanzarote, from November 1 to 7, 2009, where the ASP European champion will be crowned.