The ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 2-Star Movistar Ocean & Earth Pro kicked-off today at the world famous venue of El Confital, some solid eight-foot (2.5 meter) sets greeting Round 1 competitors for a first day of exciting action.
Second-to-last event of this year’s ASP European WQS Tour, the Movistar Ocean & Earth Pro lived up to its reputation today again, the right-hand pointbreak of El Confital firing throughout the day.
With thirty locals in the event facing some of the world’s best qualifiers including nearby island resident Jonathan Gonzalez (Tenerife, CNY) and former ASP Top 45 member Leonardo Neves (BRA), things heat-up fast in a massive tube to vertical re-entry surf show.
Jonathan Gonzalez, currently ranked No. 6 on the ASP European WQS ratings and sitting no. 37 on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) ratings, took top honours on Day 1 of competition, the experienced surfer and multiple finalist at El Confital easily getting through Round 1 with the day’s best good heat score, 13.66 points (out of a possible 20).
“The waves were pretty solid but I believe it was a bit too low for our heat still,” Gonzalez said. “It wasn’t an easy heat out there but I managed to get a couple of okay scores and I am looking forward for tomorrow’s conditions becaue it should be definitely classic.”
Gonzalez, whose best performance in the Movistar Ocean & Earth Pro is an equal 3rd place finish last year, is a favorite for this year’s crown, the good conditions expected giving the event top seed a promising week.
“I’ve made the finals of the event a couple of times at least but it’s only Round 1 now so I am not thinking of any win at this stage,” Gonzalez said. “I am looking to make the final of course and I am going to give everything I have to achieve that goal.”
From the field of locals who were all able to enter the coveted event, very few only were able to net some good scores, former top regional surfer and former equal 13th here at El Confital Julian Cuello (Gran Canaria, CNY) getting the second best heat result of the day.
Cuello, a longtime Canarian competitor who grew-up surfing the famous righthander, showed he was back in good form after a year-off from competition and several trips around the world including several months in the Mentawaii Islands. Opening his encounter with rising Basque surfer Igor Muniain (EUK) with the day’s best wave score of 7.17 (out of a possible 10), Cuello easily secured his Round 2 ticket.
“It’s great to surf at home in front of my friends and to get to compete in good waves,” Cuello said. “I haven’t competed a lot for some time now but it’s a great feeling to get back into competition mode and get through to Round 2.”
Cuello, who peaked to a regional No. 18 rank three years ago, is one of the most talented surfers at El Confital, the regular-foot surfer knowing the wave and its different sections very well to find deep tube-rides and position himself perfectly at the line-up.
“I made the Quarterfinals once here and I am looking to better that result this week,” Cuello said. “Many of us are looking forward to tomorrow’s conditions that are said to be classic so hopefully we get some barrels.”
Cuello will face young and promising competitor from Lanzarote Manuel Lezcano (CNY) in Heat 5 of Round 2, tomorrow.
With the swell direction supposed to turn more west and slightly decrease to six to seven foot (2 to 2.3 meter) waves, Movistar Ocean & Earth Pro event promoter Federico Garcia is confident for El Confital to deliver its best face when competitors paddle back out tomorrow Friday, at 1 PM.
“The perfect set-up here is with more western direction and with the swell decreasing a little we expect a classic Confital,” Garcia said. “It’s been eight years of competition here and once again we get exceptional conditions.”
Event officials will reconvene tomorrow at 1 PM with a good chance to wrap-up Round 1 and Round 2 by tomorrow’s end.
All results, photos and press releases of the ASP WQS 2-Star Movistar Ocean & Earth Pro are available at www.aspeurope.com
The Movistar Ocean & Earth Pro is webcast LIVE at www.aspeurope.com
MOVISTAR OCEAN & EARTH PRO ROUND 1 RESULTS
Heat 1: Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 13.66, Gary Gonzalez Dominguez (CNY) 5.27, Bentor Gonzalez Dominguez (CNY) 3.83
Heat 2: Eduardo Acosta (CNY) 9.50, Luca Diaz (CNY) 4.66, Borja Nieto (EUK) 4.63
Heat 3: Norman Landa (EUK) 11.83, Alejandro Diaz (CNY) 7.46, Juan Carlos Castellano (CNY) 2.20
Heat 4: David Acevedo (CNY) 7.23, Haritz Mendiluze (EUK) 5.64, Nico Kalli (CNY) 4.36
Heat 5: Alexander Zirke (CNY) 11.06, Jose Maria Cabrera (CNY) 10.50, Carlos Arbelo (CNY) 4.63
Heat 6: Felix Ortega (CNY) 9.00, Carlos Marques (ESP) 8.14, Fernando Roca (CNY) 4.20
Heat 7: Jonathan Torres (CNY), Bentejui Tejera (CNY), Eduardo Fernandes (PRT) No Show
Heat 8: Antonio Marques (CNY) 11.66, Fabio Pagan (CNY) 6.94, Armando Navarro (CNY) 6.00
Heat 9: Manuel Lezcano (CNY) 9.77, Ruben Gonzalez (PRT) 9.74, Ivan Monagas Torres (CNY) 7.44
Heat 10: Julian Cuello (CNY) 12.00, Igor Muniain (EUK) 5.74, Marcos Imbernon (CNY) 4.57
Heat 11: Ricardo Lange (DEU) 5.83, Hector Baldeon (CNY) 5.77, Juan Jose Lucas (CNY) 4.24
Heat 12: Jose Roman Grau (CNY) 7.50, Felipe Mendes (CNY) 3.83, Alexander El Naib (DEU) 1.00
Heat 13: Abdel El Harim (MAR) 10.66, David Machin (CNY) 4.80, Juan Manuel Florit (CNY) 4.37
Heat 14: Damian Moro Ceballos (CNY), Javier Medina (CNY), Leonardo Neves (BRA) No Show
MOVISTAR OCEAN & EARTH PRO ROUND 1 REMAINING HEATS
Heat 15: Tatsuya Fukagawa (JPN), Aridane Navarro (CNY), Leandro Gomez (CNY)
Heat 16: Keito Matsuoka (JPN), Ruben Gonzalez (CNY), Mario Azurza (EUK)
MOVISTAR OCEAN & EARTH PRO ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS
Heat 1: Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY), Eduardo Acosta (CNY), Alejandro Diaz (CNY), Haritz Mendiluze (EUK)
Heat 2: Gary Gonzalez Dominguez (CNY), Luca Diaz (CNY), Norman Landa (EUK), David Acevedo (CNY)
Heat 3: Alexander Zirke (CNY), Felix Ortega (CNY), Bentejui Tejera (CNY), Fabio Pagan (CNY)
Heat 4: Jose Maria Cabrera (CNY), Carlos Marques (CNY), Jonathan Torres (CNY), Antonio Marques (CNY)
Heat 5: Manuel Lezcano (CNY), Julian Cuello (CNY), Hector Baldeon (CNY), Felipe Mendes (CNY)
Heat 6: Ruben Gonzalez (PRT), Igor Muniain (EUK), Ricardo Lange (DEU), Jose Roman Grau (CNY)
Heat 7: Abdel El Harim (MAR), Damian Moro Ceballos (CNY), TBA, TBA
Heat 8: David Machin (CNY), Javier Medina (CNY), TBA, TBA