Las Americas Pro Tenerife
Vitoria claims first QS win of career while Greene adds another victory to blossoming career
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 3 February, 2018 - Las Americas, Tenerife - Ruben Vitoria and Mikaela Greene have won the Las Americas Pro Tenerife today, claiming victory in the Finals against Jorgann Couzinet and Pauline Ado respectively, held in fun two-to-three foot surf at Las Americas.
Stop No. 2 on the World Surf League (WSL) European Qualifying Series, the Las Americas Pro Tenerife, has been treated to a difficult forecast but surfers stepped up to the plate to provide four days of great entertainment at Las Americas. Waves came to the party to grace the public with epic finals this afternoon.
The men’s final was an unbelievable clash with Vitoria and Couzinet locking in to a back-and-forth battle of huge scores. The Frenchman started strong with two high 8s in the opening minutes of their exchange, and it seemed like nothing could dethrone him from a legitimate first place.
Halfway through the 30-minute final, the Basque Country’s Vitoria finally found a good wave to lay down his impressive backhand attack on the lefts, to post a 9.10, climb out of the combination situation he was in and get right back in the fight.
Brimming with confidence, he soon after started on a great set wave and annihilated the long wall with massive turns to belt the first and only perfect 10 point ride of the whole event, and put Couzinet in combo this time, eventually claiming his first-ever event title on the Qualifying Series.
“I was in combo but I always thought I had a shot so I tried to stay relaxed and focus,” Vitoria said. “When I saw that bomb I knew it had the potential to get the score and honestly when I finished the wave I kinda knew I had done the job, it was incredible. It’s a dream come true for me to win this event.”
Vitoria, who finished last season in 344th position on the QS, claims an unforeseeable win and will take a massive confidence boost heading into the rest of his season.
Up until the final, Couzinet, whose 2017 QS effort was a massive break on the international scene, looked unbeatable. He once again showed great surfing all week and will move on to the upcoming big events his motivation and determination intact.
“I’ve seen him surf this week and I knew he was capable of what he just did,” Couzinet said. “I had two good waves but I didn’t manage to push my turns as much as I wanted. It was a tough final to lose but I accept it and it only motivates me even more to go back to training to avoid that in the future.”
In an all Basque semifinal matchup, Julen Egiguren (EUK) and Vitoria had an exciting back-and-forth battle for the lead all the way into the final minutes. Egiguren caught the best wave of the heat but was unable to defend it with a second strong score and eventually placed equal third.
“Ruben is a really good friend and we had an intense heat,” Egiguren said. “I got a good wave but unfortunately it wasn’t enough. We had super fun waves, even small, they’re real quality waves and I had a great time here this week. I’ll try to take this experience and confidence into the next European events in a couple of months.”
Gearoid McDaid (IRL) had a stellar run up to the semifinals but found a massive hurdle on his path to the final. Couzinet lit up in their semi and posted two back-to-back near-perfect scores to bury the Irish’ chances early on. McDaid still produced some of his best surfing and posted an excellent 8 point ride to exit the event holding his head high.
“It was a tough one, there were great waves but I just seemed to pick the wrong ones,” McDaid said. “I’m stoked on getting my best result ever and hopefully can keep it up in the next few ones. I look forward to Martinique, it’s a righthand point break so completely different, but we also have waves like that at home so I’m confident I can surf well there.”
In the women’s final, Mikaela Greene (AUS)’s vertical attack of the medium lefts quickly gave an idea of the outcome. But a very consistent Pauline Ado (FRA) put two good scores on the board early and made the Australian’s job a little harder.
Greene remained patient and selected the best waves to post an excellent 8.90 halfway through and steal the lead. The former CT surfer couldn’t quite match her flow and Greene kept the pole position to eventually claim the win.
“I have a lot of respect for Pauline as an athlete so I knew I had a tough heat ahead of me and I had to bring my A-Game,” Greene said. “I’m really happy I was able to find a few waves and stoked the waves stuck around for the finals. I have a couple of big events at home coming up so I’ll definitely take some confidence out of this win and try to carry it into the next few events.”
Fresh off a good ninth place in Florida, Greene adds a great result to her early 2018 qualifying effort and will look to keep her momentum heading back home to Australia for the upcoming QS6,000 events of Newcastle and Manly.
Ado came short of yet another victory on the QS, but looked in great form and will bring the same confidence into her 2018 bid to re-claim her spot on the Championship Tour.
“I’m a little bit disappointed about my final but overall very happy with my week here in Tenerife,” Ado said. “I’m a hard worker and I’ll keep trying to improve all the time, I know I need to get more power into my turns and I’m also working on mental preparation. I can’t wait for the next ones!”
Maud Le Car (FRA) never really found her rhythm in this event and couldn’t match Ado’s flair on the running lefts in their semifinal matchup. The St Martin surfer came close to the qualifying zone in 2014 and 2015, but then suffered more difficult seasons since. Her qualifying effort this season will start with a good third place in Tenerife to boost her confidence before her next few events.
“It wasn’t my best event, I never really felt like I surfed well,” Le Car said. “But it’s always nice to come to a new location and I had a fun time here at Las Americas, it’s a really nice place. I’m off to Australia now and can’t wait to try to get more of a winning form there.”
Marion Philippe (PYF) suffered a similar fate, only finding average waves in the tricky lineup for most of the heat. In the final minute, Philippe found one of the best waves of the day and went to town on it, posting an incredible 9.17, but too late to find another score of consequence. The Tahitian who’s only really starting on the Qualifying Series, will head home from Tenerife with her best-ever finish on the QS, an equal third finish and the allocated 840 ranking points.
The next event counting towards the European rankings will be the men and women’s QS3,000 Martinique Surf Pro, from March 17-24.
LAS AMERICAS PRO TENERIFE MEN’S FINAL RESULTS:
1 - Ruben Vitoria (EUK) 19.10
2 - Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 17.50
LAS AMERICAS PRO TENERIFE WOMEN’S FINAL RESULTS:
1 - Mikaela Greene (AUS) 15.90
2 - Pauline Ado (FRA) 12.70
LAS AMERICAS PRO TENERIFE MEN’S SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Ruben Vitoria (EUK) 12.70 def. Julen Egiguren (EUK) 12.33
SF 2: Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 18.53 def. Gearoid McDaid (IRL) 13.67
LAS AMERICAS PRO TENERIFE WOMEN’S SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Pauline Ado (FRA) 13.87 def. Maud Le Car (FRA) 10.07
SF 2: Mikaela Greene (AUS) 15.00 def. Marion Philippe (PYF) 14.57