Former Championship Tour competitors Justine Dupont (FRA), 24, and Pauline Ado, 25, put on a great fight in the final, going blow for blow on the clean five-to-six foot sets on offer. Opting to go both left and right, the competitors who had previously dispatched of the last two Basque surfers in the semis, gave a great display of performance surfing.
Despite a quicker start from Dupont, it was Pauline Ado who capitalized on the conditions to rip apart the beautiful Zarautz rights. With two solid scores on the board, Ado managed to keep her opponent at a distance and claimed the event title.
Ado even found a little cover-up. - WSL / Damien Poullenot
"We've been blessed with the waves this weekend, I haven't been here in a very long time since we had groms contest, but it's great to be back and to win an event here, the people are awesome and you can tell they love surfing," she reflected. "It's a great warmup with less pressure cause the points might not count in the qualifying race. It was a good opportunity to test some things and get into a good rhythm. I improved throughout the event, and even though I would have loved to score a little bit higher in the final I'm very satisfied with my event."
Dupont, one of the most consistent surfer throughout the entire event, couldn't find the right opportunities in the final's lineup and was left chasing a near-excellent score to catch up on Ado's rhythm. Eventually, Dupont's efforts deemed insufficient and the talented regular-footer had to settle for the runner-up spot.
Dupont's forehand attack was impressive. - WSL / Damien Poullenot
"I felt good coming into that final but my strategy fell apart, I wasn't patient enough and didn't choose the right waves," she analyzed. "Pauline's best wave I had priority and was a little bit far outside so I had to let her go. It's the second time I make that exact same mistake and it bothers me, but I guess I'll learn from it and be better in the next one. I have a month and a half now before the next big events so I'll go back to training now."
While the women have a few weeks before the next major event in Mexico, Europe's best male surfers can already gear up towards theMartinique Surf Pro starting in two weeks in the Caribbean.
Michael Bradley Photography