SEAT Pro Netanya
Global and European QS warriors will compete in Mediterranean waters
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 8 January, 2018 - Kontiki Beach - The SEAT Pro Netanya pres. by Reef will officially launch the 2018 Men’s Qualifying Series from January 11-20 in Israel. A men’s only competition, offering 3,000 QS ranking points to the winner, this event returns for an exceptional third edition.
The first two installments have seen some of Europe’s best competitors and a handful of curious international athletes visit the country and compete in Mediterranean waters. Surfers have enjoyed good conditions and jumped on the opportunity to explore a new destination.
The quality beachbreak, nested among large cliffs that protect the city center of Netanya against occasional violent winter storms, offers a unique setup for surfing. Breakwalls sitting parallel to the shore, concentrate sand to create three different beaches and multiple peaks that generate fun waves up and down the Netanya beachfront.
Upgrading to a QS3,000 this season, Israel attracted more competitors as entries poured in from about a hundred surfers representing all seven regions of the World Surf League.
Leading the pack will be Brazil’s Miguel Pupo, freshly out of his seventh season on the Championship Tour and in a bid to re-qualify. Pupo’s progressive and dynamic surfing will be the benchmark at Kontiki beach and make the Brazilian a clear favorite to keep the Netanya title in the auriverde camp.
Alongside Pupo, a crowd of victory-hungry seasoned QS competitors will bring their A-game to claim the first points of their season. Jorgann Couzinet, runner-up in 2017 and arguably the breakout performer last season, will try to confirm his newfound form and show his intentions of finishing 2018 in the coveted QS Top 10.
“Last year was a huge learning curve for me,” Couzinet said. “I was serious about my goal of qualifying but I wasn’t ready for everything else, choosing the right boards, working with coaches etc. I’ve figured most of it out during the season and feel like I’m much more equipped now to reach that goal. I’m going to be working with Martin Dunn as a coach on the big QS events and some people from my main sponsor Soöruz.”
“Israel is a super cool destination,” he continued. “I made the quarters in 2016, and the final last year, so I want to continue to improve and try to win it! The fans are super cool and the atmosphere around the event is great, plus I have a lot of friends there. I’ve spent some time at home in Reunion Island, not surfing, so I’m super excited to surf again!”
Marc Lacomare, Charly Martin, Maxime Huscenot, Aritz Aranburu, Kalani Ball, Matthew McGillivray and Carlos Munoz are just a few other hopefuls that will likely make a charge for an early QS start.
Last but not least, a surprise could also come from a local talent. The first two editions have pushed a whole generation to train harder and twenty-eight Israelis will try their luck against some of the finest competitors on the WSL tours.
The current weather patterns in the Mediterranean show a lot of activity and swells regularly firing up the Netanya coastline. With the event starting three days from now, everything’s set up for a spectacular first Qualifying Series event in 2018.