World Surf League Men's QS 1500 event
World Surf League Women's QS 1500 event
Zarautz, Basque Country Europe
19 - 23 April 2017
Zubizarreta goes back-to-back after caparica win while Henrique claims her maiden QS victory
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 23 April, 2017 - Zarautz, Basque Country - Gony Zubizarreta and Carol Henrique have claimed the 2017 Pro Zarautz titles today in an exciting finals day in the Basque Country. Competition resumed early this morning with the quarterfinals to culminate with the crownings of Zubizarreta and Henrique in front of capacity crowds this afternoon.
Jorgann Couzinet (FRA), 23, started strong in the men’s final with two solid scores and had a strong grip on the pole position. But a more patient Zubizarreta waited for the bombs and posted an amazing 8.90 as soon as the opportunity presented itself.
A couple of efforts later, the surfer from Galicia turned the heat with a back-up score of 7.60 and controlled the lineup from there. Despite the Frenchman’s repeated tries, Zubizarreta ultimately claimed a second win in Zarautz, eight years later than his first.
“I’m over the moon,” an ecstatic Zubizarreta said. “After winning in Caparica I felt great and super confident in my surfing, and it’s always a pleasure to come to Zarautz, some of my best friends are from here and I’ve been coming here since forever, this is like a second home.”
All throughout the event Zubizarreta seemed very composed as he navigated tough heats one after another without a hitch, to finally claim a second victory right after his win in Portugal last week in Caparica. He now sits comfortably atop the European rankings after four events.
“I was just enjoying having a great time with Aritz (Aranburu), Hodei (Collazo) and all the boys,” he continued. “Jorgann started with two good scores and I really thought I’d get comboed but I stayed patient and finally got my waves.”
The current Qualifying Series No.2, Couzinet reached the final for the second time this season, but once again fell short to claim a first-ever victory. The Reunion Island native had a very impressive campaign in Zarautz, posting five consecutive heat wins with multiple near-perfect scores, including the event’s highest, a 9.93 in his quarterfinal this morning.
“I’m definitely very happy with my three heats above 17 points, unfortunately the final was a different story,” Couzinet commented. “I was frustrated just to not have anymore opportunities after Gony got the bomb, I simply wanted to continue to surf and show my abilities but that’s how it goes. Gony is a really cool surfer, very positive and I’m stoked I got to surf a final against him.”
Very vocal and completely honest about his goal of making the Championship Tour, Couzinet once again showed great sportsmanship and looked mostly at the positive side of making another final. He will now have an opportunity to test himself against the real deal, a couple of CT athletes next week in Portugal.
“I tend to surf much better when I’m facing people that are stronger, so I’m really looking forward to surfing in Santa Cruz next week,” he added. “If you want to be with the best you need to beat the best, I’m not scared to surf against anyone, I just know I need to do my absolute best to have a chance.”
Carol Henrique wasted no time in the women’s final, as she posted an excellent 8.43 on an opening ride to apply pressure on her opponent from the start. Maud Le Car (FRA), 24, on the other hand, had trouble finding her rhythm and opted to surf a few average waves offering no consequent scoring opportunities.
The Portuguese surfer kept building her back-up score and put Le Car in a near-combination situation, needing a 9.36 to steal the lead. Ultimately the French surfer was denied anymore opportunities to score big and Henrique walked away with her maiden victory on the WSL tour.
“I’m super happy to finally win an event,” Henrique stated. “Today was just amazing, my semifinal against Justine (Dupont) was super hard and I knew I needed to work hard. Maud is a really good surfer too and I’m super happy to have won against both of them.”
The current leader on the European QS title race, Henrique leaves Zarautz US$10,000 richer, a sum that will certainly play a big role in her qualifying campaign this season.
“Without a major sponsor it’s quite difficult to follow the whole tour, and thankfully I have my family’s support,” she continued. “Now with this money I’m going to afford to go to a few more events so it’s really exciting. This win is very special to me and I was stoked to have Camilla (Kemp) with me here to share this moment, and I’m thinking of my brother and my family right now.”
Maud Le Car looked a little puzzled in her final and could never select the right waves to perform her trademark carves. She had previously maintained a very high level of performance and posted excellent scores in every single heat. Her runner-up spot today marks her best result of the 2017 season so far.
Men’s European QS Top 5:
1 - Gony Zubizarreta (ESP)
2 - Jorgann Couzinet (FRA)
3 - Vasco Ribeiro (PRT)
4 - Pedro Henrique (PRT)
5 - Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY)
Women’s European QS Top 5:
1 - Carol Henrique (PRT)
2 - Justine Dupont (FRA)
3 - Garazi Sanchez-Ortun (EUK)
4 - Camilla Kemp (PRT)
5 - Peony Knight (GBR)
Some of the best QS athletes will now move on to Portugal for the upcoming Pro Santa Cruz pres. by Oakley, a men’s QS3,000 event, while the women will have a few days before their next event in Japan.
The Pro Zarautz is supported by Euskadi - Basque Country, Zarauzko Turismo Bulegoa, Gipuzkoako Foru Aldundia and Naiz: among others.
PRO ZARAUTZ MEN’S FINAL RESULTS:
1 - Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 16.50
2 - Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 14.50
PRO ZARAUTZ WOMEN’S FINAL RESULTS:
1 - Carol Henrique (PRT) 16.13
2 - Maud Le Car (FRA) 13.17
PRO ZARAUTZ MEN’S SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 14.63 def. Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 13.34
SF 2: Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 13.00 def. Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 10.66
PRO ZARAUTZ WOMEN’S SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Carol Henrique (PRT) 13.13 def. Justine Dupont (FRA) 12.27
SF 2: Maud Le Car (FRA) 15.26 def. Camilla Kemp (PRT) 10.57
PRO ZARAUTZ MEN’S QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 13.00 def. Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 10.03
QF 2: Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 17.53 def. Adrien Toyon (FRA) 13.96
QF 3: Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 14.33 def. Mateus Herdy (BRA) 11.67
QF 4: Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 15.07 def. Titouan Boyer (FRA) 9.60
PRO ZARAUTZ WOMEN’S QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Justine Dupont (FRA) 12.93 def. Alizé Arnaud (FRA) 12.50
QF 2: Carol Henrique (PRT) 16.50 def. Garazi Sanchez-Ortun (EUK) 10.00
QF 3: Maud Le Car (FRA) 14.50 def. Lee Ann Curren (FRA) 13.44
QF 4: Camilla Kemp (PRT) 10.33 def. Marissa Shaw (USA) 6.50