PLAYA DE PANTIN, Galicia – Spain (Sunday, September 2, 2017) – Jorgann Couzinet (FRA), 23, has won the Pull&Bear Pantin Classic Galicia Pro over Michael Rodrigues (BRA), 22, in an exciting final disputed late tonight.
Waves in the two-to-three foot range offered both finalists plenty of opportunities to showcase their skills, as Couzinet and Rodrigues tried to fight the long day’s exhaustion and put on a good show for the crowd.
Couzinet took the first step in the right direction with a solid 8.93 for his rail game punctuated by a little fin drift, taking an early lead. He quickly backed it up and applied pressure to his opponent. Rodrigues, who’s road to the final included defeating Jesse Mendes and Yago Dora, did not stop trying and eventually posted the final’s single highest score of 9.03 for a massive straight air.
But as time ran out, opportunities got scarce and Couzinet’s 16.60 scoreboard was enough for the Frenchman to claim his first-ever victory in Pantin. Finalist three times already this season, Couzinet was yet to break the ceiling glass and claim an event win on the Qualifying Series, and timing couldn’t have been better for the young surfer whose sole goal is to qualify for the Championship Tour.
“I was going crazy with those runner-ups!” an emotional Couzinet said. “To get my first win here at a QS6,000 is insane, it feels like an early Christmas. I want to celebrate this so bad, but it’s not the time to do so, we have two very important events coming up and I’ll try to keep my focus for those.”
Runner-up for the second consecutive time, Rodrigues’ aerial antics got everyone in Couzinet’s corner anxious, but unfortunately the Brazilian fell short of finding the final opportunity he needed to try to turn the final. Once again Pantin represents his season-best result and helps Rodrigues climb on the rankings before the final stretch of qualifying events for 2017.
“I love competing here it’s always a great time,” Rodrigues said. “I need to win one at some point, it’s a bummer to finish second again but it’s a great result and I’m stoked and excited for the next events. Losing with the highest single score is not easy but that’s how it goes, and Jorgann surfed really well. Azores should be fun too, some good ramps usually so it should be fun!”
In the opening semifinal, QS rankings leader Jesse Mendes (BRA), 24, seemed in control with two decent scores for his backhand attack of the Pantin rights. But the real dark horse on finals day, Rodrigues came back in the fight with a good forehand rotation followed by a couple turns for the winning 7.50 ride, handing Mendes an equal third place result.
“It’s been a very blessed year for me and I’m super stoked the good results continue,” Mendes said. “Being consistent on tour has been my goal ever since I started competing and finally I’m able to put together a full season. This year I wanted to get things done as soon as possible, but tried not to rush it either.”
With the added 3,550 points collected in Galicia today, the Brazilian who took command of the 2017 season right from the get go, builds his tally up to over 25,000 points, light years ahead of the rest of the field.
“I’m really enjoying the places that I’m at right now, whether it’s pumping and beautiful weather or trickier waves and rainy I just soak in all the experiences,” he added. “Competing is just what I love doing. If I lose in an event I’ll just go visit and enjoy the surroundings, you can’t deny how beautiful the places we visit truly are.”
In the second semi, an all-regular foot battle delivered unprecedented tension as Couzinet and perennial threat Keanu Asing (HAW), 24, took it to the Pantin lineup for a spot in the final. Each surfer showcased their own style, Couzinet taking to the air while Asing displayed his Hawaiian power carves. Eventually, the light-footed approach of the Frenchman paid off and Asing placed equal third.
With three event wins under the belt in 2017 and the additional 3,550 points of today’s result, Asing further climbs up the QS ladder and eyes a potential re qualification for the elite tour which he has spent two years on.
“I’m very happy to just keep surfing heats and a third place is pretty awesome,” Asing stated. “I was here pretty early and we went on hold for a long time, plus conditions were tough, but we got the work done and it was still a beautiful day. We’re off now and have an early flight to the Azores tomorrow morning, I’m really excited about warmer conditions.”
With the Pull&Bear Pantin Classic Galicia Pro completed today, the new European QS Top 5 is as follows:
1 – Jorgann Couzinet (FRA)
2 – Gony Zubizarreta (ESP)
3 – Marc Lacomare (FRA)
4 – Vasco Ribeiro (PRT)
5 – Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY)
1 – Carol Henrique (PRT)
2 – Justine Dupont (FRA)
3 – Garazi Sanchez-Ortun (EUK)
4 – Maud Le Car (FRA)
5 – Camilla Kemp (PRT)
Next up in the region will be the men’s only QS6,000 Azores Airlines Pro pres. by SEAT from September 5-10. The women will have a week to rest before the QS1,500 Anfaplace Pro Casablanca from September 12-17 in Morocco.
The Pull&Bear Pantin Classic Galicia Pro is scheduled from August 29 – September 3, 2017 at playa de Pantin, Galicia / Spain. For all results, photos, video highlights and press releases, log on to worldsurfleague.com.
The Pull&Bear Pantín Classic Galicia Pro is supported by Turismo de Galicia, Pull&Bear, Deporte Galego, Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente, Rural ES, Diputación da Coruña, Concello de Ferrol, Concello de Valdoviño, Mahou, Mercedes and Tag Heuer, as official timekeeper, with the additional collaboration of Siroko, Gadis, Abanca, Zumosol, Iberia Express, Artesanía de Galicia, Aguas de Mondariz, Instituto Tecnológico de Galicia, NB21, Intermax, Costa das Ondas and MagicSeaWeed among others.
PANTIN CLASSIC GALICIA PRO MEN’S FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 16.60
2 – Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 14.20
PANTIN CLASSIC GALICIA PRO MEN’S SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 13.83 def. Jesse Mendes (BRA) 12.07
SF 2: Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 12.17 def. Keanu Asing (HAW) 11.47
PANTIN CLASSIC GALICIA PRO MEN’S QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 13.43 def. Yago Dora (BRA) 9.20
QF 2: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 13.67 def. Miguel Tudela (PER) 11.00
QF 3: Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 13.27 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.30
QF 4: Keanu Asing (HAW) 11.96 def. Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 11.66
PANTIN CLASSIC GALICIA PRO MEN’S RD5 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Yago Dora (BRA) 15.83 def. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 12.40
Heat 2: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 16.50 def. Marc Lacomare (FRA) 11.67
Heat 3: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 15.07 def. Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 14.26
Heat 4: Miguel Tudela (PER) 12.30 def. Evan Geiselman (USA) 12.26
Heat 5: Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 14.17 def. Tomas Hermes (BRA) 14.00
Heat 6: Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.40 def. Andy Criere (ESP) 10.27
Heat 7: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 16.10 def. Nat Young (USA) 11.56
Heat 8: Keanu Asing (HAW) 10.23 def. Imaikalani Devault (HAW) 7.60