Gran Canaria, Canary Islands (Friday, November 5, 2010) - Jonathan Gonzalez (Tenerife, CNY) 30, drove through a deep hollow barrel to score the first perfect 10 point ride at the Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro. Defending champion and local favourite to take out the 2010 edition, Gonzalez headed a strong contingent including Tim Boal (Anglet, FRA) 28, and Heath Joske (Valla Beach NSW, AUS) 21, into Round Four of competition.
After being on hold for an hour for the tide to push in, lines in the 3-4ft (1.2m) range pulsed at the main event site of El Confital. The improved swell direction made for some long walling right-handers despite the cross-shore winds. Conditions are expected to improve even further for the following days of competition.
Jonathan Gonzalez gave a perfect display of how to read the tricky right-hander at El Confital in the most stacked heat of the day. Up against former ASP 'Dream Tour' member Nathan Hedge (AUS) and newly crowned ASP European Open champion Marc Lacomare (FRA), Gonzalez picked off the choice waves of each set while Hedge received an interference in his battle for waves with Lacomare.
"My first two heats were really tough and this one seemed to go my way. Nathan (Hedge) seemed to be a bit lost out there so it made it easier for me and Marc (Lacomare) and we could control the heat until the end. A three man heat is always better for the guys in the water with more waves for everyone.
Always under control, the bomb set wave arrived and Gonzalez made the first section to back door a long deep section to come out and lay down two more huge forehand gouges to receive his 10 point ride. The second of his career at El Confital.
"I had that 10 point ride and that set everything up for me and all I had to do was to keep my eye on Marc who is now European champion and always a threat. The last 10 I got here I remember very well and it is always a good memory for me. I have scored lots of near perfect scores but only twice have I been able to get a 10 point ride here."
Defending champion at the Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro which this year has upgraded to a 5-Star rated event means a much high level of international surfers who have come to challenge Gonzalez for his title.
"Last year was not easy to win the event and now there is a lot more level so I am not thinking about winning or even making the final. It was seen today that some of the favourites didn't make it through like Joan Duru and Gony Zubizarreta so I want to take it heat by heat and just do the best I can."
Tim Boal advanced easily along with Heath Joske (AUS) who battled it out with an inform Beyrick De Vries (ZAF). Boal opened his account with an 8.93 barrel ride to then back it up with a solid 7.67 out of 10 in the opening minutes of the clash.
"There were not many waves in that heat and I was so lucky to get those two waves at the very start of the heat. Everyone was pushing really deep to get the scores and I got my first and on the way out I got another one and that was it. For me it was easy because I was sitting wide and the others were fighting for second so it made it easier for me."
While Boal cruised to a heat win, Heath Joske (Valla Beach NSW, AUS) 21, on the wire ousted Beyrick De Vries to advance through to Round Four. In a battle of both tactics and surfing ability, the two opponents out paddled themselves off the peak and with only minutes left decided to get back to some surfing.
"I was feeling a bit upset at the time when they both got those scores. I knew I could get the score I needed if I got the wave. Luckily one came through and the other guys had taken off on other waves so I didn't get hassled out of it. I knew I needed to go big and got the score so I'm stoked."
Joske is pleased to have made it to the man-on-man Round Four encounters and feels that his chances of advancing further have improved.
"It is going to be better from here on in with the man-on-man heats. A lot less hasseling in the water and only one guy gets eliminated so the odds are better too. It will be a lot of fun out there in the man-on-man stage because you won't have to push each other so deep and it will be a lot fairer."
Jesse Mendes (Guarujà, BRA) 17, has moved quietly through the event posting solid scores and advancing without difficulty. Strong backhand smashes mixed with innovative aerials has been the trademark manoeuvres of the young goofy-footer. After a strong performance last week in Lanzarote, Mendes is one surfer who could make a big impression as we move into the business end of the event.
"The conditions are super tough and it is very shadow as well. It was the same for everyone so I tried to focus on my waves and do my best. The wind was strong as well and that wave held up and I pulled a nice air and got a good score. Everything went my way in that heat so I am super stoked."
Event officials will make a first-call at 09:00am tomorrow Day 4 of the waiting period of the Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro. Swell direction is forecast to improve even more and the barrels and action are guaranteed to continue.
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Heat 1: Jesse Mendes (BRA) Vs Aritz Aranburu (EUK)
Heat 2: Adrien Valero (FRA) Vs Glen Hall (IRL)
Heat 3: Shaun Joubert (ZAF) Vs Marc Lacomare (FRA)
Heat 4: Charles Martin (GLP) Vs Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY)
Heat 5: Tim Boal (FRA) Vs Shaun Cansdell (AUS)
Heat 6: Heath Joske (AUS) Vs Davey Cathels (AUS)
Heat 7: Adrien Toyon (REU) Vs Charlie Brown (BRA)
Heat 8: Chris Salisbury (AUS) Vs Nick Riley (AUS)
Heat 1: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 14.60, Adrien Valero (FRA) 13.50, Ryah Arthur (USA) 8.74
Heat 2: Glen Hall (IRL) 13.5, Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 12.87, Hugo Savalli (REU) 8.80
Heat 3: Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 14.07, Charles Martin (GLP) 14.03, Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 10.87
Heat 4: Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 16.33 , Marc Lacomare (FRA) 15.06, Nathan Hedge (AUS) 5.47
Heat 5: Tim Boal (FRA) 16.60, Heath Joske (AUS) 12.90, Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 12.20
Heat 6: Davey Cathels (AUS) 15.83, Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 13.66, Medi Veminardi (REU) 11.50
Heat 7: Adrien Toyon (REU) 12.17, Chris Salisbury (AUS) 8.20, Marco Fernandez (BRA) 4.84
Heat 8: Nick Riley (AUS) 13.73, Charlie Brown (BRA) 13.50, Stephen Walsh (AUS) 9.84
Heat 7: Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 11.83, Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 11.83, Andre Teixeira (BRA) 6.46, Thiago Guimaraes (BRA) 3.70
Heat 8: Heath Joske (AUS) 15.67, Medi Veminardi (REU) 13.37, Pierre-Valentin Laborde (FRA) 11.94, Brandon Jackson (ZAF) 7.83
Heat 8: Heath Joske (AUS) 15.65, Medi Veminardi (REU) 13.37, Pierre-Valentin Laborde (FRA) 11.94, Brandon Jackson (ZAF) 7.83
Heat 9: Davey Cathels (AUS) 13.86, Tim Boal (FRA) 12.84, Nic von Rupp (DEU) 10.93, Juan Pedro Gonzalez (CNY) 3.40
Heat 10: Marco Fernandez (BRA) 13.77, Stephen Walsh (AUS) 13.33, Joao Guedes (PRT) 11,94, Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 9.83
Heat 11: Chris Salisbury (AUS) 14.57, Nick Riley (AUS) 13.20, Masatoshi Ohno (JPN) 9.63, Freddie Meadows (SWE) 3.03
Heat 12: Charlie Brown (BRA) 13.47, Adrien Toyon (REU) 13.26, Joan Duru (FRA) 12.56, Omer Bar (ISR) 7.93
Source: ASP Europe