Both surfers started on a wave with only about a minute remaining, Ado on a long right with a soft face but able to belt four consecutive turns. Erickson had a quicker ride but started with a snap and completed the wave with a radical closeout hack. As time ran out, surfers paddled in, awaiting the judges panel’s decision. Ado was awarded an excellent 8.33 to further extend her lead but Erickson’s last wave came in as an 8.93 to reverse the situation and seal the deal on her second Pantin Classic Galicia Pro title.
“It’s been an incredible final, a lot of big sets were coming in and it was a lot of work, I just had to have faith that the right wave would come and to keep an eye out and not get discouraged,” she reflected. “I can’t believe I got that last wave, I just came to shore and fell to my knees thanking god for sending me that. I came up the hill and all those people were cheering like nothing before and that feeling of support just made me cry. I’m so thankful for their support here and all my friends and family at home that watched online and have been texting me it’s truly amazing.”
The current World N°9 built momentum through the rounds and culminated with the buzzer-beater win in the final. After winning this event in 2012, Erickson clinches a second title in Pantin and will rocket up eight spots on the Qualifying Series to sit in equal fourth with only a few events remaining this season.
Due to the delayed start of finals day and the uncertain time available before the fog showed up again, event officials resorted to change the event format from man-on-man heats back to four-man heats, leaving only seven match-ups instead of fifteen.
As the tide came in and the swell faded, conditions groomed beautifully to give surfers in the final a perfect blank canvas of four-to-five foot right and left peelers.
Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), 18, opened fire first with a good ride on his forehand and a couple of impressive turns for a 7.83 and an early lead. Michael Rodrigues (BRA), 21, answered quickly with a short ride on a left to get his feet on the wax. He then opted to go right as well, started with a functional flat spin to go over a white section, built speed and laid into a powerful snap before reaccelerating for a tail high rotation and an excellent 8.67.
Igarashi continued to surf on the face on the wave, displaying his sharp rail game and variety of power and progressive maneuvers for an 8.60 and the lead again. Meanwhile, both Tomas Hermes (BRA), 29, and Ian Gouveia (BRA), 23, caught decent rides but struggled to find a wave with potential for an excellent-range type of score.
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