Müller out injured
Other big names showed they meant business. Reigning Surf-Freestyle world champion France’s Malo Guénolé was keen to improve his showing after being dumped out early in Gran Canaria. In his day’s only heat in round three, he landed big scores for a Front Flip and a Trailing-Edge Back Flip that secured his progression.
“After last week in Gran Canaria we’ve moved to Fuerteventura,” said Guénolé. “The spot is looking pretty good. The wind’s strong with good kickers. It’s a freestyle paradise. I’m looking to get a better result than in Gran Canaria. I’m looking to get a strong one here.”
Many of the young athletes put in strong performances. Gran Canaria finalist, France’s Axel Gerard, 15, saw off the challenge of countryman, Luca Vuillermet, and advanced deep into the contest.
Thirteen-year-old Vuillermet, who had to fight for his survival later in the day, came though with good scores and moved up the ladder along with another French rider, Clément Hamon, 15. Spain’s Xavi Corr, 16, was one of the day’s standouts, with a massive 9.0 for a Combo. Canary islander Ancor Sosa, 16, wowed the fans on the beach with a “first”, a Toeside Front Flip that earned him 7.83 and a heat win.
But the old guard was not giving up without a fight. Italy’s Francesco Cappuzzo took a heat win to go forward with one of the higher trick scores of the day, 8.10 for a Radiculo 7. Balz Müller (SUI), in the same heat, had to fight again later but withdrew with a neck injury.