The young Italian surfer was on fire on the last day of competition, starting his road to the Final with the only perfect 10-point ride awarded in Pantin for a succession of huge under-the-lip turns on a solid left-hander.
“It feels unbelievable right now, it was such a good contest,” said an ecstatic Fioravanti. “I’m still 16, I’m surfing heats with absolutely no pressure on the QS and it seems to be working out. Today’s my mom’s birthday and I’m so stoked to give her that present. This is the best day of my life for sure.”
Just a short two weeks after his runner-up finish at the ASP 5-StarSoöruz Lacanau Pro, Fioravanti took a strong command of the Final and never let go of the lead. With a firm grasp on the regional rankings, the reigning European Junior Champion will look to consolidate his position while disputing the upcoming two ASP Prime events in Portugal.
“My main goal right now is the World Juniors, I want to do good there,” Fioravanti said. “I’m going to train hard and keep my confidence levels up and see how I can go there. But yeah going to another event right now in Azores with all that momentum I hope I can keep surfing like this and win a few more heats.”
In addition to the $8,000 purse, Fioravanti received a flight ticket to any of over 200 destinations worldwide, generously offered by Turkish Airlines, one of the main sponsors of the event. While Silvana Lima(BRA), winner of the ASP 6-Star women’s event stated Hawaii as her primary destination, Fioravanti said, “I’ll have to think about it a little bit, but Indonesia seems like an obvious choice for me right now”.
Uruguay’s Giorgi surpassed the all South American contestants, eliminating Alex Ribeiro (BRA) in the Quarters and Santiago Muniz (ARG) in the Semis. Coming off another runner-up finish in Arica, Chile in early August, Giorgi continues to build on his momentum with this most recent finish in Galicia.
“I feel like I surfed well throughout the event,” Giorgi said. “The Final didn’t happen for me but I’m still super happy. Congrats to Leo. He’s been surfing amazing and really impressed me. I’m thankful for all the support I received this week from people at home in Uruguay, and Brazil, as well, where I have many friends.”
Muniz, 21, a talented regular-footer and brother of World No.27 Alejo Muniz’s, was in a combination situation up until the last moments of his Semifinal. He caught a good lefthander to score a 7.00 point ride but ultimately could not locate the excellent score needed to surpass his opponent.
“I was up against my good friend Marco and he’s surfing so good,” Muniz stated. “I would have loved to make another Final here, I did one a few years ago against Aritz (Aranburu), but this is a great result for me. I’m going to the Prime tomorrow and I’m bringing confidence in the bags.”
The fast, powerful surfer hailing from Argentina and sitting in 64th position in the QS ranks before coming to Pantin, felt right at home in the powerful surf of la Playa de Pantin.
“I was 17 when I first came here, and I love it here in Galicia,” Muniz said. “I love the people, the food. It’s my language too. I just feel super comfortable competing here it’s perfect.”
Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 16, had his ticket for the Final with minutes remaining on the clock. Fioravanti started to get busy in the lineup and eventually the young Californian was left chasing a high-eight and placed equal third.
“It’s the furthest I’ve ever been in a QS so definitely a good result for me and also a great warmup for the upcoming events,” Igarashi said. “I got into the Primes in the mid-year re-seed so I’m going to go to Azores next week to get a little bit of experience, have some fun and get a couple waves over there.”
Traveling with good friend and sparing partner Fioravanti, the Huntington Beach local knew all too well his situation was fickle. Igarashi will look to improve on his heat strategy and priority use for the upcoming events.
“I made a bunch of bad decisions, going on small ones, and with 13.50 I knew Leo could have more with two waves,” Igarashi added. “When you make mistakes against such good surfers you’re going to pay the price. Leo’s my best friend. We’re staying together at all the events and we knew we could eventually surf against each other. It would only have been better if that was in the Final.”