20 July, 2019


First edition of the Pantín Classic, held between 23 and 25 September. 
Jorge Imbert (Euskadi) wins the final against Fernando Adarraga (Galicia), Balbi Irisarri (Galicia) and Roberto Ziller (Brazil). 
Casal Gonzalo “Super” wins the test bodyboard Luis Veiga.


Fernando Balbi Adarraga and Irisarri (in the first photo, with blue and yellow lycra respectively) were the two leading figures, along with Chicho Torreiro, Galician surf in the late eighties. Fernando Galicia represented the North and the South Balbi Galicia, the two communities that had shaped the origins of surfing in Galicia. Both then also collaborate in several editions of the championship as members of the organization (hard to forget the live broadcast on TVG championship with Fernando as a commentator).

Finalistas. De izquierda a derecha Balbi Irisarri, Fernando Adarraga, Jorge Imbert y Roberto Ziller. Fotografía de Gonzalo Cueto.

Finalists. From left to right Balbi Irisarri, Adarraga Fernando Jorge and Roberto Ziller Imbert. Royalty Gonzalo Cueto.

Jorge Imbert (red lycra) reached Pantín rebound, but as a high figure of national surf for several years after winning the championship of Spain followed. Surely he’s not that day role, before long, would play in the development of the championship thanks to the sponsorship relationship Surf Club Ocean reached with Quiksilver, and lasted between 1991 and 1997 imagined, and during the Pantín Classic which became part of the global circuit.

Finally Roberto Ziller, Brazilian green lycra. Roberto represented the international dimension that the following year would reach the event thanks to the participation of the first coming professional surfers from South Africa, Australia or the United States. He was not a professional surfer. He was on vacation with his family in Pantín, where he came into contact with local surfers, and he made friends with the family of Vicente Irisarri, who convinced him to participate in the championship after a “churrascada” in Doniños and while enjoying a delicious tostadas smeared with yogurt and blackberries.

The Pantin Classic 1988 obviously was not the first championship to be held in Galicia. The first record of which have occurred in Orzán Beach in 1972, and since then, almost every year tests rather than competitions, meetings between friends were gathered with the excuse of a surf contest is held. But the Pantín Classic was born with a different spirit. The aim was to hold a similar to those who were already taking place in other European beaches more surfístic event tradition, and this required the championship more surfers than those who were at that time Galicia was opened. However, this opening was not viewed favorably by all. In fact there were many who defended until the last moment, arriving not to participate in the championship, the position that only allowed to participate in the competition Galician surfers. Fortunately this was not the option expired.

Perhaps for this reason, and as a reaction, every surfer that wine was received with special hospitality, making them feel that only their presence, regardless of their level, were prestige to the championship. In fact, you can almost say that in the days prior to the event surfer anyone who was not here, and that was close to Pantín was earnestly invited to participate, leaving him no choice but to accept the invitation. That’s how “exotic” Z. Cordoni South African and Australian M. Rosser-test was targeted after being recruited by Nano Couto night. Or as they also entered the American Sunway, who apparently had relatives in Cedeira. These Brazilian Roberto Ziller, who was spending the summer in Pantín would join. Not wanting the four great powers of world surfing, failing Hawaii were represented in the championship.

Jorge Imbert. Fotografía de Javi Amezaga (3sesenta)

Jorge Imbert. Royalty Javi Amezaga (3sesenta)

But the big figure, which ended up giving voice to the event in the press at the time, was Jorge Imbert. Jorge Galicia was visiting family, part of which is native to the area of Vigo. It was the first time I was in Galicia. His first trip to Galicia surfístico had been one or two years earlier, and also to discover Pantín waves, or Doniños and Campelo, had befriended Jarpín, Nano Couto and Pedro Calderón, who encouraged him to participate.

So with a long list of participants holding a previously forced to decide Trials final 32 participants, started the championship. For the first time there were no judges scoring Galician sleeves. Wine press, radio and television, and the waves were big and constant. The infrastructure evidently was not today, but expecting lifeguard stand was for many years a great help. Judges and speakers shared terrace, protected only by a canopy supported by sticks and ropes, which were not sufficient when the rain got worse. Micro in hand, standing or sitting on a plastic chair, the championship was broadcast by a team of amplifier then Councilman Valdoviño Carmelo Bouza, and speakers that Gonzalo Barro borrowed from a group of local music. And to mark the beginning and end of the heats when the horn broke, had to resort to the ambulance siren. 
Fernando Adarraga the wave of the championship. Picture of Merche Armental.

Fernando Adarraga en la ola del campeonato. Fotografía de Merche Armental. Fernando Adarraga the wave of the championship. Picture of Merche Armental

That year the tradition of the Sunday before the semifinals and finals, a meal of fraternization between competitors, judges and organization, which took place at Casa Ramos be held began. These meals were transformed over time into dinner, because after lunch the competitors did not end in the best conditions to enter the water with their stomachs full to overflowing after having tasted a good example of local produce. Lamb played that year, and after seeing Jorge Imbert eat several dishes, many thought that the favorite will not be able to stand or table. Still won, as its level was much higher than the rest, but in the end Fernando Adarraga cogiese the biggest waves. Third and fourth was Roberto Ziller Balbi Irisarri.

And not remember the poster. Like the Ocean Surf Club logo, the image of the championship was to be designed by architects Irisarri and Guadalupe Piñera Suso. But the dates are put on him and did not have time to get into print with the final design. And then, as sometimes happen in future with other emergency, Gusse Nunez came to the rescue with poster / collage created by the same, with the image of a map of Galicia line, stood all hitherto known surfable beaches in Ferrolterra.

Surely many other stories that I have lost it counted. But also, not having attended the talk, I am left with the question of whether the program of this year’s championship final of 1988 will be reissued. That was the idea at least a few months ago, and at I’ve heard, she has been working in Fernando Adarraga. Unfortunately I do not think it has been able to locate one of the protagonists, Roberto Ziller, Brazil, which has lost track in Karlsruhe (Germany), where he was teaching until recently in one of its universities as a doctor of physical. Yesterday Bremón Carlos told me it was a shame not to have him, since apparently Roberto is one of those people that gives pleasure to hear. And the truth is, reading the titles of some of the research that has participated as physical, must be.

Finalistas. De izquierda a derecha Balbi Irisarri, Fernando Adarraga, Jorge Imbert y Roberto Ziller. Fotografía de Gonzalo Cueto.

Finalists. From left to right Balbi Irisarri, Adarraga Fernando Jorge and Roberto Ziller Imbert. Royalty Gonzalo Cueto.

But missing one of the protagonists cannot be a reason for the end is not repeated, so in “desdelacroa” justified proposals launched several candidates to replace the Brazilian, if not finally appears:


Chicho-Torreiro: if it were not for the absence of most surfers coruñeses possibly Chicho had been in the final.
  • Casal-Gonzalo “Super” was one of the finalists in 1988, but in bodyboard, where he won in a close finish to Luis Veiga.
  • Gonzalo Barro: by choosing one of the quintessential local Pantín at that time. Others might be Luis Novo, or Leo Friendly Lugilde.
  • Finally, any of the semifinalists or participants of that first edition, eg Aitor Aguirremota or Juampe Sansinenea.

To complete the scene, and as in 1988, photo re-issue should be taken by Gonzalo Cueto. Gonzalo unwittingly immortalized the moment with her camera, making a picture that has become almost an icon for Galician surf, and that September 25, 1988 landed unintentionally past, present and future.

Source: desde la croa