Basse-Pointe woke up with a little morning sickness and the first few heats were disputed in a bumpy lineup on Day 4 of the inaugural Martinique Surf Pro. Conditions cleaned up quickly and the beautiful pointbreak started pumping perfect 4-to-5 foot waves providing surfers a blank canvas for huge turns and progressive maneuvers.
Miguel Tudela (PER) 20, had a brilliant day in Martinique, navigating through three heats to advance into the first Semifinal in a strong position. The young Peruvian scored consistently in the good to excellent range and eventually dispatched Hawaiian Kiron Jabour (HAW) in their man-on-man matchup.
"The waves have been absolutely firing all day," Tudela stated. "I'm stoked to make the semis, I've been surfing good and my boards are excellent. Hopefully I can keep my rhythm tomorrow and make a couple more. It's one of the best contests I've ever been to, this wave is just amazing."
Michael February (ZAF) 21, scored the second perfect 10 point ride of the event in his Quarterfinal against Francisco Bellorin (VEN) 25, to make his way into the Semifinals. February was lethal on his forehand and committed to every turn with speed, power and flow, surfing a long set-wave to perfection.
"I think I just got lucky to get that wave, I haven't had a 10 in a contest in a long time so it felt great," February reflected. "It's been a long day but I've been trying to eat properly and drink lots of water and relax. I'm excited for tomorrow, hopefully the waves are as good as today. Everyone's on fire so I'll just have to focus on my game, pick up the best waves and surf them as good as I can."
Cooper Chapman (AUS) 20, and Thiago Camarao (BRA) 26, went blow for blow in the most exciting Quarterfinal with both surfers scoring multiple excellent rides. Chapman's second ride of a 9.23 was eventually the score that sent the young Australian to Semifinal 2.
"It's been a huge day, I'm glad we got through it and I'm still in the event," Cooper said. "30 minute heats at a pointbreak is a lot of paddling and a lot of surfing so it's exhausting. I've just had three of the best heats in my life in one day, that's unheard of. It's a really fun, rippable pointbreak and I'm amped for tomorrow."
Joshua Moniz (HAW) 18, completes the final four, causing the upset of the day in his defeat of South Africa's Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 22, in the fourth Quarterfinal. Moniz started on a solid set and unloaded his signature power turns, finishing his ride some 150 meters down the line in front of a hysteric crowd.
"I was pretty nervous cause Beyrick's been getting 9s in every heat and a 10," Moniz said. "To me he was by far the best surfer in this event, but I got a good rotation and found good waves and unfortunately he was kind of off, and when he had priority a good one never came. My goal is to make the cut for the QS10000 halfway through this year and I'm sure this result will help."
De Vries, despite scoring the first perfect 10 point ride of the event in an earlier heat, was unable to overcome the young Hawaiian's assault and placed 5th in Martinique.
"It's been a long day in the sun and everyone's feeling tired," De Vries commented. "I feel like I'm surfing really good and this board I'm riding is great so that's good, going into Trestles. I made some silly little decisions in that last heat but Josh was surfing incredible and if I wanted to lose to anyone it's him so I'm stoked. I'm flying out to California tomorrow but I'll definitely be surfing early in the morning. I love the Caribbean, it's one of my favorite destinations in the world."
The final day of competition will start with a 9:30AM Call on Saturday for the remaining four surfers in contention for the coveted event crown.