The World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) continued its action at the Ron Jon Vans Pro Men's QS1000 in two-to-three foot, Southeast windswell as the Round of 32 was completed in its entirety along with the opening rounds of Junior Pro competition. High-performance surfing highlighted the morning with the Men posting more excellent scores throughout the round which was furthered by the Juniors in their Round of 48 and Round of 32.
Starting Day 2 of competition in fantastic fashion, Dylan Southworth (MEX) posted the Men's QS1000 highest heat total of the day with a 15.47. Only catching three waves, Southworth made the most of them and exerted powerful turns in the pocket - earning a 7.80 and and 7.67 to earn a Round 3 heat win.
"It was a little tough out there and hard to find those first few waves but it felt great to solidify a good lead with my opening rides," Southworth said. "My board feels really good, it's a little wider and still loose so I can throw it around but it has good drive to lay into those big maneuvers. I want to wait for the good ones and be really patient so I don't take off on anything that won't offer much scoring potential. Sometimes there are a few that look flat but end up having a good double up on the inside to get you a good a score."
Making his way back to Florida for competition after nearly seven years, Southworth is elated to return and be in great form.
"This is my first time in Cocoa but I did compete at Sebastian Inlet when the contest was here a few years ago," Southworth said. "This is the first event of the year for me so I want to get as many points as I can to start it off right. I'm excited to see how the heats stack up and see what the swell does but either way I'm ready to perform tomorrow."
Posting the highest single-wave score of the day with an 9.27 in the high tide conditions, Cory Arrambide (USA) added another heat win under his belt after a Round 2 victory yesterday. The Ventura, Calif., native is feeling confident going forward with plenty of momentum after an impressive showcase today.
"It feels really good to get that win today after I was feeling a little slow yesterday in that first heat but I'm excited with my performance this morning," Arrambide said. "It was a fun heat today that started as a paddle battle and I kind of snuck away from the pack to find that good wave. I got to go all the way to the beach with some really good pockets so I was stoked to hit it a couple of times. I'm focusing on making less mistakes and better wave selection - one of my goals this year is to go into heats with less nerves and just go out more relaxed and have fun because I noticed I just don't surf well stressed out."
Lucca Mesinas (PER) is back in Cocoa Beach, Fla., after success as a Junior and now has a chance to kick-start his 2016 QS success. Starting his full-time grind on the QS with a Quarterfinal appearance at the Shoe City Pro, the Peruvian is looking strong here in Florida - posting an 8.33 and backing it with a 7.07.
"I feel like I have a really good relationship with Cocoa after winning the Junior Pro last year," Mesinas said. "The waves are a little smaller today but there are some fun ones out there so I'm stoked to get a few good scores. That left came through and I was able to get on it quick and fit in four really strong turns. That's what you have to do here if you want the points - surf strong and find the waves that will allow you to open up on them for multiple big maneuvers."
"I've been working a lot in Huntington Beach with my coach for about two months and I came prepared for these kind of waves," Mesinas added. "I'm riding an epoxy and it's great for the conditions here which is giving me more confidence in the water. It's really great to make it out of another heat and I'm looking forward to the next round."
Making his own run at QS success, Noah Schweizer (USA) is looking in-form and prepared for any conditions - using some local knowledge to his advantage. Already getting a busy start the 2016 campaign, the 20-year-old is ready for a long year of competing that will see you him around the world.
"I surf waves like this a lot and you just have to get right into those little wind-chop pockets," Schweizer said. "I've been living out in California recently so it's great to come back home and surf down the road from New Smyrna - always enjoy getting to see my family and compete with them supporting me. I went to Australia and made a few heats there but wish I had done better so I'm trying to do as many as I can to get into the primes. I'll do a couple of 6000 events and hopefully build some points to really attack it next year."
Event organizers will reassess conditions at 7:30am EST for a possible 8:00am Start.