A second consecutive day of action at the Martinique Surf Pro unfolded in two-to-three foot surf with plenty of entertainment from all the surfers involved in the third and fourth rounds of competition. Clean conditions greeted competitors early this morning and while the afternoon breeze rendered the lineup trickier, surfers made the most out of every section to entertain local crowds.
Ethan Ewing (AUS), 17, continued his successful campaign, eliminating last year's runner-up Michael February (ZAF) in the process. Once again, Ewing lacerated the long rights on offer and collected the day's highest single wave score of 9.57 for the win.
"Starting in the first few rounds I think I got a little momentum and confidence going," he reflected. "Still I was super nervous going into that one, everyone in that heat were so strong. I didn't get a great start like the other guys did but I tried to stay calm and focus on myself. I stuck with the same board and it's feeling really good."
Hailing from the nearby island of Saint Barthelemy, Caribbean surfer Dimitri Ouvre (BLM), 24, had a successful start to his 2016 QS campaign, with a recent event win at the Papara Pro Open Tahiti and a runner-up in Australia earlier this year. Ouvre launched his Martinique campaign in great fashion with a solid display of power surfing in the mid-sized rights of Basse-Pointe today.
"I felt great out there just like home," he admitted. "We had a bit of a slow start so it was a little stressing, that's usually the hardest heats for me in the early rounds. I'm happy with my season so far, last year was tough and it's good to start with a couple good results. The culture and vibe here is exactly like where I grew up and even though I don't spend as much time as I used to in the Caribbean, it's always awesome to come back and reset."
A long-time QS threat, France's Vincent Duvignac, 28, who has taken a step back from tour life, came firing out of the gates in the third round, slicing through the Basse-Pointe walls in his signature forehand carves.
"I've decided to do less events and focus on free surfing projects my new sponsor Rip Curl," he explained. "But I still want to keep a foot in the game, to see what guys are doing now and how the level progresses, so I'm entering a few events here and there. Martinique was an awesome opportunity to do an event and some work with my sponsor, so I'm happy to be here. I'm also benefitting from hanging with my teammate Miguel Blanco who's a great surfer with a very positive attitude and motivation."
Former Championship Tour surfer Brett Simpson (USA), 31, advanced alongside Diego Mignot (FRA) in the day's biggest upset and a tense heat against the event's top seed Ezekiel Lau (HAW). Lau was in total control of the matchup with two excellent scores and only minutes on the clock when the judges deemed he hindered Mignot's scoring potential on an average wave and called an interference, relegating the Hawaiian to third place.
Guadeloupe's Charly Martin (GLP), 26, had a fantastic start to his Caribbean run as well, dominating his opening heat in the afternoon pulsing peaks to eliminate defending event champion Joshua Moniz (HAW). Martin advanced alongside yesterday's top scorer Joshua Burke (BRB), 19, into the fifth round of competition, with an excellent 16.07 combined heat total.
"It's my very first time surfing here at Basse-Pointe, I've spent some time at home before coming here yesterday so I'm super happy to get some good waves in the first heat," Martin said. "I'm clearly focusing on the bigger QS10,000 events but it happened that some events got cancelled this year and it was a great opportunity to come here and represent the islands."
Contest officials have decide to reconvene Tuesday at 7:30AM to reassess conditions and decide of the third day's schedule.