With only eight heats remaining in Round Three of the men's Barbados Surf Pro QS3,000, big performances were in abundance until the last horn sounded. The last of the top seeds made their debuted and showcased their adaptability to the lineup at Drill Hall Beach with its ever-changing, tide-dependent conditions -- which seemed to provide opportunities throughout the day.
Evan Geiselman took to the sky toward the end of his debut Round Three heat and earned a near-perfect 9.87. The New Smyrna Beach, Florida-native blasted a tail-high rotation that had the beach cheering upon stomping the landing. Geiselmen came into this event with big aspirations, but relaxed mentality, that seemed to pay off.
"In the beginning my tactic was just to start quick and get some waves under my belt, but if I'd known the heat was going to go like that I would've sat and waited for those bombs," Geiselman said. "I felt comfortable in second after getting that 8.50 so I just wanted to let loose and got that last set at the end so it was fun."
Keanu Asing started the day's action with a brilliant performance of his own and earned a 9.00 en route to a debut win. The former Championship Tour (CT) competitor wants to get back there by season's end, but must find a good result here to get back on track.
"The past few days have been a little smaller and gutless, but when we came here today it was actually in the form of a stronger wave so we were buzzing," Asing said. "It was tough in the beginning just with no priority in the beginning as it goes, but putting the jersey on for the first time I was just trying to find my place in the lineup. It's key to kick things off good here and just press the restart button with finding my rhythm -- having priority here unlike the Jack's Pro event is huge and I'm looking forward to the rest of it."
Native Barbadian Josh Burke showed that he's ready to make his home crowd proud with a Round Three victory in one of the tightest match ups on offer today. Only 1.76 separated fourth from first as Burke won with a 15.76 heat total. Burke's opening rides earned him the lead and he did not relinquish it for the remaining fifteen minutes. Though he's off to a slow start in 2017, a QS3,000 in his backyard is an opportunity he won't let pass him by.
"I was just breathing while waiting for waves after that quick start, it was super stressful in that stacked heat," Burke said. "Pretty much all of us dropped sevens in our big opening exchange so that was nerve-racking. I started feeling really comfortable out there just with my local knowledge playing a huge factor and I really want a result."
Hiroto Ohhara ripped his way to a Round Three win and continued to build a solid foundation for 2017 so far. A third-place finish in the Australian Open of Surfing QS6,000 and win at the Komunity Project Central Coast QS1,00 has him sitting at No. 4 on the QS rankings. Along with his fellow Japanese contingent, Ohhara has helped lead the way for his country's future in surfing and wants to further that cause.
"I got 3,550 points for my result in Australia so I'm hoping to back that up with another Final here," Ohhara said. "About three or four years ago, surfers from Japan were just looking to travel the world and do some contests. But, now you see a lot of them, including myself, really trying to win events and get in the Top 50 or even setting their goals on qualifying for the CT. We're pushing each other to do better and get those results that we're striving for so it's great to be a part of it."
A 7:30 a.m. call will determine an 8:00 a.m. start at Drill Hall Beach for either men's or women's Round Four action.