The Pro Santa Cruz pres. by Oakley continued on Day 2 in similar three-to-four foot conditions. While event officials expected the swell to deteriorate quickly, the wind started to calm down and surfers were able to compete all-day to finish off Round Three.
Oddly enough, no one before Weslley Dantas (pictured above) realized the potential for big aerial rotations using the dreaded North-wind. The Brazilian took things to a whole new level in Heat 10 when he posted two big scores to put his three opponents into a combination situation.
"The wind is super strong which is good for those airs," said Dantas. "I could have just surfed the waves too because there were some fun ones. It's good training for me and I'm with a great crew of friends and family."
Weslley first launched a big forehand 360 into the flats, rotating fast to land perfectly on his feet for an excellent 8.77. Minutes later he started on a similar-looking left and threw a Toledo-esque alley-oop for a 7.33 and the final nail in his competitors' coffins.
"I feel great at the moment, fit and surfing well so I'm having fun competing even if it's a bit colder than I expected," he continued. "My brother and I are on opposite sides of the draw so ideally we'd meet in the Final, but I'm not even sure I could beat him."
Before Weslley's aerial antics, the competition stayed "grounded" and Jake Marshall's approach was second to none. The Californian engaged in a good battle with Charly Quivront. While the Frenchman was first to take action, it was a late charge from the Encinitas local that turned the heat and got him a first-place position into Round 4.
"It's pretty windy but there are some fun waves out there and I'm stoked to get a couple," Jake said. "You just have to find the right position because it's pretty fun when you get the right wave. I came to watch some action yesterday and I was psyched to get going today, conditions are better than expected. My goal this season is to build a good ranking and hopefully get into the Triple Crown at the end of the year."
In the very following heat, the stars and stripes continued to fly high with Jordy Collins stepping foot on the gas. The goofy foot from San Diego found a clean open wall on a left and hit the lip twice with a lot of power to post a 7.83 and move on with the win.
"It's a nice, very punchy beachbreak but today is really windy and kind of all-over the place," he said. "I waited for that wave and luckily I was in priority when it came. It looked like a great little wall and I managed to do two good turns and it worked out. I'm stoked to be back here in Portugal, I love it here and can't wait for the rest of the event."
South Africa's current new hope to make the Championship Tour, Matthew McGillivray took out Heat 14 before the event went on a long break to fix a few technical bugs on-site. The regular foot from Jeffrey's Bay put on a convincing effort to dispatch two of Euro's younger threats and the US' Eithan Osborne.
"It was getting tricky in our heat with a really low tide and still a lot of wind but there were still waves out there to find," he said. "I was happy to get a quick start and then there were a lot of run-arounds and I struggled to find a back-up score."
Event officials and competitors will be back at praia da fisica at 9 a.m Thursday for a potential early start of Round Four with the event's top seeds.
Check out all results, photos and video highlights from the Pro Santa Cruz pres. by Oakley from April 24-29.