A vital day of competition unfolded at the Hurley Surf Open Acapulco QS 1,000 as Quarterfinalists were determined when the final horn sounded. The expected swell continued filling into Playa Revolcadero as three-to-five foot waves provided competitors with great opportunities, despite the slower conditions on hand during the dropping tide.
An exciting Finals day draw is set for Sunday morning and a new event winner set to be crowned with some formidable surfers left to compete -- here's a few vying for this year's win.
Jose Lopez Soars Above Competitors
Venezuelan up-and-comer Jose Lopez took to the air in phenomenal fashion during his Round 5 battle and earned an excellent 8.00 (out of a possible 10). Lopez added to that with his backhand attack and posted the day's highest heat total, a 14.93 (out of a possible 20). The 19-year-old, who now lives in Costa Rica, also won his Round 4 heat prior to that performance and will be a formidable opponent in the Quarterfinals.
"It was so fun out there and I just wanted to get a good left and right out there to go for it," Lopez said. "The lefts are better, but the rights have that air section and it felt great to land that air. It's really good to start with a big score like that and just keep you relaxed. I've been training in California the last month getting ready in smaller waves so this is great, and it's only getting better. I'm just trying to compete more and get into more events, but it's hard without a sponsor so I'm hoping to really do well in the events I can enter."
North America Champ Finds His Form
Reigning North America QS Regional Champion Jordy Collins ripped his way through arguably one of the hardest heats on paper -- facing Mexican, ISA Gold Medal winner Jhony Corzo, current North America No. 2 ranked Josh Burke, and underdog threat Angelo Lozano. But, the day's highest single-wave score of an 8.17 put Collins in a commanding position before unleashing his forehand, power-carve to earn a 5.37 and solidify his spot. This marks the 20-year-old's best result so far in 2018 as his season hasn't been one to notice with early exits, but Collins sees that as his spark.
"I'm super stoked to better in that last heat after I couldn't find my rhythm in the first one and I was picking bad waves so this was definitely better," Collins said. "After that first heat I talked to the head judge since I was doing some vertical snaps, but he mentioned they were looking for more board engagement on the rail and really digging in instead of just placing the board up there so I really went for it in that heat."
"It's been a tough year and I wear those losses really hard," Collins added. "I also wear my heart on my sleeve and each loss feels so brutal, and you lose a lot in this sport -- way more than you win. To make the Quarterfinals is great and it's just firing me up for this event and getting ready for the US Open since I've never been in the major event there."
Lucca Mesinas Scores High for Peru
Lucca Mesinas powered through two critical wins with a brilliant showing in both his Round 4 and 5 heats. Mesinas and fellow Peruvian Alonso Correa both earned spots into the Quarterfinals after a Round 5 battle with in-form, Californian competitors Nolan Rapoza and Colt Ward. But, it was Mesinas' backhand that led the way with an 8.00 of his own to finish out the talent-stacked bout.
"I'm just doing everything I can and focusing on getting two big turns on the outside then finishing it off which worked really well today," Mesinas said. "I've been coming to this event since it was a 4-star (now QS 4,000) a few years ago and I love it here. Now I'm just focused on getting some confidence back since I've been injured and after I lost early in South Africa, but also to make a run at the North America QS Regional Champion as well so I'll give it my best."
Ben Coffey Matches Career Best QS Result
Not to be outdone by his younger brother Sam, Ben Coffey finished off the day with a big win alongside last year's runner-up Cole Houshmand, also advancing, after making it through Round 4 earlier today. This marks Coffey's best result on the QS so far, but with more work to do heading into a Quarterfinal match-up against Mexican competitor Corzo. But, the Santa Cruz, California, native's backhand may be a match for the sparky surfing of his opponent as it was today -- earning a 7.17.
"I haven't cracked a result this year other than a few heats here or there so I'm hoping to keep it going in this one," Coffey said. "My brother and I used to surf against each other a lot in amateur events so now I'm sure it'll start happening more at this level, but you never want to lose to him (laughs) --especially when he's throwing airs like he has been this event. It's super nice to wake up and know tomorrow's on. It'll be my birthday as well so hopefully get some of that good luck going."
Event organizers will reconvene at 7:30 a.m. MST for an 8:00 a.m. MST start to Quarterfinal action.
Upcoming Hurley Surf Open Acapulco Men's QS 1,000 Quarterfinal Match-Ups:
QF 1: Lucca Mesinas (PER) vs. Dylan Southworth (MEX)
QF 2: Jose Lopez (VEN) vs. Alonso Correa (PER)
QF 3: Jordy Collins (USA) vs. Cole Houshmand (USA)
QF 4: Ben Coffey (USA) vs. Jhony Corzo (MEX)