The seventh edition of the Hurley Surf Open Acapulco QS 1,000 crowned a new victor as Lucca Mesinas claimed a masterful win over back-to-back event finalist Cole Houshmand. Playa Revolcadero delivered one last time with four-to-six foot, powerful conditions throughout the day and it was Mesinas who saved his best for last to take out his second QS victory of 2018 -- claiming a Barbados Surf Pro QS 3,000 win earlier this year.
Mesinas Completes His Finals Day Masterpiece
Houshmand got the better of the early exchanges, but Mesinas capitalized on a lefthander and unleashed to earn an excellent 8.00 (out of a possible 10). But, the Peruvian wasn't done yet and in the final eight-minutes he found yet another left for multiple, backhand power turns to post an 8.83. Mesinas' 16.83 (out of a possible 20) heat total was the best of the event and left Houshmand in a combination situation, meaning he needed two new scores to equal Mesinas', with only minutes remaining.
"It feels great to finally get another one and now that it's here I feel really confident," Mesinas said. "The same thing happened in Barbados where I got my best score in the Final and when I'm in that last heat I just want to give it everything I have. I know Cole [Houshmand] has a really good backhand so it was going to be a tough heat, but luckily a few more lefts came in then rights which helped a lot."
Mesinas had to overcome a hefty Finals day run, taking on fellow countrymen Alonso Correa in a big Semifinal after defeating one of Mexico's top surfers Dylan Southworth in a tight Quarterfinal bout. The 22-year-old came to Acapulco on a mission and it showed with each passing heat, getting scores when he needed them most. Now, Mesinas prepares for a big back-half to 2018 with a lot of momentum as the new North America No. 1.
"I'll head straight to California, where I've been training the last month before this one, and get ready for the US Open," Mesinas added. "There's big points there and this contest helped me a lot. That was one of the reasons I came here was to build that confidence. It feels so nice when you make your goals happen and now I have to keep fighting for a chance at that North America title with a lot of events left."
Houshmand Makes It Back-to-Back Finals in Acapulco
Acapulco and Houshmand seem to be a perfect fit as he made his second consecutive Final at Playa Revolcadero. But, the San Clemente, California, native couldn't put together the heat he needed to overtake Mesinas. Houshmand, 17, looked in-form to go one better than his 2017 result after taking down reigning North America QS Regional Champion Jordy Collins before an explosive heat against Mexico's star-performer Jhony Corzo.
This marks Houshmand's best result of 2018 and will give him some momentum moving forward.
"I'm unbelievably stoked and this run today was great," Houshmand said. "Once I made the Final, I wanted to better my result from last year more than anything. It's a little frustrating, but I can't complain with runner-up. This is one of my favorite events and I think it shows. I surf beachbreaks all around home so I'm comfortable here. This put me in a good position for the QS 6,000s as it did last year and it's a good result to keep my momentum going."
Jhony Corzo Earns Career-Best Result on Home Soil
The local crowd urged Corzo on as he won a nail-biting heat in the dying minutes against Ben Coffey during their Quarterfinal battle. Corzo's final wave earned him a 7.03, needing a 6.60, but fell just short to Houshmand in a similar scenario following that performance -- needing a 6.10. This marks the 19-year-old's best QS result and it meant a little more earning it on home turf.
"Usually I never make it past Quarters and to get past that hump makes me feel like I have what it takes to go all the way," Corzo said. "I just have to keep training, keep the motivation up and go even harder in the next one. It's important to enjoy these results and then keep your focus on doing better, and your time will come with that hard work."
"It was incredible to have the crowd behind me today," Corzo added. "As you keep going, it gets harder and to see them supporting me more meant a lot. I really appreciate their support and now I'll get ready for the next events, and try to make the Top 100 this year so I can make a run at qualifying for the CT next year.
Alonso Correa Falls Just Short in All-Peruvian Semifinal
An all-Peruvian Semifinal witnessed Correa going for it all as he tried to chase down Mesinas, but failed to land a massive air rotation that would've sealed a victory. However, Correa remained positive following his loss knowing a big year remains. He was there to chair-up Mesinas after his win. Ranked No. 83 before this event, Correa has a shot at being seeded into the QS 10,000s to finish 2018.
"I'm super happy. That's as close as it gets and to have a heat with Lucca [Mesinas] is the best," Correa said. "We both made a tough heat yesterday and since we were on the same side of the draw, it couldn't have been better than to surf against him. You always want to make the Final after getting that close, but this is a good result and now I'll get to spend time at home before heading to Europe. I'm really looking forward to the rest of this year."