The final eight surfers for the men's 6-Star Los Cabos Open of Surf were decided after competing Saturday in high-performance, two-to-four foot (1 metre) waves at Zippers in Los Cabos, Mexico.
Josh Kerr (AUS), 29, top seed at the Los Cabos Open of Surf and current No. 10 on the World Championship Tour (WCT) rankings, continued to pick apart the Zippers lineup, blending his variety of progressive turns and airs to secure a spot in the Quarterfinals.
"I've got a good board and feel really comfortable, so I'm trying to ride waves and enjoy myself on them," Kerr said. "This isn't just a one-turn wave, so you want to keep your speed and keep your flow. That's been what I've been trying to do."
Peterson Crisanto (BRA), 22, put together two more successful heats to advance into the Quarterfinals at Zippers. Crisanto, current No. 20 on the ASP Qualification Series (QS), is out to gain crucial ground on the rankings, entering the final day of competition in hopes of joining next year's elite ranks.
"I saw Carlos (Munoz) catch a wave in the last minute and I didn't know if he got the score," Crisanto said. "I made a couple mistakes with the priority, so I'm glad I got the win. I'm really excited for the next couple of rounds and hopefully I can get some good points for my ranking."
Patrick Gudauskas (USA), 25, former WCT surfer and current No. 11 on the QS, claimed a crucial heat win, besting Mitch Coleborn (AUS), 26, in a high-scoring affair. The two would share a series of exciting exchanges, but the Californian edged out the Aussie with a score of 16.33 to 16.27.
"I knew it was going to be a hard heat against Mitch (Coleborn)," Gudauskas said. "I just went out there looking to ride my waves and I'll keep doing what I'm doing going into the final day, just having fun. Hopefully we'll get some good waves."
Gudauskas will face off against younger brother Tanner, 25, in the Quarterfinals.
Matt Banting (AUS), 19, topped fellow Australian Thomas Woods, 21, advancing to the Quarterfinals. Banting, current No. 7 on the QS, had a strong start to the 2014 ASP QS season with a 6-Star win at the Burton Toyota Pro in Newcastle. He's looking to maintain his rhythm in Mexico.
"I'm just taking it comp by comp, and there are a lot of Prime events to go," Banting said. "After the win in Australia I'm trying to keep the ball rolling. I'm happy to have made it to the final day and hopefully I'll be on tour at the end of the year."
Medi Veminardi (REU), 22, punctuated a day of high scores and rounded out the international field. The Reunion Island native was dominant on his backhand, earning the day's highest heat total of 17.33 out of 20 while advancing to the final eight.
"My scores have gone up throughout the rounds, but it wasn't really on purpose," Veminardi said. "I think I got a bit lucky because the waves got a bit better in my heat. We both got a lot of waves.
"This is my second year on the QS and I don't have a main sponsor," he continued. "I missed Australia and knew I had to do really well at the few events I was going to do. I was a little bit nervous because I knew there's a big points difference between the Round of 16 and the Quarterfinals. I'm going to sleep well tonight."
The Los Cabos Open of Surf has a waiting period from June 16 through 22 and will crown men's and women's champions Sunday, June 22. The event is webcast LIVE via www.aspworldtour.com.
LOS CABOS OPEN OF SURF MEN'S ROUND OF 24 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.84, Jesse Mendes (BRA) 13.77, Davey Cathels (AUS) 8.80
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.67, Billy Stairmand (NZL) 15.50, Frederico Morais (PRT) 8.00
Heat 3: Carlos Munoz (CRI) 16.73, Thomas Woods (AUS) 16.26, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 14.00
Heat 4: Matt Banting (AUS) 14.40, Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 13.90, Willian Cardoso (BRA) 13.34
Heat 5: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 14.40, Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 14.06, Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 12.34
Heat 6: Brett Simpson (USA) 16.04, Mitch Coleborn (AUS) 14.46, Flavio Nakagima (BRA) 11.20
Heat 7: Medi Veminardi (REU) 15.66, Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 13.83, Ryan Callinan (AUS) 10.70
Heat 8: Dion Atkinson (AUS) 14.93, Connor O'Leary (AUS) 13.50, Francisco Bellorin (VEN) 9.43
LOS CABOS OPEN OF SURF MEN'S ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.47 def. Billy Stairmand (NZL) 11.23
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 16.46 def. Jesse Mendes (BRA) 12.34
Heat 3: Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 13.04 def . Carlos Munoz (CRI) 11.93
Heat 4: Matt Banting (AUS) 13.77 def. Thomas Woods (AUS) 10.47
Heat 5: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 16.33 def. Mitch Coleborn (AUS) 16.27
Heat 6: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 15.60 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 14.37
Heat 7: Medi Veminardi (REU) 17.33 def. Connor O'Leary (AUS) 15.73
Heat 8: Dion Atkinson (AUS) 13.76 def. Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 8.27