Playa Grande, Mar del Plata / ARGENTINA (Tuesday, 31, Mar, 2015) - A total of 104 athletes representing 13 different countries are on hand for the 2015 World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series Rip Curl Pro Argentina at Playa Grande in Mar del Plata. This event marks the first QS event in South America following Gabriel Medina's (BRA) historic feat.
The majority of the 100-plus athletes participating at the Rip Curl Pro Argentina QS1500 originate from Brazil, with a total of 56 participants. The host country of Argentina has the second largest group of participants with a total of 17 surfers, followed by Peru (10), Chile (5), Hawaii (3), the USA (2), France, (2), Spain (1), South Africa (1), Ecuador (1), Costa Rica (1), the Reunion Islands (1) and St. Bart's (1). The winner of the event will receive U$50,000 in prize money and 1,500 WSL Qualifying Series ranking points and an additional 1,000 WSL South America ranking points.
Rounds 1 and 2 were completed in challenging conditions with waves in the 1-to-2 foot (0.5 meter) range. Long lulls in between sets tested the strategy and patience of the competitors.
Unhindered by the conditions, Franklin Serpa (BRA) was off to a hot start as he blitzed passed his fellow competitors. In Round 2, Heat 7, Serpa secured a 15.50 (8.00 + 7.50) for the highest heat total of the day. Alvaro Malpartida (PER) advanced behind Serpa with a 9.80 (5.60 + 4.20).
Fourteen-year old Matheus Herdy (BRA) did not flinch at his opportunity to shine at the Rip Curl Pro Argentina. The nephew of former World Tour surfer Guilherme Herdy (BRA), Herdy took first place in Heat 2 of Round 2 and has guaranteed a spot in Round 3 alongside Edher Reis (BRA).
Round 3 will introduce the higher seeded athletes to the Rip Curl Pro Argentina QS1500. Lucas Silveira (BRA), Deivid Silva (BRA), Jihad Khodr (BRA), Santiago Muniz (ARG), Ian Gouveia (BRA), Juninho Urcia (PER), Leandro Usuna (ARG), Cristobol de Col (PER), Tom Cloarec (FRA) and Nic Hidez (USA) will all see action before the completion of the event on Easter Sunday.
The winner of the 2015 WSL Rip Curl Pro Argentina will take home U$50,000 in prize money and 1,500 WSL Qualifying Series ranking points.
Watch all the action live: www.ripcurlproargentina.com