Playa Revolcadero has been relentless for the competitors at the Vans Surf Open Acapulco Men's QS1000 and continues to deliver ideal, three-to-four foot waves with light offshore winds to keep conditions clean. The final day of competition is set for tomorrow morning with a talent-filled Quarterfinal draw that could see any one of the surfers remaining claim the 2016 title.
Making his second Quarterfinal appearance at the Vans Surf Open Acapulco QS1000, Noe Mar McGonagle (CRI) is steaming through this event with two heat wins under his belt. The Costa Rican earned runner-up at this event in 2014 and will be looking to take home a big win. Posting Round Four's highest heat total of 14.67 (out of a possible 20), McGonagle built his heat from the start and finished strong to earn a heat win.
"The waves were even better than yesterday and I surfed that same peak I did two years ago so I've just stuck with a very similar gameplan," McGonagle said. "I felt super comfortable out there and only had Josh [Burke] by me so it was great to have a heat like that instead of all four guys right next to each other. I wanted to start quick and just keep building scores from there -- you were really looking to just get two big maneuvers to get a score. I was just looking to stay really consistent and post scores that will get me through heats with my goal being to do one better than last time around."
Earning a spot into the Quarterfinals behind McGonagle, Diego Mignot (FRA) continued his great form and posted an 8.50 (out of a possible 10) -- matching Adam Lambert (USA) and Kilian Garland (USA) for the event's highest single-wave score.
Kevin Schulz (USA) joins McGonagle and Mignot in the Quarterfinal draw as an important result toward his 2016 QS campaign. The San Clemente, Calif., native hasn't had the best of luck in recent contests and Playa Revolcadero could provide him the spark he needs to get back on track. Schulz has the beachbreak down to a science and took that knowledge into his Round Four heat win.
"I surfed down at the south peak yesterday and noticed it got worse and worse as the tide came in," Schulz said. "I saw Noe Mar surfing down there today and get some scores, but I knew it would shut down eventually so I paddled out to the north today which worked out great. The left is really punchy and bowls up really well."
"Getting into the Quarters is a great feeling, especially going into two-man heats now and priority playing a big factor," Schulz added. "It's such a big playing field so I'm planning on just finding my own waves out there with all that's on offer. I can't wait for tomorrow and to really have some fun in the water."
Backing up a Round Three heat win with an explosive Round Four victory, Brazilian Rafael Teixeira (BRA) earned a Quarterfinals spot and is looking in-form heading into the final day of competition. Teixeira has been putting in the time each morning and prepping for his heats to the best of his ability -- something that is paying dividends.
"I got here super early today to see what each of the peaks were doing and get a feel for what I wanted to do in my heat," Teixeira said. "I also watched Kevin get some good waves over to the north and that helped dial in my strategy. That was a super fun heat and got two good lefts which was great because I prefer my backhand most of the time. I really want to keep surfing my best and hopefully make it to a Final here."
Dylan Southworth (MEX) continues to impress judges and spectators alike, earning a Round Four heat win to clinch a Quarterfinal appearance. The 26-year-old Mexican surfer is taking full advantage of the wildcard opportunity he was given, and will have a change of strategy as the event moves into a two-man format.
"I'll probably be a little more aggressive and maybe have to go into some paddle battles that I'm prepared for," Southworth said. "When it comes down to two guys in the water it's all about finding the right waves and performing on them. I'm feeling confident after getting through that heat with Kilian and a few of my local boys -- stoked to get that win and want to keep that momentum going."
"I'm really looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully making the finals -- maybe see more size in the water which would mean more barreling," Southworth added about the conditions possible improvements tomorrow. "It would great to try and earn some points in the barrel and some more wall to work with as well. Fingers crossed, but we know there will be more waves either way so I'm stoked on that and to make it this far."
Tomorrow morning's 7:30am CDT Call will determine an 8:00am CDT Start. For more information on the event, go to worldsurfleague.com or download the WSL App. Tune in live here to see who is crowned this year's Vans Surf Open Acapulco winner.