Swell continued to pulse at Basse-Pointe and despite a good decrease in wave height, conditions remained excellent for a third consecutive day of action at the Martinique Surf Pro.
While many top seeds survived a pivotal fourth round of competition, a few big names suffered shock eliminations at the hands of low profile athletes fighting for their piece of the action.
Hawaiian Hurdles on Jorgann's path
Unfortunately for yesterday's top scorer Jorgann Couzinet, things took a turn for the worse in Round Four when the Reunion Island native couldn't find decent scoring opportunities and fell on a few turns.
In his heat, Hawaii's Tanner Hendrickson had no such problem, able to find a few fun rights and culminating with an excellent 8.23 to seal his spot Round Five.
"The waves were firing again today, it's just that when you're out there it's hard to tell the really good ones from the rest," Hendrickson said. "The scenery and vegetation is a lot like home in Hawaii and I really love this place, it's amazing."
Young Gun on the Rise
Twenty-year-old Aussie Kalani Ball reveled in the fun afternoon conditions and showed strong determination to claim his winning 8.40 in the dying minutes of the heat. After a strong start in the first two events of his region, Kalani will look to up the ante with a big performance in a higher-ranked QS event in Martinique.
"These are the best waves I've had for a QS in like a year so it was worth the mission to get here," Kalani admitted. "I learned a lot last year and I think I'm not trying to safety surf anymore, but rather trying to do my biggest turns cause it's the only way to get through heats like this."
A Family Affair
It wasn't a good day in the Muniz clan, as former CT athlete Alejo and brother Santiago were both eliminated from competition despite putting together convincing efforts that would have seen them advance through most of the other heats.
Things were a little more subtle for the Mignots. Diego Mignot managed to put together a come-from-behind victory, courtesy of an inside double-up surfed to perfection for an excellent 8.27. Unfortunately, his cousin Nomme suffered a different fate. He was left chasing an average score to qualify but got up to his feet on a last effort only just right after the buzzer, so the wave was not counted.
"I was trying to wait for the bombs but was down on luck, they were all close-outs, so I tried to adapt," Diego said. "I got a first decent score and stayed on the inside, luckily I got that awesome little double-up for an 8-plus, so I'm stoked to make it through this important day."
Carribean Crew Still Two Strong
Tim, a former runner-up in the World as a Junior, had a solid start to his 2017 qualifying campaign, and continued to show signs of brilliance on his backhand to secure a solid 9.17 and 8.57 to advance into Round 5.
"Making it through is what really matters, the level in that heat was incredible and the waves were just pumping," Tim said. "I'm super happy to get through even in second place. I haven't spent much time at home lately so it's amazing to come back to the Caribbean, for me Martinique and Guadeloupe are so similar and I feel right at home here."
In Other News
The forecast for the upcoming two days showing signs of a decrease in wave height and quality, everyone will get an extra few hours of rest Tuesday as event officials have called for a 12 p.m. re-assessment of conditions.
All results, more photos and daily highlights are available here.