A full day of men's competition unfolded at the Barbados Surf Pro QS3,000 with big performances and hefty upsets in store. Top seeds debuted and while some flourished, some big names were sent packing.
Rafael Teixeira put on a showc in Round Three with his forehand attack and blasted an 8.67 in a massive exchange that eliminated top seeds Pat Gudauskas and Shun Murakami. Mikey Wright completed the upset with a runner-up finish, but it was the Brazilian who turned a few heads winning both his heats today.
"I changed a few things and I'm training a lot harder for this year," Teixeria said. "I think I surfed one of the best waves in the last few days here, it was a bigger one and I'm just stoked to keep going in this event. It was great to make my heat this morning and then I just relaxed, enjoyed that moment and then got right back in the mindset to compete again. I want to do my best and make as many heats as I can -- and ultimately winning this event is my goal."
Fellow Brazilian Flavio Nakagima represents both nations of Japan and Brazil with his Japanese ancestry -- and did so brilliantly today. The 29-year-old overcame Taylor Clark and two of the event's in-form surfers including Gabriel Farias and Ryland Rubens, but still has plenty of work left ahead of him.
"This is my first time here and it's so fun even with the strong wind making it difficult out there, but it's a really good left," Nakagima said. "I was a little bit nervous since it was the first heat, but getting off to a good start helped me a lot. I've been working so hard the last month which is really important to me after not getting a good result in Australia, but I'm feeling ready to go here so I'm excited for the next heat."
Seth Moniz found his comfort zone in his Round Two debut and posted an impressive 8.50. The Hawaiian followed up that performance in Round Three with another big win over top seeds Noe Mar McGonagle and Dimitri Ouvre -- along with Tomas Fernandes. After a successful event during the Australian leg, Moniz hopes to build his momentum here following an early exit in Martinique last week.
"I was stoked to get a 9th place in Newcastle at the QS6,000 there, but then I lost first round in Martinique," Moniz said. "But, that happens in the QS and you just have to learn to shrug it off and keep moving. I'm really happy to make that first heat and then get through Round Three as well so this is already becoming a good result for me."
Peterson Crisanto has returned to the QS scene in full force after two years away and has showed he's ready for a big result here -- winning all three of his heats thus far in Barbados. After his win in Israel, Crisanto's quick rise was tested in Martinique and now must regain his form.
"I'm stoked to have made all my heats so far and I'm definitely feeling a little tired after today, but that's part of the game and I'm prepared for it," Crisanto said. "I didn't have good luck over in Martinique so I came in here focused and I want a good result. With 3,000 more points on the line it would help me a lot this year, especially heading to Portugal for the next QS3,000 -- this is a big opportunity I don't want to waste. It's been two years since I've competed in a QS event so I've come back more ready than ever and more powerful so I'm happy to have this chance."
Noah Schweizer rounded off the day's drama with a last-minute wave to jump from third to first in his Round Two heat. Schweizer, who recently returned from injury and missed his opportunity to contest in the first QS6,000s, needs a good result here to make up for a slow start to the season. But, it is a position the Florida-turned-Californian transplant has been in before.
"I just sat with priority in those last few minutes waiting for a good wave because I knew one of those smaller ones wasn't going to give it to me," Schweizer said. "It's a super fun wave when you get that right push from the tide and the conditions line up so I'm stoked to see it turn on and try to get a couple more good ones throughout the event. It was a disappointment to miss the Australian leg, but I had a good run at the end of last year and I know I can make another push like that."
A 7:30 a.m. EDT call will determine an 8:00 a.m. start for remaining Round Three heats or women's Round Three. Tune in live just before the first horn at 7:50 a.m. EDT for a special look at Barbados and the build up around the event.