After a full day of competition from the Women's QS 1,000 Jeep Pro San Bartolo yesterday, focus turned to the men's division today for the start of the 2017 QS 1,000 Rip Curl Pro San Bartolo Peru. 64 surfers representing eleven different countries were faced with an onslaught of closeouts and wash-throughs with waves in the 6-8 foot (2-2.5 meters) range at Peñascal. The day's action ended after Heat 6 of Round 3 and winners from both events will be determined on Saturday.
The surfers from Peru have been the standout performers on both days of the contest, but in Heat 5 of Round 3, Samuel Igo (BRA) stole the spotlight after destroying a huge righthander with explosive vertical snaps for a 9.00 from the judges. Igo added a 7.50 back up score for a 16.50 total, the highest of the event so far.
Prior to Igo's performance, Tomas Tudela (PER) had also received a 9.00 on massive backside gouges in Heat 2 of Round 3. Both he and his brother, top seeded surfer Miguel Tudela (PER) both advanced into the Quarterfinals along with Gustavo Ramos (BRA) and Joaquin Del Castillo (PER) from their respective heats.
Once again, conditioning played a vital role in the athletes' performance. With no lack of size in swell, long waves led to long paddles back out to the take-off zone. A vast playing field offered plenty of scoring opportunities, but as onshore winds increased, picking the right wave was crucial in determining who would move forward in competition. Surfers either chose wisely, paddling into vertical set waves, or got stuck trying to connect sections that would end up full and mushy on low scoring rides.
It was a back-and-forth duel throughout the day between Brazil and Peru. In Round 1, Peru took the advantage by winning nine heats compared to five wins from Brazil. The only heat that was not won by either country was in Heat 13, when Paul Cesar Distinguin (FRA) took top honors. However in Round 2, out of the 32 surfers that advanced into Round 3, fifteen were from Brazil, twelve came from Peru, two from Chile and representatives from Argentina, Ecuador and France each had one surfer advance.
Other surfers that advanced into the Quarterfinals were: Yage Araujo (BRA), Marcos Correa (BRA), Gabriel Villaran (PER), veteran surfer Leonardo Neves (BRA), Alvaro Malpartida (PER) and Jeronimo Vargas (BRA).
With two heats left to go in Round 3, four additional surfers will be added to the list mentioned above. A call is set for 7:00 am local time to assess conditions for the final day of the Men's QS 1,000 Rip Curl Pro San Bartolo Peru as well as the Women's QS 1,000 Jeep Pro San Bartolo.