Perfect 10s are seldom seen on the Qualifying Series (QS), but Cam Richards had one of those special moments today at Sebastian Inlet during his Round Three heat at the Florida Pro pres by Sunshine State Florida Lager QS1,5000.
The South Carolina native threw everything into a sky-high, full rotation that he stomped cleanly and earned a unanimous Perfect 10. Richards carried his momentum all the way through Round Four, earning him a spot in the final eight.
"I needed to better that 7 and there was nothing else I could've done so I just went for it," Richards said. "It honestly didn't feel that good just with that backwash coming up, but once I saw the video I thought it was actually pretty sick. It's just more fun when you can win heats like that instead of the next one, where I felt like I was just going through the motions to get through it."
Florida's Chauncey Robinson did a great job defending home turf on Sunday. "It's epic to make it through that one and hopefully I can make it back-to-back Finals now," Robinson said. "To do it here at home would mean everything. There's been a lot of support from all my friends and family down here, and I just want to put on a show for them. It'd be great to see the waves keep up like this and even if they get smaller, a better direction could offer some fun little wedges. I've put in a lot of time here, it's where I learned to surf, and I've seen all the moods of it so I'll just try to give it my best."
Evan Geiselman took a massive Round Three win and backed it up with another in Round Four. He's crafted a simple strategy for success this year. "I'm looking to get at least 13 points in every heat I surf, that's something I set for myself coming into this year," Geiselman said. "That last heat was a little more tough, but it felt great to keep that momentum going and keep that consistency. Being consistent is something I've put a lot of my preparation and thoughts toward after having some shockers last year. If I can keep this up throughout the year, and improve on, it'll be pretty key."
It wasn't all East Coast domination on Sunday. San Clemente, California's Kevin Schulz is on a mission at Sebastian Inlet. Schulz hasn't made a final round since 2015's WRV Outer Banks Pro and is hoping to find that magic once again.
"I'm tripping, it feels so good to be back in hunt, finally," he said. "I feel so comfortable out here and it's so nice to be having a good event, and be making heats. There really hasn't been much thought toward the mid-year reseeding or anything. I'm just really enjoying being in the moment and keeping my head down so I'll stick with that, but I really want to make this Final."
Event organizers will reconvene at 7:30 a.m. to assess conditions for a possible 8:00 a.m. start for women's Round Five. Please go to www.worldsurfleague.com, or download the free WSL App, for more information.
The Ron Jon Florida Pro pres. by Sunshine State Florida Lager Women's QS6,000 and Florida Pro Men's QS1,500 will run January 18 through 24 at Sebastian Inlet, Florida.