The Las Americas Pro Tenerife continued to suffer through less-than-ideal conditions but did complete two more rounds of both the men and women's events, keeping only four surfers alive in each category and setting up for a great finish when the waves allow it.
Ruben Vitoria took out the opening men's Quarterfinal in a tense matchup with Jason Torres from Costa Rica. Ruben opened with one of the best waves of the day to post an 8.17 but then struggled to find a decent backup. On the other hand, Jason had two average scores but managed to keep the lead. It wasn't until the final three minutes that the Basque found a little something to lay down his backhand surf and turn the heat, eventually getting his ticket for the Semis.
"I was so nervous in that heat, I couldn't believe I wouldn't find a 3 after my first really good wave," he said. "Luckily I got a little runner with two turns and got the score. I'm feeling really great about myself and my surfing this week, now it's just fun!"
Gearoid McDaid had a similar start to Ruben's but watched and learned from the previous heat, going after another good score right away to put his fight against Lens Arancibia to bed early. The Irish surfer has been on a tear all week, finding similarities with a spot at home to cruise through the rounds and all the way into the finals for the first time.
"It's a pretty similar wave to one of the waves at home, a good little left point, only slightly warmer!" he joked. "I love coming to the Canaries, this is my first time to Tenerife but I've had some great surf in Lanzarote and it looks like waves are super fun here too. I'm super excited about making it to finals day, hopefully we'll get some fun waves."
As conditions cleaned up toward the end of the day, an incredible battle unfolded between Jorgann Couzinet and Gony Zubizarreta. Both surfers found increasingly fun waves and put on an insane show, but eventually only one qualifying spot was on offer and it went to Jorgann, who grabbed a last-second 8.10 to turn the heat.
Things heated up in Quarter No. 3, with Tahitian up-and-comer Marion Philippe, committing to dangerous inside sections pretty much over dry reef, to post two good scores and reach the Semis of a QS contest for the first time.
"I've never gone that far in a QS before so I feel amazing," she said. "I'm still studying so I'm not doing all the events I wish I could, but I'm very happy to be here. Waves are a bit tricky this week, and I've been trying to be more patient than I usually am, so far it looks like it paid off. Mikaela got me in the first round so it'll be interesting to get another shot against her in the semis."
In the final women's Quarter, Aussie Mikaela Greene took out the reigning European Champion Carol Henrique. Mikaela's wave selection and strategy was on point as she kept building scores and improving her situation for the entire heat, eventually nailing the day's top two scores of 8.00 and 7.63. Coming off a 9th place in Florida, Mikaela kept her momentum going in Tenerife and will be a tough draw on finals day.
"I'm super happy to make the finals, especially finishing today with a good heat like that," she said. "I tried to wait and select the best waves, there weren't a lot today but somehow I found myself on two very fun ones so I'm happy about my choices. For my first visit to the Canaries, I look forward to maybe having a little time off when the event is over and discovering the rest of the island, which looks incredibly beautiful."
Event officials and surfers will reconvene at 10 a.m Friday for a potential final day of competition in Tenerife.
Tune in from January 29 - February 4, 2018 for the live stream and check out all the photos, videos and updates right here.