- WSL / Damien Poullenot
- WSL / Damien Poullenot
Highlights: Competition Intensifies in Martinique
Men's Round 2 unfolds in fun waves as surfers earn their spot in the all-important top seed rounds.

Perspectives can often change when you look at an empty lineup versus a wave being surfed. This morning competitors seemed a bit reluctant to run the second round of the men's Martinique Surf Pro, trying to convince contest director Jason Apparicio that the waves were smaller and less consistent than the day before.

Then the women paddled out for the remaining two heats of their opening round, and apparently Ella Williams's first wave at 6.83 changed everyone's mind.

Ella Williams (NZL) during Round One of the Martinique Surf Pro It wasn't so bad was it? Ella probably told the guys coming in from her win. - WSL / Damien Poullenot

About an hour later the men paddled out for their second round and Santiago Muniz went out blazing, proving conditions are just as fun and rippable as they were on day one.

Santiago injured himself early on in 2017 and spent the rest of his season treating the injury and working on rehab to come back fit and healthy this year. He definitely looked sharp, surfed fast and pushed each turn extra hard to lock in 15.94 points and take the winning spot into Round 3.

Santiago Muniz (ARG), MArtinique 2018 Santiago frees the fins and digs the nose in for good measure. - WSL / Damien Poullenot

"The sets were maybe a little slow to come but waves were super fun and I'm happy to be here," he said. "I love a really good right so I was stoked out there. It's amazing to be traveling with my brother Alejo, he's inspiring me so much and we train a lot together. There's always a little competition between us but it's mostly support we have for each other and I hope we can both go far in this event."

There was no confusion in the following heat as to who the in-form surfer was. Enters Tomas Tudela, young goofy foot from Peru. Tomas was going about his heat like everyone else, looking for the right waves.

Then out of nowhere a little left popped up. He started on it, built speed and launched a good rotation, landing perfectly in not even knee-deep water to post the best score of the whole event at this point -- an excellent 8.50. Tomas advanced into Round Three ahead of Matthew McGillivray and will probably keep an eye out for the lefts as well next time he paddles out.

"I wasn't catching any waves and I saw an opportunity on that left so I took it," he reflected. "The wind was perfect for an air so I went for a good one and it paid off big time. I'm having a hard year so far so I'm stoked to make a few heats. I've never gone past Round Three in this event, so I'll try to improve on that in the next one."

Imaikalani Devault went the more traditional way about posting a big score on a pointbreak. He waited for the set and obliterated the first section with a massive carve, did a couple of top turns in the inside and got a 9 point ride. Hailing from Hawaii it's no surprise the buff regular foot brought power to the party and he'll be one to watch out for in the next rounds.

Imaikalani Devault (HAW), Martinique 2018 A last inside bash for Imaikalani and the score drops, it's a 9.00. - WSL / Damien Poullenot

"There weren't a whole lot of waves but they were fun!" he said. "I caught a bigger set that came a little wide on the reef and it had a great shape and was easy to surf. I struggled to find a decent backup but I'm stoked about the result. It looks like we're going to have bigger waves later this week so I'm looking forward to it. I definitely feel more comfortable when it's a bit bigger coming from Hawaii."

Coming off his first-ever win at the Ron Jon Quiksilver Pro in Florida, Barbados' Joshua Burke kept the ball rolling at Basse-Pointe with a good first heat and one of the very few excellent scores of the day. He snagged a good set that broke wide once again while paddling back out and did a couple of big turns, ditching his fins for a reverse on the last one for an 8.50.

Samuel Pupo (BRA), Martinique 2018 Samuel Pupo was another standout on Day 2. - WSL / Damien Poullenot

"I'm psyched to get two contests near Barbados, I don't really have to travel...it's like a 20 minute flight here and definitely within the budget," he said. "These events help raise the profile of our sport in the region. All the kids in Barbados are watching their favorite surfers on their home spot and it's great".

In other news, yesterday's top scorers Lucas Vicente, Tristan Guilbaud, and Luke Hynd continued with their winning form and advanced into Round Three.

Athletes and event officials will come back at 7:30 a.m Monday to reassess conditions for a potential third consecutive day of action in Martinique.

Tune in from March 17-24, 2018 and check out all the photos, videos and updates right here.

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