The Quiksilver and Roxy Open started today in good three-to-five foot surf at Fistral beach, launching the WSL action at Boardmasters. The day started bright and early and ran through the men and women's opening rounds under the sunny Cornish skies.
It took one of the best local pros, Alan Stokes, to push towards the top end of the judging scale when he tore apart the rights at low tide this morning.
Unfortunately Stokes couldn't quite match the competition savvy of his adversaries in Round 2 and bowed out much too early for the local fans.
"We haven't had swell here for a month so I'm happy it came up for the event, it's head-high with lots of power and sections, it was fun!" he said. "I know the wave and how tricky it can be so that certainly gives me an advantage. I launched a new surfboard brand so that kept me busy and out of the events but it's good to be in the jersey again and win a heat."
Brasil's Jose Silva took out the opening round's highest combined total of 13.50 with a similar approach on the rights. Hailing from a poor community in North Brazil, Silva was brought to England with the support of a social project to compete in his first event outside of South America.
"I've been surfing for a long time but am only starting to compete really," he commented. "Conditions were fun today, a bit mushy and disorganized but there were some good waves in there. I'm going to do three or four events in Europe this summer and the goal is obviously to go as far as I can!"
We thought a free pass didn't exist in competitive surfing, yet with two surfers failing to show up on time this afternoon, Pedro Nogueira and Christopher Holler enjoyed their own no-loser, man-on-man battle in Round One. Nogueira took the 25-minute free surf for a training session and perfected his air and rail game before things get serious for him in Round Two.
"The wind was really good for airs so I was super happy to be able to try a couple and land a good one," he said. "I'm excited for tomorrow and can't wait to surf again. Only two guys out is pretty rare in the early rounds so I tried to really enjoy my time out there. It's my first time here and I'm loving it so far, we have a good crew staying together and it's been fun!"
Round Two didn't offer a free pass to Jobe Harriss, but last year's semifinalist didn't need any of that anyway. The talented goofy foot destroyed the Fistral lineup to post an excellent 8.33 and a 15.10 total for a spot into Round Three.
"I don't really compete that much anymore, competitive surfing is not my main focus so I feel really relaxed out there and I guess it's working out for me," he said. "I've got many things to keep myself busy, I'm working on building sites, lifeguarding, I even grow vegetables for a living as well, but thankfully I still get a bit of time in the water."
The Roxy Open completed the only heat of Round One with three surfers late this afternoon, preparing for a full round of action tomorrow when the event resumes.
Competitors will be back to Fistral at 8 a.m Thursday for an 8:30 a.m start of the men's Round Two and 12p.m for the women.
Tune in from August 8-12, 2018 and check out all the photos, videos and updates right here! For more information about the festival, visit boardmasters.com.