Señoritas is a wave that demands a combination of power and finesse. A fairly standard drop quickly becomes menacing as the wave rears up once it hits the shallow, rocky lefthand pointbreak. Athletes at the 2019 QS 3,000 Claro Open Pro - Copa Tubos dealt with some backwash and tide changes, but overall had plenty of scoring opportunities down the long walls of Señoritas in Punta Hermosa, Peru.
Samuel Pupo (BRA) has been making a name for himself after becoming the 2018 WSL South America Pro Junior Champion. He's crept out from behind the shadows of his older brother Miguel Pupo (former Championship Tour competitor) and is now solidifying his performances on the Qualifying Series (QS) in 2019. Today, Samuel's backhand performance in the 6-8 foot sets (2-2.5 meters) at Señoritas earned him the day's highest score of an 8.23 out of a possible 10 points.
"You could tell as soon as that set rolled through, that wave had the potential to be an excellent score," Pupo said. "Up until then, everyone had low scores, so I just kept bashing away for as long as I could and the judges gave it an eight."
He later commented on the wave quality of Señoritas:
"I feel that if you surf this wave on your backhand, it's a little more difficult. But I was able to connect all my turns and that's important at a pointbreak. The playing field always evens out when waves are small, but today's a lot bigger than most comps on the QS and if you found a good one today, it's the kind of wave that can make your performance really standout," Pupo declared.
However, earlier in the day goofy-footer Marc Lacomare's (FRA) aggressive frontside attack earned him the day's highest heat total of a 13.83 by scoring a 7.50 + a 6.44 for a solid performance in Heat 9 of Round 2.
"It's been really fun. Feels like I finally get to surf in a contest with really good waves," said Lacomare. "It's a super long paddle back out, so I just tried to play it safe and finish off well. This is my first time in Peru and I've been telling Gabriel Villaran (PER) for so long that I wanted to come down, but we never got the chance. So when I saw that this contest was confirmed, I knew it was the right time. I'm really excited and motivated for another full year on the QS and will try to do my best."
An interesting twist of events occurred in Heat 7 of Round 2. Matheus Navarro (BRA) recently took out his first victory on the Qualifying Series at the QS 1500 in Cocoa Beach, Florida over Stevie Pittman (USA). Today at the Claro Open, Pittman got his revenge as he advanced into Round 3 along with Felipe Oliveira (BRA), eliminating Gabriel Andre (BRA) and Navarro respectively.
"It's a lot bigger than yesterday and there are some good ones out there, but you've got to choose the waves that have more of a wall on them," said Pittman. "Yeah, I was in the Final with Matheus in Florida, which is close to where I live in North Carolina. I ended up losing to him, which was a bummer, but beating him here felt like payback. But, the waves here are completely different from Cocoa Beach. It's great to get to surf some bigger walls and do big turns."
The local heroes in Peru ignited excitement from the crowd as several athletes advanced in the competition led by Juninho Urcia (PER) who displayed an explosive array of maneuvers on his forehand.
"I was a little nervous for my first heat, but I think when the waves get a little bigger, it suits the Peruvians fine," said Urcia. "Competition gets tougher and tougher after each round, but I feel like I've been surfing well and have been in sync with the waves. It's been a long time since such an important contest has been held in Peru and I think it's great not just for our athletes, but for the entire surfing community in the country."
Other notable performances from today came from Carlo Mario Zapata (PER), Anthony Fillingim (CRI), Carlos Goncalves (ECU), Thiago Camarão (BRA) and Weslley Dantas (BRA) who has a soft-spoken demeanor, but his physical presence in the line-up brings up memories of Sunny Garcia (HAW) and Johnny Boy Gomes (HAW). His heavy-footed surfing has been drawing attention from the surfing community with significant results in places like Pipeline, Arica and Spain.
A call is set for 7:30 am local time on Friday.