The anticipated swell arrived with pulsing sets in the 6 to 8 foot range for Day 5 of the Krui Pro. The men's QS3,000 division ran though Round 4 and 5 to decide the eight quarterfinalists and the women's QS1,000 ran through the Quarterfinals, leaving just four semifinalists in the draw.
Billy Stairmand is in red-hot form at the Krui Pro. The New Zealander has managed to catch the best waves in every heat and absolutely tear them to shreds. His polished backhand attack has been refined at Raglan, his home break and it's paying dividends in Sumatra this week as he booked a spot in the Quarterfinals.
"I've been lucky with getting the good ones in all of my heats," Stairmand said. "It feel amazing out there, the wave has a similar shape and pace to the waves at home at Raglan and that's helped me I think. I have just wanted to go and surf my best and winning heats in good waves is the best feeling."
Gabriel Medina, reigning two-time World Champion posted two impressive heat wins on Ujung Bocur's long left-handers. Medina was clinical in his approach, surfing with speed, precision and power to post excellent scores in every heat. Medina will now match-up against Mitch Coleborn in the Quarterfinals.
"I really love this wave - it felt like Fiji out there today!" Medina said. "There are some big sets today, it felt really good to feel the power in the ocean. I'm just cruising at this event, surfing and hanging out with local kids. It's cool to see all the hungry QS competitors getting some good waves. This is my first time to Krui and I love it here, so many amazing waves and people here."
Gatien Delahaye from France posted the highest two-wave heat total of the event thus far -- 17.50 by using a fast and critical backhand approach. Delahaye advanced in first position, while Elliot Paerata-Reid also advanced in 2nd position -- Tomas Hermes and Aritz Aranburu were eliminated in 3rd and 4th place.
"I am loving my time here in Krui, the waves have been incredible," Delahaye said. "I am so pumped to be into the Quarterfinals, this wave has been so good for competition, I'm feeling confident for the finals day tomorrow."
In the women's draw only four surfers remain in contention after the Quarterfinals ran in maxing surf. Leilani McGonagle scored an epic 8.50 for a series of big turns in heavy sections. Julie Nishimoto gracefully linked her manoeuvres to overcome Taina Izquierdo. Nadia Erostarbe took a last minute victory over last year's event winner Alysse Cooper. But it was Keala Tomoda-Bannert who stole the show with a near-perfect 9.57 and a back cup of an 8.00 to net the biggest score of the women's event so far with powerful and precise carving turns and wraps on solid waves.
"I was surprised when I woke up at how big the surf was!" Tomoda-Bannert said. "I had to wait all day, I was in the last heat, so I spent the day watching and thinking about and I am so happy with how it went. It reminded me of waves at home in Hawaii, big and powerful. I had a lot of people at home staying up to watch it live so I am glad that I was able to win and get some good scores."
**The 2019 Krui Pro is proudly supported by wonderful Indonesia, Pesisir Barat - Lampung province, PSOE, ASC, FU WAX, RAST, Ombak Indah Resort, Indo Surf and Lingo, Surftime, Pemburu Ombak and Surfing Indonesia.