The second edition of the Heroes de Mayo Iquique Pro kicked off with a pulsing 3-5 foot swell (1-1.5 meters) at the righthand pointbreak of La Punta today with Rounds 1 and 2 in the books at the Men's QS 3000. A total of 67 surfers representing 14 countries hit the water today in the Men's division and anticipation is building as a Women's QS 1500 and a combined Pro Junior event will also be held this week in Iquique.
The Chilean surfers were able to display their local knowledge of the break at La Punta and looked at ease surfing over the shallow reef. Danilo Cerda (CHL) took first place in the final heat of Round 1 and is hunting for a solid result in his home country. Other athletes from Chile that also advanced in 1st place were Andro Goravica, Maximiliano Cross and Guillermo Satt.
"I felt completely comfortable today and I found some good waves to win my heat," declared Cerda. "I'm just happy to be here competing and I hope the swell stays solid for the entire week. This is such an important contest for us Chileans because we're competing at home. It's also a good opportunity for us to compare our surfing to athletes from around the world and I'm looking to do well here in Iquique and then in Arica next week."
Another surfer that excelled in today's competition was Philippe Chagas (BRA), who has been living on the island of Maui for over a year now. Chagas took charge of his heat and earned a 7.00 on a long right. Advancing in second place was Coconut Willie (HAW), eliminating Juan Ruggiero (ARG) and Mateus Sena (BRA) from the competition.
"I tried to make people go on the first waves that rolled in so I could hold on to priority and choose the best wave of the heat," said Chagas. "I knew that wave was going to be good as soon as it popped up. It's not that easy because there are a few waves that kind of disappear as soon as you complete the dro p. I know this place can provide some good barrels, but today was more about turns. This is my first time to Iquique and my goal is to get two solid results at the contests here in Chile so I can improve my ranking and get into the larger events later in the year," Chagas added.
Plenty of big names are seeded into later Rounds and will see the talent level go up a notch in Rounds 3 and 4. This week will see the likes of Mihimana Braye (PYF), Alonso Correa (PER), Ian Gouveia (BRA), Miguel Blanco (PRT), Carlos Munoz (CRI) and the defending event winner, Jack Robinson (AUS) all take to the water at the Men's QS 3000 Heroes de Mayo Iquique Pro.