The men's Qualifying Series (QS) returns to Playa Revolcadero ahead of the Vans Surf Open Acapulco QS 1,000 presented by Corona July 12 - 14. Some of North America's top competitors are in attendance alongside Mexico's talented field of veteran and upcoming surfers. This marks the seventh edition of the Surf Open Acapulco event after its introduction in 2012 and remains a pivotal stop as the only QS competition in mainland Mexico to provide Mexican surfers a chance at points on home soil.
And, surfers will get to contest in promising swell over the weekend that could reach six-to-eight foot by finals day.
Sayulita, Mexico's, own Dylan Southworth is just one of the competitors who relishes in the opportunity to compete in the QS when he can. The 28-year-old has a solid track record at this event with a Quarterfinal appearance and a Semifinal in 2016 as he chases an elusive Finals breakthrough. But, Southworth is limited to QS experience in recent years with this event being his only platform to showcase his talents alongside fellow countrymen such as former ISA Gold Medalist Jhony Corzo, currently Mexico's highest ranked QS competitor, Sebastian Williams and upcoming threat Alan Cleland.
"I'm so happy to be back competing here in Acapulco, it's one I always look forward to and the waves never disappoint," Southworth said. "The swell is looking solid and the international level is top notch so it should be a good weekend. It's important for the Mexican surfers to get in these international events for the experience and publicity they wouldn't otherwise get at local events."
"Mexico has so many talented surfers from Jhony Corzo winning the Gold Medal and Alan Cleland making the Finals at the US Open last year, it's incredible to see. I think having bigger events in Mexico will only help boost that level of talent and also the financial help they bring since a lot of us can't travel to events around the world." Cleland's success on the Pro Junior level continues to impress with multiple Finals appearances under his belt in a year's time. The 17-year-old proved himself a threat at last year's Surf Open Acapulco with a dominant debut before bowing out in Round 4. Cleland now returns for a chance at building more QS experience against North America's highest-rated competitors and a few points to bank.
"I think all the Mexican guys are fired up for this event to be back and give it a go," Cleland said. "For myself, I've been working on my contest surfing and strategies to help prepare for this event after getting a good start last year. Hopefully I can put it all together to get a good result this year but it's just great to have an event here again."
San Clemente, California's, Crosby Colapinto comes into Acapulco as one of those highest rated competitors -- currently sitting at No. 2 on the North America rankings behind Noah Schweizer and within the Top 100 on the international ranks. The younger brother of Championship Tour (CT) surfer Griffin, Crosby's experience around the world is shaping him into a world-class surfer as he looks to solidify a spot into the QS 10,000s at the mid-year reseed that follows the Vans US Open of Surfing QS 10,000 pres. by Swatch. But, the 17-year-old has his focus on the task at hand this weekend in hopes of overtaking the No. 1 spot for a chance at the US Open trials.
"It is very exciting competing in Acapulco for the first time and I'm really looking forward to surfing in the contest," Colapinto said. "I have been working hard training and surfing. When I have a long break like this I like to run heats with myself when I'm free surfing. Now that I have a win at each level (from amateurs and Pro Juniors to QS) I want to be in the QS 10,000s and I would also like to travel to more places that have good waves so I can improve my surfing. It's really exciting knowing that I can get a spot into the US Open trials because I know exactly what I need to do and know who I need to do better than."
This year welcomes back some key sponsors that Gustavo Duccini and his team helped secure to prepare for a weekend of festivities to coincide with the important opportunity at hand for Mexican surfers.
"The event is already a tradition not only in the WSL calendar, but also in the Mexican professional surfing scene," event director Gustavo Duccini said in light of the event's return. "It is a vital event for the promotion of the sport and for the professional Mexican surfers since it has been an important mechanism in the last years for them to enter in the ranking of the WSL. It also helps them become known worldwide and achieve the dream of one day getting among the Top 34 surfers in the world."
"We have the pleasure of having Vans as the naming of the event, an international brand that promotes surfing worldwide and in Mexico," Duccini added. "We also have the pleasure of announcing that Corona Extra joins the Surf Open League to promote surfing, the cleaning of the oceans and that it will generate very good surf lifestyle activities, pool parties just to mention some. Princess Mundo Imperial will add massive international concerts with musicians like NERVO and ALOK where the concept of surf music festival is added for all the invited surfers from Acapulco, the whole Mexican Republic and all over the world, we also have sponsors like Monster Energy Drink that always support the events and importantly the Guerrero government that always helps on the event in Acapulco."
The first call will be 7:30am CDT for a likely 8:00am CDT start July 12.
The Vans Surf Open Acapulco pres. by Corona will run July 12 -14 at Playa Revolcadero, Acapulco, Mexico, in front of the Princess and Pierre Mundo Imperial Hotel.