A slight drop in swell didn't dampen the fireworks that ensued for a critical day of Men's Qualifying Series (QS) competition at the WRV Outer Banks Pro QS 1,000 presented by Pacifico. A handful of opening day standouts didn't quite make the cut for a Quarterfinals appearance but familiar faces didn't fail to light up Jennette's Pier lineup.
Now, finals day affairs await in both the men and women's events as competition moves into marquee, one-on-one battles until event winners are crowned.
Battle Of The Event Champs Awaits
2016 WRV Outer Banks Pro winner Kilian Garland is back in great form after blasting his way through both Round 3 and Round 4 with victories. Garland's performances resembled that of his breakthrough year, this being his first-ever QS win, and posted a solid 15.14 heat total in Round 4 showcasing a powerful forehand rail game. But, the 32-year-old must face defending event winner Renan Peres Pulga in a heavyweight Quarterfinal bout.
"It felt good to get some rhythm and feel out the conditions, everyone is surfing really good and I feel like there are some good names on the back-half of the draw with a former champion and some good East Coasters," Garland said. "It's been a long time since I've felt that rhythm after getting into the biggest events which were a challenge but it's great to be back in the Outer Banks. I don't know if it's because I'm use to these kind of spots that aren't so crowded even though I'm okay with crowds, I think it's just a lot more relaxed which helps."
A Chance To Reclaim North America No. 1
A golden opportunity awaits Noah Schweizer on finals day with an opportunity to gain his footing in the regional race and find himself back at North America No. 1 where fellow East Coaster Luke Gordon currently sits. This marks Schweizer's third Quarterfinal appearance of 2019 and, despite two early exits in Acapulco and Virginia Beach, can re-energize the spark he started the season with. With an impressive run through Round 3 and dominant display in Round 4, the Floridian is looking in-tune with the Outer Banks heading into the Quarters.
"It feels good to be making heats right now after the past two events I'd have a good first heat and then things wouldn't go my way the next one," Schweizer said. "I feel like my surfing's been there all year and just having some bad luck. But this event things have been working for me so hopefully just keep it going even further."
East Coast Flurry
Chauncey Robinson kept the Floridian's vibes alive with second-straight heat win. His nerves didn't show in his Round 4 heat, after holding onto an advancing position in Round 3, not catching a wave in the first 12-minutes before opening up with back-to-back scores to put him into first. Robinson then unleashed his signature forehand power wraps to earn a 7.03 and secure a Quarterfinal spot after battling with Kim Matheus, also advancing, Robert Grilho, and Rob Kelly. The 21-year-old's best finish of 2019 came on the East Coast with a Semifinal appearance in Florida and is looking for more here in the Outer Banks.
"I definitely waited a very long time and that's been happening a lot in my heats recently where I'll get a slow start or barely get by so to win that one was great moving forward," Robinson said. "It's reassuring when you get a score like that on your second wave and makes the heat a lot less stressful. Having those back-and-forth battles within the heat keeps you fired up and the competitive energy high so it keeps me motivated."
Daniel Glenn added to that streak with a Round 4 Heat 3 win and hopes to keep the title on the East Coast but has the likes of Costa Rican danger man Anthony Fillingim and the electric surfing of Jake Kelley to deal with.
Event organizers will reconvene at 8:00am EDT to determine a possible 8:30am EDT start for Quarterfinal action.