22 waves over 8 points. Need we say more? It was absolutely firing once again on Day 4 of the QS5,000 Pro Taghazout Bay and surfers sure came to the party with incredible surfing, worthy of any good video part. That's how good it was.
There's no point in listing everyone that dropped bombs today so instead we'll just randomly focus on a few profiles to keep in mind for the coming rounds. And guess what, those endless rides on the rights of Anza might have been the perfect training ground as the event is set to relocate to the primary wave of Anchor Point tomorrow morning!
Victor Bernardo probably thought he'd done the deed and deserved his top spot for the day with a 9.50 in Heat 8. Nope, Liam O'Brien in the following heat, outdid him ever so slightly with a 9.70, which he backed up with an 8.17.
Still, Bernardo's raw power was a treat for everyone on the beach, and the fact that he performed at that level with a ruptured eardrum proves his warrior attitude will serve him well on tour this season.
"That 9.5 kind of relieved a little pressure I put on myself," he said. "The QS is hard, I've had a couple of tough years and I needed this to feel that I can battle with these guys. This is the best backup wave ever I'm super stoked to be here and I can't wait to see what Anchor point does when it's on."
O'Brien's 9.70 was textbook as well. But, I guess he deserves less credit cause he comes from a righthand point break dreamland?
"That was awesome, definitely some of the most rippable waves I've ever had in a heat," he reflected. "I'm from the Gold Coast, Burleigh Heads so I've surfed a few rights in my time and it's been a pleasure to surf a few heats over here."
Who else was outrageous in those waves? Hum, let's see. How about someone who made the Quarters at Bells and whose sprays are yet to come down on Anza.. Yep, Willian Cardoso's hulk-sized turns were a perfect fit for the day's conditions.
"Everyone does their own thing and I know mine is power surfing," he said. "Being connected to the ocean helps too and I feel like everything went my way today. Being back on the QS is part of the job, there are ups and downs and now it's time to go up again. I know my surfing is there to qualify again so I just need to make the right decisions and I'm confident I'll get there."
There were also a few fresher faces we're not that accustomed to yet, Adin Masencamp is one of them. He did finish within the Top 40 last year on the QS and seeing the trajectory he's on, you should probably get used to seeing him in the final rounds of the bigger events.
"Starting the heat right calms your nerves and puts you in rhythm," he explained. "I was definitely in rhythm in that one and I'm hoping to keep that flow throughout the event. I realized last year that it's all about consistency, some of the guys who qualified didn't win any events, so my goal this season is to be my most consistent self. Towards the end of the year I want to be in contention and the goal is obviously to make the tour in 2021. Seeing the other South Africans get on tour really inspires me and I want it to be my turn."
"I would just like to thank the City Surf Series back home in South Africa for holding all of these events," he added. "We never used to be able to do the big events cause you'd have to travel overseas to compete first and it's so expensive. Having all these events at home really gave us that opportunity to surf against the best in the world and showcase our South African way of surfing."
Timothee Bisso fits the same category. He's won multiple events but not on the bigger stage yet. Today he was one of the very few goofy foots making it look easy on the rights, so he could be dangerous at Anchors when the event resumes.
"I tried to be patient once I got my first good wave and it was lonely for a while in the lineup there," he said. "I sat a long time but when the wave came I was ready and confident and got the score. I've still got some in the tank, I haven't really showed everything I can do so I hope I make a few more heats and can go all in."
Unfortunately because we don't live in a perfect happy little world, we also had to lose some surfers we'd have loved to see surf Anchor. Caribbean powerhouse Charly Martin, Patrick Gudauskas, Mitch Crews, Marc Lacomare were all among the upset losses of the day.
And none hurt more than seeing local hero Ramzi Boukhiam not get the chance to compete at his homespot of Anchor Point. Unfortunately for Ramzi, his heat came late this afternoon when wave quality and consistency slightly declined on the outgoing tide and he wasn't able to show what everyone knows he can do on those rights.
Now is the moment we've all been waiting for, competition relocates to Anchor Point for the call tomorrow Wednesday at 8 a.m for a potential big day to decide the event's finalists.
Tune in from January 25 - February 1, 2020 and check out all the photos, videos and updates from the Pro Taghazout Bay.