- WSL / Kevin Moncayo

Pristine conditions continued on Day 2 of the World Surf League (WSL) Men's and Women's QS 1000 Copa Sails of Change Galápagos with consistent waves in the 6-foot range charging down the lefthand pointbreak at Tonga Reef, in the Galapagos Islands. Even a playful sea lion, whose curiosity was evident, spent some time in the lineup splashing, swimming and even surfing the waves alongside the competitors. In addition, two-time WSL South America Regional Champion, Dominic Barona (ECU), had the Ecuadorian crowd in a frenzy by guaranteeing a spot in the Semifinals.

Barona, who also represented Ecuador in the surfing competition at the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan, can also claim the regional rankings lead if she advances into the Finals.

"I'm super happy and there's nothing better than competing at home, with these incredible waves; actually, it's been a dream here," said Barona. "The girls have been surfing great, and in my opinion, they're all championship worthy. I feel like I'm hosting a party and we've got all these talented ladies from all over the continent doing their best. But I'm super proud of all the Ecuadorians that have been surfing their hearts out, because this is an incredible opportunity to compete at an important event like this, in this amazing place with these world-class waves," declared Barona.

Dominic Barona Local favorite Dominic Barona (ECU) on a frontside snap at Tongo Reef at the Copa Sails of Change Galápagos. - WSL / Kevin Moncayo

Barona will now face 17-year-old Genesis Garcia (ECU), a fellow Ecuadorian, in the Semifinals. On the other side of the draw, the young Brazilian Isabela Saldanha (BRA) will face up against the ever-consistent Sol Aguirre (PER), who earned quality scores throughout the day, culminating with a 15.65 heat total against her older sister Leilani Aguirre (PER).

"It feels great to make it into the Semis, but I'm completely exhausted from surfing all these long lefts today," stated Sol Aguirre. "But I can't complain because the waves are amazing and I was able to really show my surfing in each heat. Tomorrow is Finals Day, so I'm going to eat well, get some good sleep and get ready for the most important day of the event."

Sol Aguirre Sol Aguirre (PER) at Tongo Reef. - WSL / Kevin Moncayo

In the Men's division, Ryan Kainalo (BRA), has been garnering attention in the past few events, but has really stood out at Tonga Reef. The lanky 16-year-old has honed his craft on worldwide surf trips and contests and has made great progress in a short period of time. On Friday, Kainalo displayed his proficient rail-game on the drawn out lefts, earning an amazing 17.00 heat total which included an 8.00 and a 9.00 from the judges.

"I'm stoked because I feel like I've been surfing good, but it's been a while since I made it into the Quarterfinals," said Kainalo. "I've felt connected to the waves here, I've been getting good scores and now I'm focused on Finals Day. It's great to be here in Galapagos, the event is filled with talented surfers and it's brought out the best in me. The waves have made it super fun and I think conditions are even better today."

Ryan Kainalo Ryan Kainalo (BRA) on a backhand carve at Tongo Reef. - WSL / Kevin Moncayo

Kainalo will now face Isabela's younger brother, Rodrigo Saldanha (BRA) in the Quarterfinals. In another highly anticipated matchup, Olympic surfers Miguel Tudela (PER) will face Manuel Selman (CHL) to see who will advance into the Semifinals.

"As expected, the swell picked up overnight and conditions are phenomenal, as good or even better than yesterday," declared Selman. "The waves around the corner at Lobería are even bigger, but the wind is more protected here at Tonga Reef and these lefts are mind-blowing. This is definitely the best event I've competed in since I can remember, and I'm stoked to be two heats away from the Finals."

Manuel Selman Manuel Selman (CHL) on a solid left at Tongo Reef. - WSL / Kevin Moncayo

The World Surf League Men's and Women's QS 1000 Copa Sails of Change Galapagos is presented by Special Council for the Galapagos Islands and the City of San Cristobál. The event will distribute equal prize money as well as 1000 points valid on the WSL South America rankings. For full results, hi-def photos and daily highlights, visit WorldSurfLeague.com

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