The Peruvian contingent took control of Day 5 at the World Surf League (WSL) Maui and Sons Arica Pro Tour 2022Arica Pro Tour QS 5000 at the heavy-water break known as El Gringo in Arica, Chile. Joaquin del Castillo (PER) led the charge by earning the event's highest scores in the first heat of the day.
With solid barreling waves in the 6-to-8 foot range, Castillo paddled into one of the largest sets of the day, executed a drawn-out bottom turn, stalled as the heaving barrel covered him up and was shot out of a lengthy tube-ride way after the spray to the delight of the crowd on the cliff. His fantastic barrel earned him a 9.00, the highest single-wave score of the event so far.
"I'm really happy to be here in Arica once again and get the chance to meet up with so many good friends I think it's important to put your time into this wave to gain experience. It's a world-class wave and I'm just stoked to have a good heat," said Castillo. "I let a few waves go by in the beginning, but that barrel I got was unbelievable. I love surfing, so to be able to surf all these incredible waves these past few days at El Gringo and El Buey has been amazing. For sure Arica is a place that I will always come back to."
Regional Rankings Leader
Miguel Tudela (PER) is one of the most respected members of the ‘Inka Team' and is currently leading the 2022 WSL South America regional rankings after two solid wins in Iquique, Chile and the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. He has also participated in two Championship Tour events at Pipeline, so he definitely felt comfortable today at El Gringo. Tudela advanced directly into the Round of 32 with his heat win today.
"It feels really good to get a win in my first heat. My strategy was to find the best waves, get barreled and keep improving my scores," said Tudela. "Luckily, everything went according to plan. I didn't get any spectacular tubes, but advancing was the most important goal. I've got a good board for barrel-riding, so I hope to keep advancing and get a good result at this event."
Tudela, who has competed five prior times at the Maui and Sons Arica Pro Tour, will now face his younger brother, Tomas, in the next heat. Tomas won the event in Arica in 2017. The Tudela Brothers will be matched up against veteran Chilean surfer Manuel Selman (CHL) and his compatriot, Gustavo Dvorquez (CHL).
Former Championship Tour athlete, Ian Gouveia (BRA), also looked in top form today, easily winning his heat and advanced into the Round of 32 alongside Vitor Ferreira (BRA).
"It was a good heat and conditions are good with offshore wind and sunny skies. It's a beautiful day, the waves are great and I'm very happy that I took out that heat," declared Gouveia. "I hit the water focused on getting a good barrel, but things kind of slowed down during my heat, so I had to switch up my strategy and go to turns. I ended up with two scores in the mid-range, but it was enough to advance."
The race for the Top 10 in the regional rankings has heated up with crucial points being offered at the first QS 5000 of the season. Other notable athletes that advanced into the Round of 16 were Rafael Teixeira (BRA), Heitor Mueller (BRA), Leandro Usuna (ARG) and Joaquin del Castillo (PER).
A call is set for 7:00 AM (GMT-4) for continuation of the WSL Maui and Sons Arica Pro Tour QS 5000. The next heat scheduled will be Heat 5 of the Round of 32 featuring Miguel Tudela (PER), Tomas Tudela (PER), Gustavo Dvorquez (CHL) and Manuel Selman (CHL).