Spectacular conditions were present on Day 6 of the World Surf League (WSL) Maui and Sons Arica Pro Tour 2022 QS 5000 at Ex Isla El Alacrán in Arica, Chile. Solid waves in the 6-to-8 foot range with even larger sets had the best WSL South America regional surfers chomping at the bit to see who could catch the best tube-ride of the day. The laurels went to Guillermo Satt (CHL) who earned a 9.77 on his best wave and the young Brazilian, Douglas Silva (BRA) who scored an astonishing 18-point heat total. Finals Day is set for tomorrow with an early call at 6:45 AM (GMT-4) to take advantage of the best conditions.
Competition began with continuation of the Round of 32 and saw the Peruvian siblings Tomas and Miguel Tudela advancing into the Round of 16 in first and second place respectively. Miguel led throughout the heat, but Tomas went from 3rd to 1st place on a final minute buzzer beater by completing a clean barrel-ride for the come-from-behind victory.
In the following heat, with conditions improving even more, Douglas Silva went on a rampage, upping his scores with every wave. He began with a solid 7.67. He then pulled into the biggest set wave of the day, sped down the line from behind the peak on a lefthander, rode through a lengthy barrel and got spat out by the channel. Then, in the final minute, he added an additional 8.93 on a similar ride for an 18-point heat total, the highest of the event so far.
"It feels really good to be competing here at El Gringo for the first time. I've heard so much about this place and people have said that if I ever came, I'd do well because it's barreling wave and getting shacked is what I love to do most," said an exuberant Silva. "Once Fabio Gouveia once told me, ‘Doug, if you can surf the waves at Maracaípe well (where he resides in Brazil), you can surf well anywhere in the world.' I've always taken that to heart, so I always think about the advice this legend told me."
Silva also elaborated on his strategy at El Gringo: "I caught some incredible rides today and looking from the cliff, all the waves look amazing. But once you're in the lineup, you really need to respect the reef. I didn't go on any of the first waves of the set, that way there would be more water on the other waves if I did get wiped out. It was this strategy that got me those high scores. It's been great here and I hope I get a good result tomorrow on Finals Day," completed Silva.
In the following heat, local surfer Guillermo Satt (CHL) hit the water and put on a clinic. Satt has won the Maui and Sons Arica Pro Tour in 2011 and is the only surfer to have competed in all ten editions of the event. On Saturday, the Chilean paddled into a huge lefthander, dropped down the face, stalled into the tube and caught the deepest, longest and cleanest barrel of the event. His feat earned him a 9.77 for the highest single-wave score of the event. He backed it up with a 7.50 on his only two rides of the heat for a 17.27 total.
"Honestly, conditions are epic and I wanted to wait for the best waves of the heat and I ended up only riding two in the entire heat," said Satt. "I knew that the best scores were being given to the barrels, so I just had to be patient. The big one I caught was perfect and I was in the right place, it was spectacular. The same happened with the other tube, it was smaller but still perfect. It's great to be competing at home, representing my country and now I'm ready for the next round."
Competition continued into the Round of 16 and saw Ian Gouveia (BRA), Rafael Teixeira (BRA), Vitor Ferreira (BRA) and Heitor Mueller (BRA) all advance. However, moderate onshore winds started blowing and competition was called off for the day. An early call is set for 6:45 AM (GMT-4) and will see Tomas Tudela (CHL) face Samuel Igo (BRA), Douglas Silva (BRA) and Cristobal de Col (PER) when competition resumes.