- WSL / @jony.paz

The World Surf League (WSL) Rip Curl Pro Playa Grande QS 1000 will crown the event winners on Saturday after determining the Semifinalists on Friday at the beach break known as Biologia at Playa Grande in Mar del Plata, Argentina. In the women's division, both matchups will feature a Peru versus Argentina showdown. In the men's division, one semifinal will feature a Brazil against Uruguay matchup while the other will be a 100% Argentinian confrontation.

For the women, the Peruvian versus Argentinian matchups will heat up the race in the WSL South America 2023/24 rankings. Last year's runner-up, Arena Rodriguez Vargas (PER) has guaranteed a spot in the Semifinals and is looking to improve her result with an event win. She will be facing Catalina Mercere (ARG) in Heat 1. On the other side of the draw, Peruvian Melanie Giunta (PER) will matchup against 15-year-old sensation, Victoria Larreta (ARG).

After defeating Julia Duarte (BRA) in the Quarterfinals, Vargas has taken a lead in the Women's WSL South America rankings. Only the top 3 women in the rankings will qualify for the 2023 WSL Challenger Series, the only pathway to the WSL Championship Tour (CT).

Arena Rodriguez Arena Rodriguez Vargas (PER) advanced into the Semifinals at the 2023 Rip Curl Pro Playa Grande QS 1000. - WSL / @jony.paz

"It feels great to make it to the Semifinals once again in Mar del Plata. The waves have been pumping, good size and plenty of scoring opportunities, so it's been exciting to compete in these types of conditions," said Vargas. "Once I saw the waves this morning, it just gave my confidence an extra boost, so I'll do my best tomorrow to win the event, but I really just want to enjoy my time here in Argentina."

The surprise performance of the day came by 15-year-old grom Victoria Larreta, who took down veteran surfer Ornellla Pellizzari (ARG) by a slim margin of 8.64 to 8.34 in favor of the youngster. If Larreta wins the event tomorrow, she will become the first Argentinian surfer to win the event in Mar del Plata.

Victoria Larreta Victoria Larreta (ARG) can become the first Argentinian to win the event at the Rip Curl Pro Playa Grande QS 1000 - WSL / @jony.paz

"It feels incredible to make it to the Semifinals, especially since conditions are super difficult. But I was able to catch some good waves in my heat, but I still can't believe I made it through," said Larreta. "I am going to be super focused tomorrow because I know it won't be easy," concluded Larreta.

Similar to the women, in the men's division two surfers will have the opportunity to become the first Argentinian to win the event in Mar del Plata. Nacho Gundesen (ARG) has been one of the most stylish surfers at the Rip Curl Pro Playa Grande and will face fellow compatriot Julian Honores (ARG) in the Semifinals.

On the other side of the draw, Martin Ottado (URY) will face Brazilian young gun Mateus Herdy (BRA). Herdy has made a name for himself in the past with excellent results as a Wildcard at CT events in Mexico and Brazil. This year he has the potential to reach the elite level as part of the 2023 WSL Challenger Series. However, he is returning to competition after a serious injury and is using the competition in Argentina in preparation for his 2023 season.

Mateus Herdy Mateus Herdy (BRA) advanced into the Semifinals at the Rip Curl Pro Playa Grande QS 1000 - WSL / @jony.paz

"Conditions aren't easy today, there's a lot of water moving, strong currents and I was up against my good friend Vitor Ferreira in the Quarters. Actually, it's funny because we're both staying at Nacho Gundesen's house, so we've all had good results here in Mar del Plata," said Herdy. "I was able to land an air right at the start, but then I got kind of lost out there. Luckily a wave came right at the end and I was able to get the score to advance."

A call has been set for 10:00 AM (GMT-3) for Finals Day at the Rip Curl Pro Playa Grande in Mar del Plata. Competition will begin the Men's Semifinal and will see Mateus Herdy against Martin Ottado in Heat 1. For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com The Rip Curl Pro Playa Grande is brought to you by Biologia Club and sanctioned by the World Surf League as the second event of the WSL South America 2023/2024 season. The Rip Curl Pro Playa Grande is sponsored by Rip Curl, Corona, McDonalds, Monster Energy, ENARD - Ente Nacional de Alto Rendimiento Deportivo, the City of Mar del Plata, the Sports Secretary of Argentina, Argentina Surf Association.

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