- WSL / Tim Hain

The 2024 Krui Pro World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 5000 event resumed today at the primary location of Ujung Bocur in pumping 6 foot plus waves. By day's end, the men's Round of 128 and the first 3 heats of the Round of 96 were completed.

2024 Krui Drone Competition returned to the primary location of Ujung Bocur for Day 3 of competition. - WSL / Tim Hain

In a significantly contrasting playing field from the previous day's competition at Krui Left, the competitors' endurance and wave acumen were certainly tested as massive bombs would swing wide and require a marathon paddle session for those caught inside. However, in between, there were plenty of beautifully lined-up Ujung Bocor gems to provide big scoring opportunities during the 30-minute heats.

After comfortably winning the first heat of the day in the Round of 128, Taj Stokes (AUS) had a close call with elimination in his late afternoon Round of 96 heat, coming in second to fellow Australian Arch Whiteman (AUS).

"It was definitely tougher the second time around," said Stokes. "I was a bit fatigued this afternoon, and there was a bit of bump as the wind is up now, but still, it's 4 feet and pumping, so there's not much more you can ask for. This morning, pretty much any wave you looked at was standing up and offering a lot of sections, very different, but I'm glad I managed to get throug. I had two very contrasting heats today."

Taj Stokes Taj Stokes - WSL / Tim Hain

New Zealand's Elliot Paerata-Reid (NZL) took the win in Heat 2 of the Round of 96 with a combined heat total of 12.50 (out of a possible 20 points), admitting he was feeling old when he counted this as his fifth appearance at the Krui Pro.

"My best result was in my second time here when I got a third, so I don't know, maybe it's getting harder," said Paerata-Reid. "It was kind of hard, it looked quite good, but it was hard to find one that would go slow with a wall, then the wally ones would just close out. You had to use your priority really well."

In the last heat of the day, saving the best for last, Ben Spence (AUS) posted the day's only excellent score of 8.17 for a series of massive and critical turns with an explosive finish.

Earlier in the Men's Round of 128, there were many tightly contested heats, with the top scores nearing but not quite reaching the excellent range. The total heat scores for each heat were mostly within a few points of each other.

Nikita Avdeev Nikita Avdeev - WSL / Tim Hain

Zeb Stokes (AUS) had a 13.97 total heat score in his Round of 128 heat with a 7.00 and a 6.97, and Sentaro Sakai(JPN) was just behind him with a 13.50 in Heat 14, for a 7.83 and a 5.67.

"I was so nervous out there as I kept waiting and waiting for my first wave," said Sakai. "When I finally got it and heard the score was a 7.83, I was really happy about that, and it gave me more confidence. I really like this wave more than Krui Left. I'm so happy to come back here and glad I made the heat so I can keep surfing this wave."

Australian surfing legend Nathan Hedge (AUS) competed in the event today after celebrating his birthday yesterday. Unfortunately, he missed advancing as he ran short of time in his heat, falling victim to a multi-wave wide set that forced him to paddle through the massive walls of whitewater instead of catching more waves. He was philosophical about the loss.

"It's such a treat to be able to surf this wave here in Indonesia and to share it with just three other guys in a rashie; it's really special. This is my first time in Krui, and well, I didn't surf a smart heat, so that's the way it goes."

Ben Spence Ben Spence - WSL / Tim Hain

The Men's Qualifying Round of 96 will continue tomorrow morning. The competitors will be called to be ready at 6:30 a.m. for a 7:00 a.m. start.

The 2024 Krui Pro QS 5000 and Pro Junior events will run at Ujung Bocur, South Sumatra, from May 28 to June 4.

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