2012 Itacoatiara Pro: deadly waves

Mark McCarthy posted the highest total heat score of the day, at the 2012 Itacoatiara Pro, in Brazil. The 32-man field of competitors tackled the monstrous surf, some unable to find their feet, posting mere scores as low as 3.16 out of a possible 20.

Even the world's best bodyboarders struggled to be in the right place at the right time and some even found themselves beaten by the sheer power and size of the surf.

The South African managed to find clean tapering right handers, weaving through barrels and finishing off his rides with powerful rolls to reach 15.63 points. Round 1 has been fully surfed.

"Not the best conditions out there today, but stoked to finally get a win with the new format", McCarthy said. "I hope we can see some more riding tomorrow and less survival mode."

Other stand-outs included heat winners, Pierre-Louis Costes, Ben Player, Amaury Lavernhe, Alex Uranga, Tom Rigby and Brazilian world champions Guilherme Tamega and Uri Valadao. Local wildcard Jose Otavio navigated his way through an incredibly deep and long barrel today, earning himself and 8.88 out of a possible 10, the highest single wave score of the day.

With this score, Otavio managed to place second behind his fellow country man, Uri Valadao, rocketing him directly into Round 3. With no riders eliminated in today's Round 1, third and fourth place will have another chance to redeem themselves in Round 2.

Australia's Ryan Hardy found himself too shallow when possibly the biggest wave of the day rolled into the bay, breaking only meters in front of him. Having posted enough points to secure his second place, Hardy received a severe thrashing as the set wave washed him almost to the beach.

"I could just see it breaking slowly in front of me. I knew I was going to get worked so I just duck dived sideways and tried to go with it, hoping to stop my leash from snapping", Hardy commented.