Despite the conditions, amazing surfing action was on offer, thanks to the likes of CJ Hobgood (USA), Luis Vindas (CRI), Kai Otton (AUS), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Matthew Moir (ZAF), Phil Rajzman (BRA) and other 16 surfers who went to the water today and did their job to reach the final day and the top 6 spots in each division. Out of the 233 surfers that started the event, the best 30 will surf tomorrow.
All the divisions hit the water today, with some "reperchargers" competing three times. And out of the whole bunch, only two survived and are now one step away from the big final in each division. On Main Events rounds, four untouched surfers are also one step away from the medals.
The Overall Team standings ratings are now like this:
3rd Costa Rica
Costa Rica confirmed its status as the new great surfing nation, putting their name in the elite group of the world´s most developed surfing nations.
CJ Hobgood (USA), Kai Otton (AUS), Heath Joske (AUS) and Luis Vindas (CRI) were the untouched ones who reached the final of the Main Event without losing any heat. Costa Rican Luis Vindas was certainly the great surprise, surfing smoothly in the small waves, he scored 8.67 and 7.00 to win his heat and write his name in the Surfing History book of his country.
The humble "tico" said after his heat: "The waves were really small but is looking a lot like the waves I surf at home. Also my surfboard helped; I actually shaped it for myself to surf in small waves. I was really scared for this heat, all three of my opponents are strong surfers but now I feel way more confident for the next heats, so I just hope to keep doing the good things for my country."
The other two surfers to overcome the "all or nothing" heats of the repercharge were Dayyan Neve of Australia and the other Costa Rican star, Jason Torres. These two surfers made it through the three heats they entered today. Top six Open Men´s are three Australians, two Costa Ricans and one of the Unites States.
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Natalie Bernold (CRI), Laureen Sweeney (USA) and Camila Cassia (BRA) reached the main event final without losing any heat. Once again, this time among the women´s, Costa Rica kept momentum and surprised everybody adding another surfer into the top six women's.
In the repercharge rounds, Demi Boelsterli of the US was again the standout of the day, winning the three heats she entered, posting combined scores of 14.34, 12.33 and 16.83 (the highest of her division today) to be now one step away from the final. The other repercharge surfer to make it to the final day was French ripper Marie Dejean.
"It was fun! The waves are really small but there´re some that are super rippeable. Im just stoked to be here surfing and having a good time. I was looking for the little rights that connect through the inside." Said Team USA Boelsterli and regarding his country status she added: "We're doing well; I think we're in the running for gold. And everyone is getting along really well, having fun, psyching up and supporting for the each heat, its cool!
Only the repercharge rounds were held in both Men and Women's Bodyboard division. David Lee of South Africa and Pierre Costes of France had a great round 7 heat and are now waiting the losers of the Main Event Final, to fight for a place in the podium.
They joined Sacha Specker (ZAF), Marcus Lima (BRA), Hugo Pinheiro (POR) and Manuel Centeno (POR) among the top six finishers.
On the Women's side, Spain's Eunate Aguirre and Australia's Lilly Pollard overcame their round 5 match up to be now one step away of the finals, waiting for the losers of Main Event final which includes: Natasha Sagardia (PRI), Heloise Bourroux (FRA), Rita Pires (POR) and Yasuko Kima (JPN).
The firsts longboarders to place themselves one step away from the big final were, were Antoine Delpero (FRA), Phil Rajzman (BRA), Matthew Moir (ZAF) and Heifara Tahutini (TAH).
South African Matthew Moir, Gold Medal winner in the last edition of the Games in California 2006, posted the highest combined score a 16.33 to advance again in first place. Moir is now looking forward for a back to back win. After his heat ended, he said: "Today the swell dropped a lot so it's pretty tactical, you have to find the running waves to score high. It would be better for me to have bigger waves, but everyone is surfing in the same conditions so I was lucky to find the right ones and make it through!"
As for the back to back gold medals possibility, he commented: "I know that Brazilian Marcelo Freitas did it three times so, Im gonna have to take it heat by heat to match that up. The last Games was a big win for me, so to make the team again and being here now is amazing."
Tomorrow, Sunday, October the 19th, the final day of the event will take place. History will be written in the waves of Costa de Caparica.