With a limited 32-man format there were no easy heats, and nearly all today’s heats were really tight with some particularly positive performances from the trials event qualifiers.
Dany Bruch (F2 / Gaastra) sailed out of his skin to advance from his first round heat to earn a top-16 place against Vidar Jensen (North), Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde) and reigning world champ Kauli Seadi (JP / NeilPryde).
But the best un-seeded display came from Francisco Porcella (Mistral / Simmer) who used his expert surfing knowledge to advance to the last 8. The only Italian in the line-up was visibly glowing over his day’s work. ‘I came all the way from Maui to ride this wave, and I’m so stoked to have made it this far.
My approach was to stay deep, but make that first heavy section with as powerful an aerial as I could. That’s a fine balance to keep, as you’ll pay if you get caught inside. Basically I relied on my wave reading experience to get air and make as many turns as possible’
It was business as usual for local legend and 2007 Cabo Verde winner Josh Angulo (MauiSails). This country’s national hero launched his trademark aerials and carved a variety of turns to cruise into the four-man final.
Jason Polakow (JP / NeilPryde) survived a couple of trips to the rocks to ensure he built on last season’s strong showing here with his stylish turns in the most critical sections of Ponta Preta’s pitching lips.
Robby Swift was one of the standout sailors of the day with some heavy hitting hacks under the curl, which pleased the judges and sent giant arcs of spray above the set waves he systematically destroyed.
This was always going to be a crucial event for Swift who’s struggled with injury in recent seasons, and was determined to get back into the top flight of the wave rankings. As predicted, 2007 world champion Kauli Seadi made no mistakes and confidently showed-off the full range of turns, slides, and airs which make him a major threat for his rivals.
Tomorrow’s forecast is positive for more swell and wind and skippers’’ meeting has been set for 08.00 to make the most of the primetime tide conditions. It’s also likely that the double elimination will be started too to maximize the conditions available.
Source: PWA World Tour