Martin Jeri: his surfboard is fine tuned

Smiles and tears start flowing through Playa Venao, the perfect venue for the 2011 ISA World Surfing Games, in Panama. It's time to win or pack things up as competition enters the final stage.

Again, there were beautiful waves and sun on offer. Team standings have started to take shape. As of today, Australia and Brazil are in the lead with seven surfers still in the competition, followed by Peru in third, Argentina in fourth and France rounding out the top five.

In the Women’s division, Sofía Mulanovich (PER), Paige Hareb (NZL), Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), Dimity Stoyle (AUS), Alizee Arnaud (FRA) and Cannelle Bulard (FRA) are the only six women who’ve made it through on the fast track to the final through the Main Event.

"It was an odd heat. It started slow, but eventually it got better," said Arnaud after her victory over Miley-Dyer (AUS, 2nd), Givanilta Ferreira (BRA, 3rd) and Nikita Robb (RSA, 4th). "I was lucky to find a good wave in the last three minutes—that eight-point ride put me into the first position. I love Panama. I’ve been to a lot of places around the world, and Panama is beautiful and the waves are great. Let’s hope it stays like this until the Final."

Santiago Muñiz (ARG), Mick Campbell (AUS), Rafael Pereira (VEN), Ian Gouveia (BRA), Marco Giorgi (URU) and Thomas Wood (AUS) have proven to be the in-form surfers of the Open Men division thus far. All advanced to round 5 of the winners bracket.

"It was a very difficult heat," said Muñiz. "I was competing against my friend Ian Gouveia, and Dylan Southworth, who is an amazing surfer. Argentina is doing great, but it is not only us. Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica and all of the Latinos are surfing really well. It is good to show the world that, with lots of training and dedication, we too can do well."

In the Longboard division, Piccolo Clemente (PER), Matthew Moir (RSA), Antoine Delpero (FRA), Toni Silvagni (USA), Harley Ingleby (AUS) and Heifara Tahutini (TAH) had great performances. With at least two chances left, these six surfers of the division are now only two heats away from medaling.

Other standouts in the Men’s Repechage that were able to advance through their three match-ups today were Magnum Martínez (VEN), Martín Jerí, (PER), Jeremy Flores (FRA) and Francisco Bellorín (VEN).

Some of today’s surprises included the elimination of Nathan Hedge (AUS), Chris Waring (USA), Justin Mujica (VEN), Diego Cadena (MEX) and Gavin Roberts (RSA).