Small waves open the 2016 Vans World Cup of Surfing

November 30, 2016 | Surfing
Jacob Willcox: he found a rare barrel at Sunset Beach | Photo: Sloane/WSL

It was not a classic day at Sunset Beach, but the 2016 Vans World Cup of Surfing was called on, and Round 1 has been completed.

The last Qualifying Series (QS) event of the season means a lot to a large group of athletes. It's the last chance to qualify for the Dream Tour. It's all about winning or losing.

But the second gem of the Triple Crown of Surfing is also a training ground for many surfers who just want to test themselves in a highly competitive arena.

Carlos Munoz found the highest score of the day. The high-spirited surfer from Costa Rica unleashed his powerful turns and got an 8.17. Munoz won his heat with a comfortable lead over his opponents.

"Today it's tough conditions, really small on the point. I've never surfed these kinds of waves. Every time I've surfed Sunset it's big and long walls, but I'm really psyching just to make it through," explained Carlos Munoz.

Big wave surfer Billy Kemper used his local knowledge to prevail in the small rollers. And he compares Sunset Beach to Jaws.

"To tell you the truth, it's a really similar kind of peak - Sunset Point and Jaws - as far as the inside west bowl and the outside north chip shot in, it's somewhat similar. It's a totally different day. I'm riding a 6'2 today, and at Jaws, I was riding a 10'2, so it's a bit different," added Kemper.

In Round 2, Tomas Hermes is the first athlete to suffer a major loss. The Brazilian was sitting 11th in the QS rankings and was eliminated from the competition. He will have to wait for the end of the event to know his luck.

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