The Pro Santa Cruz 2018 pres. by Oakley resumed in very similar conditions with three-to-four foot lefts and rights breaking close to shore, slightly degraded by the strong Northerly winds.
The level rose up a notch as competition entered Round Three with some higher seeds making their debut in Santa Cruz. Things got even more serious in Heat 6 with a good battle between Jake Marshall (USA) and Charly Quivront (FRA).
Quivront was first to act but the Californian with a late charge built a 13.87 heat total to turn the heat and take the win. In his third year full-time on the Qualifying Series, Marshall claimed two good results already this season and will look to keep the ball rolling in Portugal.
“It’s pretty windy but there are some fun waves out there and I’m stoked to get a couple,” Marshall said. “You just have to find the right position because it’s pretty fun when you get the right wave. I came to watch some action yesterday and I was psyched to get going today, conditions are better than expected. My goal this season is to build a good ranking and hopefully get into the Triple Crown at the end of the year.”
His compatriot Jordy Collins (USA) continued to honor the stars and stripes in the very next heat with a solid performance for his spot into Round Four. The goofy footer found a clean left that bowled up to offer two great sections, and went to town with powerful and critical turns, posting a 7.83, one of the highest single-waves of the event that far.
“It’s a nice, very punchy beachbreak but today is really windy and kind of all-over the place,” Collins stated. “I waited for that wave and luckily I was in priority when it came. It looked like a great little wall and I managed to do two good turns and it worked out. I’m stoked to be back here in Portugal, I love it here and can’t wait for the rest of the event.”
Weslley Dantas (BRA) then took things to a whole new level in Heat 10, taking the debate to the air to post the first excellent score. The Brazilian first launched into a full rotation on his forehand, very quickly rotated to land perfectly on his feet for an 8.77. Minutes later, he started on a similar left and threw a Toledo-esque alley-oop for a 7.33 and put his three opponents in a combination situation.
“The wind is super strong and it’s good for those airs, I could have just surfed the waves too there were some fun ones,” Dantas said. “I feel great at the moment, fit and surfing well so I’m having fun competing even if it’s a bit colder that I expected. My brother and I are on opposite sides of the draw so ideally we’d meet in the final, but I’m not even sure I could beat him, he’s a great surfer.”
South Africa’s hottest surfer right now Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) took out Heat 14 without fireworks, but still advanced into the top seeded Round Four. McGillivray scored his best result ever earlier this year when he won the QS3,000 in Israel, and will chase another major win to keep his spot amongst the Qualifying Series Top 5.
“It was getting tricky in our heat with a really low tide and still a lot of wind but there were still waves out there to find,” McGillivray said. “I was happy to get a quick start and then there were a lot of run-arounds and I struggled to find a back-up score.”
Also standing out were four portuguese QS warriors, Luís Perloiro, Pedro Coelho, Pedro Henrique and Tomás Fernandes, whom will join their 3 countryman, Miguel Blanco, Afonso Antunes and Frederico Morais in round 4.
Event officials and competitors will be back at praia da fisica at 9 a.m Thursday for a potential early start of Round Four with the event’s top seeds.