The ASP 6-Star Reef Pro El Salvador returned to improved three to four foot waves at Punta Roca following yesterday’s lay-day, completing both Rounds 4 and 5 to decide the event’s Quarterfinalists. The Reef Pro El Salvador represents one of only three ASP 6-Star events on the 2013 men’s ASP Qualifying Series, playing a vital role in surfer’s qualification campaigns for the 2014 ASP World Championship Tour.
Josh Kerr, the top seed at the Reef Pro El Salvador and current ASP World No. 9, snatched the day’s high score of 9.33 for a deep forehand tube combined with a variety of frontside turns. Kerr would go on to secure a berth in the Quarterfinals, but the Australian was forced to put in a hard-fought effort against Costa Rican up-and-comer Carlos Munoz in their Round of 16 clash.
Fred Patacchia continued to unload his ferocious backhand attack on the El Salvadorian jewel of Punta Roca, detonating one of the day’s high heat totals of 16.60 out of 20 in the Round of 24. The Hawaiian’s high-scores came compliments of seamless backhand combinations, and Patacchia would go on to secure his position in the Quarterfinals with another excellent performance over dangerous Brazilian Messias Felix in the Round of 16.
“I wanted to be patient and I know a lot of guys in the qualifying events don’t have a whole lot of patience, they want to battle, but he was pretty patient,” Patacchia said.
Tanner Gudauskas, current No. 37 on the ASP World Ranking, put in two electric performances on his backhand today, advancing out of his Round of 24 heat before besting fellow goofy-footer Hizunome Bettero in their Round of 16 clash.
While the windy afternoon conditions presented plenty of challenges, Australian Mitch Crews got the best of current ASP World No. 19 Aritz Aranbur, in a hard-fough, high action affair to secure his Quarterfinals berth.
“I got a little bit nervous at the start because Aritz (Aranburu) rattled me with a full heat strategy and tried to keep me off of the first wave,” Crews said. “I was a little shaky, but as soon as I found my feet I got a couple of good ones. He got a couple of smokers at the end and I didn’t know how it was going to go. It was a good heat.”
Crews, current No. 27 on the ASP World Ranking and past runner-up at Punta Roca, is out to secure big points towards his ASP WCT qualification campaign and hopes to maintain his form on the final day of competition.
“Everything is starting to click,” Crews said. “I think winning in Japan earlier this year was a flip of the switch for me and it allowed me to relax more in my heats. I’m just trying to surf the best I can and be on the best waves and it’s paying off.”
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7:30am local time and will crown a Reef Pro El Salvador champion by day’s end.
You'll be able to watch it all live, here.
REEF PRO EL SALVADOR ROUND 5 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 15.17 def. Dion Atkinson (AUS) 13.00
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.73 def. Carlos Munoz (CRI) 11.33
Heat 3: Tim Reyes (USA) 10.87 def. Nathan Yeomans (USA) 8.10
Heat 4: Wade Carmichael (AUS) 14.50 def. Thomas Woods (AUS) 12.84
Heat 5: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 15.17 def. Messias Felix (BRA) 12.03
Heat 6: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 13.94 def. Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 12.67
Heat 7: Mitch Crews (AUS) 17.04 def. Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 16.33
Heat 8: Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 15.77 def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 15.50
REEF PRO EL SALVADOR ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 13.87, Carlos Munoz (CRI) 9.84, Willian Cardoso (BRA) 9.67
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.76, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 13.56, Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 11.76
Heat 3: Tim Reyes (USA) 11.60, Wade Carmichael (AUS) 9.97, Torrey Meister (HAW) 9.60
Heat 4: Thomas Woods (AUS) 14.67, Nathan Yeomans (USA) 13.17, Damien Hobgood (USA) 10.30
Heat 5: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 16.60, Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 14.40, Conner Coffin (USA) 7.66
Heat 6: Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 15.17, Messias Felix (BRA) 12.40, Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 8.27
Heat 7: Mitch Crews (AUS) 13.60, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 10.16, Taylor Knox (USA) 8.84
Heat 8: Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 17.63, Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 13.86, Jay Thompson (AUS) 9.40