Top seeds made their Round 4 debuts at the World Surf League (WSL) Essential Costa Rica Open Pro Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000 amidst an already talent-stacked field of competitors that proved formidable opponents. Continued three-to-four conditions allowed for surfers to put on an absolute showcase of incredible surfing throughout the day as Round 4 was completed in its entirety before beginning the opening four heats of Round 5.
The inclement weather couldn’t put a damper on Deivid Silva’s (BRA) shining performance – posting a Perfect 10 with a tail-high, full rotation that he was able to ride cleanly out of before finishing the closing section. Silva currently sits at No. 14 on the WQS rankings, after being relegated from No. 8, and is anxious to make it back into the Top 10 for a chance at qualifying for the Championship Tour (CT).
“That was a really fun heat, some of the waves were offering some good sections for airs and I’m just so happy to get a ten on that final wave,” Silva said. “It reminds me a lot of home and I train in these conditions every day I can and stoked to turn that into a heat win. This is a super important event for me with 3,000 points, but I’m feeling confident and just focused on the task at hand.”
Immediately following that heat, fellow Brazilian and current WQS No. 4 Ian Gouevia (BRA) earned a win to continue his chance at solidifying himself within the Top 10 for a chance at CT qualification.
The event was brought to an abrupt halt after Tales Rodrigues (BRA) saw a crocodile in the lineup of Esterillos Este, Costa Rica, in Round 5 Heat 1. The lifeguards patrolling the waters on jetskis sprang into action and circled around Rodrigues to ward off the crocodile as Rodrigues, Santiago Muniz (BRA), Luel Felipe (BRA), and Tomas Fernandes (PRT) made their way to shore.
Rodrigues was pointing to the water where he saw the crocodile breach in his proximity after making his way back to the lineup. Fortunately, Rodrigues remained physically unscathed by the incident, but was badly shaken up.
“All of us are extremely grateful that no one was seriously injured in the lineup today,” North America Tour Manager Brian Robbins said. “Rodrigues’ quick actions to make the water safety aware was amazing and the water safety team’s rapid response was truly commendable. The safety of our athletes is of the highest priority for the WSL and the decision was made to call the contest off for the day immediately. We want to express our utmost gratitude to the water safety team for their support and helping keep our athletes safe.”
“I ended my wave and was paddling back strongly when I saw the turbulence in the water,” Rodrigues said following the incident. “It was about the size of my surfboard. I have no words to describe what I’m feeling right now, it was truly terrifying.”
The contest did not recommence following the siting and event organizers will reconvene at 6:30 a.m. local time to assess the lineup with the water safety team.
The incident occurred following a full day of competition and Round 5 Heat 1 had 13:23 remaining on the clock with Fernandes leading the heat, accruing an 11.84 heat total. Muniz held second place with a 7.17 heat total, Felipe remained in third place with a 6.47 total, and Rodrigues sat in fourth place with a 4.97 total.
Prior to the serious situation on hand the Brazilian Storm stole the show from the first-goings with numerous excellent, to near-perfect, rides ridden throughout Round 4. With nearly all the top seeded surfers still accounted for, there is plenty of incredible performances to be seen.
Rodrigues performed brilliantly, boasting an 8.50 to take Round 4 Heat 1. But it was Felipe who posted a near-perfect 9.93 in the following heat and followed up with a 7.00. Currently sitting at No. 81, the Brazilian still has his ambitions set high and wants to earn a big result here in Costa Rica.
“That heat I started off pretty well with two good scores but it felt amazing to get that nine at the end,” Felipe said. “The waves were really fun this morning and I just kept building my scores — really just waiting for a good one and so stoked it came. This is a really big contest since there are still a lot of points up for grabs with the 6,000 in Brazil and two 10,000s in Hawaii so I’m still keeping my hopes for CT qualification. But, it starts with this contest so I need a good result here first.”
Lucca Mesinas (PER) continued the trend of excellent surfing and boasted a near-perfect 9.43 of his own, backing it up with an 8.93. With Kilian Garland (USA) and Taylor Clark (USA) both eliminated in Round 4, Mesinas has the opportunity to claim the North America QS title with a runner-up finish at this event. But, the Peruvian has bigger ambitions on his mind.
“I’m really just surfing and having fun,” Mesinas said. “If I win the North America title that will be great, but these points are important and I’m keeping my focus in every heat as it comes. Before my heat I saw there was really good left to the north so that became my plan and I just went straight there. I’m confident in my backhand coming from nothing but lefts in Peru where I live.”
“I couldn’t really hear my scores but I felt good in my surfing and knew those scores would be pretty good – it’s great to know I got a 9 and an 8,” Mesinas added. “I always come and surf about forty-minutes before my heat to really try and find out where the best waves are and how they are. Everyone rips so you just have to choose the right waves in order to come out of these heats.”
Event organizers will reconvene at 6:30 a.m. local time along with the water safety team to conduct another full patrol of the lineup before determining the event’s status of a 7:00 a.m. start.
Essential Costa Rica Open Pro Men’s QS3,000 Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Tales Rodrigues (BRA) 13.97, Ethan Ewing (AUS) 13.83, Kilian Garland (USA) 13.74, Nomme Mignot (FRA) 8.80
Heat 2: Luel Felipe (BRA) 16.63, Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 10.73, Samuel Pupo (BRA) 10.33, Jose Lopez (VEN) 9.20
Heat 3: Miguel Tudela (PER) 12.84, Tomas Fernandez (PRT) 10.57, Wesley Leite (BRA) 9.77, Nolan Rapoza (USA) 7.77
Heat 4: Marcos Correa (BRA) 15.67, Santiago Muniz (ARG) 14.43, Leandro Usuna (ARG) 13.10, Paul Cesar Distinguin (FRA) 8.47
Heat 5: Frederico Morais (PRT) 12.50, Matt Passaquindici (USA) 11.93, Rafael Teixeira (BRA) 11.33, Kevin Sullivan (HAW) 4.50
Heat 6: Noe Mar McGonagle (CRI) 12.23, Luke Dillon (GBR) 10.90, Griffin Colapinto (USA) 10.40, Shaun Burns (USA) 7.13
Heat 7: Jordy Collins (USA) 12.33, Lucas Silveira (BRA) 12.13, Medi Veminardi (REU) 11.70, Charly Quivront (FRA) 6.50
Heat 8: Deivid Silva (BRA) 18.67, Alonso Correa (PER) 15.57, Jason Torres (CRI) 12.60, Alan Donato (BRA) 8.10
Heat 9: Ian Gouveia (BRA) 14.93, Manuel Selman (CHL) 11.30, Elijah Gates (HAW) 10.03, Jair Perez (CRI) 9.97
Heat 10: Jackson Butler (AUS) 13.76, Granger Larsen (HAW) 13.50, Marco Fernandez (BRA) 13.27, Dylan Southworth (MEX) 10.77,
Heat 11: Lucca Mesinas (PER) 18.36, Andy Criere (FRA) 14.03, Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 10.70, Guillermo Satt (CHL) 12.77
Heat 12: Jorgann Couzinet (REU) 16.50, Oney Anwar (IDN) 15.34, Francisco Bellorin (VEN) 12.23, Che Allan (BRB) 7.97
Heat 13: Jake Marshall (USA) 14.84, Carlos Munoz (CRI) 14.14, Taylor Clark (USA) 11.20, Parker Coffin (USA) 10.63
Heat 14: Mateia Hiquily (PYF) 15.37, Dimitri Ouvre (BLM) 12.56, Kevin Schulz (USA) 10.50, Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 9.96
Heat 15: Timothee Bisso (GLP) 15.60, Keoni Yan (JPN) 12.27, Timothee Bisso (GLP) 15.60, Joaquin Del Castillo (PER) 11.74, Victor Bernado (BRA) 9.50
Heat 16: Yago Dora (BRA) 12.73, Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 11.46, Josh Burke (BRB) 10.54, Yuri Goncalves (BRA) 10.27