Copyright:WSL / POULLENOTDescription:Frederico Morais (PRT) martinique surf pro
At the end of a pleasant day on Saturday, there are only sixteen left in the Martinique Surf Pro: four Brazilians, three Frenchmen (including two from Guadeloupe), two Americans, two Spaniards, two from Portugal, an Australian, a Peruvian, and a South African. Today, the organizers opened the fifth round bringing together 32 competitors. Tomorrow (Sunday), the sixth round, the quarter finals, the semi finals and the final will take place to determine the winner of the the 2016 edition of what is the only Caribbean leg in the Qualifying Series (QS) and therefore, who will follow in the footsteps of the Hawaiian, Joshua Moniz. There is a lot at stake, as the winner of the event in Martinique will pocket 3000 points in the QS, the world surf qualifying circuit.
You would have to be extremely clever to be able to make any predictions about the winner of the second Martinique Surf Pro. The 16 competitors, who have qualified for the sixth round (see the list below), are all in with a chance. On Saturday, some of the big names left the competition. This proves once again that the standard is very high at this competition in Martinqiue, with an exceptional line-up for a QS 3,000 event.
Suspense in the fifth round
The competitors, who are beginning to get to know the waves at Basse-Pointe, put on a fantastic show on Saturday for the crowds, who turned out in force. The organizers launched the first heat at 11 with seven other following that, which meant that they completed the whole of the fifth round. Everyone was watching closely the surfers, who have already taken part in the Championship Tour (CT), which brings together the elite of world surfing. The American, Brett Simpson opened the eventbut failed to qualify, beaten by the Brazilians, Jesses Mendes and Alan Donato. Another former member of the CT, lthe Brazilian, Willian Cardoso was also eliminated in a heat, which saw the qualification of the Brazilian, Deivid Silva and Timothée Bisso from Guadeloupe, the neighbouring island, who is progressing well. The other competitor from Guadeloupe in the fifth round, Charly Martin, was also on form on Saturday. He won his heat with a score of 15,23 points, the second best score of the day after Deivid Silva (15,67 points).
The other two surfers from the CT are continuing in the competition; the American, Patrick Gudauskas finished second in his heat, behind the Portuguese surfer, Vasco Ribeiro. As for the Spaniard, Aritz Aranburu he also took second place in a heat won by the American, Evan Geiselman.
As for the French, Vincent Duvignac, Andy Crière, Marc Lacomare and Medi Veminardi from Reunion Island, the event has ended in the fifth round. Winner in his heat, Diego Mignot is continuing to do well. Seth Moniz, brother to Joshua, the title holder of the Martinique Surf Pro, was eliminated after a close contest. With 30 seconds to go to the end of his heat, the South African, Slade Prestwich grabbed a second wave and got ahead.The qulification was decided by a lead of 0,17 points, or in other words next to nothing. We should also stress the fine performance from the Australian, Luke Hynd, who entered the competition in the first round and so has already taken part in five heats. The other 15 who have qualified, all entered in the second, third or fourth round depending on their position in the 2016 Qualifying Series.
The best for the end
For the sixth round, the 16 surfers will be divided up into 4 pools. In each heat, the first two will make it through with the other two eliminated from the competition. There will then be the quarter finals, which will involve duels. The four surfers eliminated in the quarter finals will each win 1260 points in the QS. The semi-finalists will pocket 1680 points, the finalist 2250 points and the winner, 3000 points. A huge score thay will all be aiming for. It all begins tomorrow (Sunday) at 8 in the morning.
Aritz Aranburu (Spain, 30, second in his heat, qualified for the sixth round): “Tomorrow, it will be all or nothing”
“There is a lot at stake in the Martinique Surf Pro and the standard was very high from the first rounds. The waves are very nice to surf. I hope that the swell will increase on Sunday for the final part of the competition. Everything will be decided tomorrow. For me, it will be all or nothing.”
Patrick Gudauskas (United States, 30, winner of his heat, qualified for the sixth round): “I don't regret coming”
“It was a great heat. I was up against three Europeans (the French surfers, Marc Lacomare and Medi Veminardi, and the Portuguese competitor, Vasco Ribeiro). I have taken part in lots of events this year. I wasa bit tired, but my friends told me I really had to come here. I don't regret coming! Now, my goal is to reach the final.”
Diego Mignot (France, 20, qualified for the sixth round): “Stay calm and wait for the right waves”
“The conditions were a bit tricky with waves coming in every direction. I didn't really know where to get in position. When it's like that, you need to stay calm and wait for the right waves. The ones, which will enable you to get a good score. At the start, there were 140 surfers and now there are only sixteen left. I'm pleased to be one of them and to be staying in Martinique.”
Jesse Mendes (Brazil, 23, qualified for the sixth round): “The last two WSL champions were Brazilian and that gives us a boost”
“It was hard getting back into the rhythm of things after three days on stand by. At the start of the heats, I was so looking forward to getting back in the water in the competition that I was afraid of losing control. I had to calm down and try to stay patient. The Brazilians are always good competitors and we form a good team. . The last two WSL world champions were Brazilian and that gives a boost to our confidence. We are maturing. I hope that at least one Brazilaian will reach the final here in Martinique. This is a paradise island and I'm pleased to be here for the first time. I heard a lot of good things about the waves and I can confirm that they are incredible.”
Timothée Bisso (Guadeloupe, 19, qualified for the sixth round): “Pleased to represent Guadeloupe here in Martinique”
"I managed to qualify in a tricky heat up against Willian Cardoso in particular, a former member of the Championship Tour. I've been battling it out with top class surfers for a while and I know they can be beaten. In the fifth round, I tried to get the right waves, of course, but I also stopped others from taking them, by making the most of the rules on who has priority. I'm pleased to be representing Guadeloupe here in Martinique. We feel at home here, which is nice.”
Gonzalo Zubizarreta (Spain, 30, 2nd in his heat and qulified for the sixth round):”The standard is exceptional for a QS 3000 event”
“Qualifying was down to very little. With two minutes to go to the end, I spotted a great wave and manage to surf it, which meant I made it to the next round. The waves are great fun here. I didn't know Martinique before and I think it's one of the most beautiful places I have visited. There are a lot of excellent surfers in the competition. The Martinique Surf Pro is probably the QS 3,000 event with the highest standard that I have taken part in during my career.”
Luke Hynd (Australia, 20, 2nd in his heat and qualified for the sixth round): “It's the hardest competition I have ever taken part in”
“The conditions here in Martinique are very pleasant. There's plenty of sunshine, and the water is warm. I'm pleased that I'm continuing in the Martinique Surf Pro. This is the hardest competition I have ever taken part in. There are some big names here and any one can win their heat. I'm going to have to continue surfing as I have done since the first round. I feel confident about what lies ahead and am feeling good.”
Slade Prestwich (South Africa,21, second in his heat, qualified for the sixth round: “Looking forward to tomorrow”
“It was very tiring, as I had to work hard all the time. The more I surfed, the better my scores. The waves grew during the day, which is very promising for what lies ahead. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow.”
The line-up for the sixth round of the 2016 Martinique Surf Pro: 8 nationalities, 4 continents
4 Brazilians: Ian Gouveia, Alan Donato, Jesse Mendes and Deivid Silva
3 Frenchmen: Diego Mignot, Timothée Bisso (Guadeloupe) and Charly Martin (Guadeloupe)
2 Americans: Patrick Gudauskas and Evan Geiselman
2 Portuguese surfers: Frederico Morais and Vasco Ribeiro
2 Spaniards: Aritz Aranburu and Gonzalo Zubizarreta
1 Australian: Luke Hynd
1 Peruvian: Lucca Mesinas
1 South African: Slade Prestwich
- 140 surfers coming from five continents took part in the second Martinique Surf Pro, which started on 17th April at the Basse-Pointe spot in the NE of the island. This is the only Caribbean leg in the world surf qualifying circuit in 2016. The winner will pocket 3000 points in the Qualifying Series (QS).
- 16 surfers remain in the competition before the final phases, which are due to take place tomorrow (Sunday).
Copyright:WSL / POULLENOTDescription:Diego Mignot (FRA) martinique surf pro
Copyright:WSL / POULLENOTDescription:Luke Hynd (AUS) martinique surf pro
Copyright:WSL / POULLENOTDescription:Slade Prestwich (ZAF) martinique surf pro