|Former Finalists Put on a Show
As conditions continued to improve throughout the day, a few surfers stood out from the crowd, particularly two that fought for the win back in 2018 at Ribeira d’Ilhas. World No.5 Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) and Ryan Callinan (AUS) had an epic joust at the time, which Callinan won to seal his requalification for the CT.
Both surfers looked in fine form for their first heat in Ericeira today. Igarashi posted the highest combined heat total of the day with 15.07 points and Callinan’s 14.10 was up there with the day’s best as well.
“This wave is such a hard wave, but at the same time it’s always very similar,” Igarashi analyzed. “Even the waves that I got my scores on, I didn’t think they’d offer much but they ended up doubling up and that’s always what you’re looking for out there.”
While the Japanese’s fate does not rest on a result here – Igarashi made the Rip Curl WSL Finals and is a lock on the 2023 CT – for Callinan, who currently sits in 4th on the CS rankings, points matter at a location he appreciates.
“It’s hard to tell where the cut off is going to be so I’m just trying to make as many heats as I can,” Callinan stated. “I’m enjoying Portugal and I just want to keep surfing and improving every heat. I actually haven’t been back here since winning in 2018 but I think it suits my surfing when it connects so hopefully I can get another big result.”
The current leader on the CS, Rio Waida (IDN) did not let a bad result at the US Open affect his performance in the next event as the Indonesian advanced through his first heat with a big performance of his own. His light footed and dynamic approach worked perfectly on the crumbly faces this afternoon and Waida put together two solid scores for a Round of 48 berth.
“First of all it’s great to be back to Portugal, it’s a very beautiful country,” Waida said. “I didn’t surf my best in that first heat but that was enough to make it through so I’m happy. There’s definitely pressure in being the number one on the rankings, and until I’m officially qualified I just want to keep making heats and try to win one more event!”
In the first 18 heats of the EDP Vissla Pro Ericeira, most of the top seeds made it through, except for four, Brazil’s Mateus Herdy and Joao Chianca as well as Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) and Nolan Rapoza (USA) .
When the event resumes, six heats remain in the men’s opening round, featuring among others, former WSL Top 5 Morgan Cibilic (AUS), rankings No.2 Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) as well as the last Portuguese surfer in the field, Guilherme Ribeiro (PRT).
Event officials will be back at Ribeira d’Ilhas for the next call at 7:30 a.m WET Monday, October 3, 2022.