Event organizers put the Quiksilver PE Pro competition on hold until the evening in hopes of a change in wind direction, but prevailing onshore winds forced competition off for the remainder of the day.
Ezekiel Lau (Honolulu, HI), 17, who entered the event fresh off of his victory at the Copa Quiksilver El Salvador, carried momentum from his maiden ASP win over to his first heat at Playa Zicatela and put on a dominant performance to begin his campaign.
"It was a good rhythm to start off with and I feel good," Lau said. "I paddled out early this morning and tried to get a feel for how everything was moving out there. I saw the section where it was doubling up a little more and decided to sit there and try and get a couple."
The Oahu native opened his heat with a clean backhand barrel to the tune of 7.43 before threading the needle on a deep righthander to take the highest single-wave score of the day, a near-perfect 9.57 (out of 10). Lau's 17.00 heat-total was the highest of the day.
"That wave (the 9.57) was a bomb," Lau said. "I thought I was kind of deep, but I kind of saw it shoulder off to where I could make it. I took off under the lip and got through that first section, which was kind of a foam ball and once I got through that it was just open and perfect."
Cesar Petroni (Puerto Escondido, MEX), 18, who entered the Quiksilver PE Pro via his performance in the Puerto Escondido local trials, was the top representative from the contingent of local chargers today. The Mexican talent found two clean barrels to garner a 13.60 heat total and a Round 1 victory.
"I got in to this contest through the local trials and I'm happy to be surfing in this event," Petroni said. "I've been surfing out here a lot and I'm glad that I got two good ones out there because you never know what you're going to get."
For live coverage of the Quiksilver PE Pro as well as all media downloads log on to www.quiksilver.com/puerto
Quiksilver PE Pro Round of 112 Results:
Heat 1: Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 9.07, Martin Olea (MEX) 5.87, Jason Shibata (HAW) 5.50
Heat 2: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 17.00, Colin Dwyer (USA) 9.76, Diego Naranjo (CRI) 9.67, Christian Jensen (HAW) 7.87
Heat 3: Cesar Petroni (MEX) 13.60, Alvaro Malpartida (PER) 10.96, Michele Veronesi (MEX) 7.86, Santiago Garamendy (ARG) 5.97
Heat 4: Adan Hernandez (MEX) 10.40, Eli Olson (HAW) 7.50, Marco Galindo (MEX) 4.53, Mitchell Salazar (MEX) 4.27
Heat 5: Oscar Perez (MEX) 9.33, Adrian Rodriguez (MEX) 6.80, Ezra Sitt (HAW) 4.20
Heat 6: Martin Jeri (PER) 9.20, Andres Di Marco (ARG) 7.00, Lucas Hall (MEX) 4.40, Alex Munoz (MEX) 3.80
Heat 7: Chris Foster (HAW) 7.13, Heriberto Ramirez (MEX) 6.53, Rafael Rivero (MEX) 6.26, Korak Tinoco (VEN) 4.37