Day 5 of the Reef ISA World Surfing Games showed positive signs of the coming swell. As the event approaches the final days of competition, the National Teams face critical rounds that will determine the final positions in the chase for the Gold Medals.
Once again, competition had a delayed start, due to the extreme low tide, to allow for optimal conditions for the world's best surfers.
Today featured a mix of Men's and Women's surfing action in both Qualifying and Repechage. The Repechage is a do-or-die round in the ISA's patented double elimination format. If an athlete places 3rd or 4th in a Repechage heat, they are out of the competition.
At this point, the competition had narrowed to about half of the original competitors, making every heat exciting.
"Competitors are not holding back as we approach the final days of the Reef ISA World Surfing Games," remarked ISA President Fernando Aguerre. "Every heat counts and the National Teams cannot afford to lose too many surfers if they hope to be World Champions. The surf and the competition are heating up so don't miss any of the live webcast all the way from beautiful Santa Catalina, Panama."
The action began with the Men's, where local Jean Carlos "Oli" Gonzales had one of the best performances of the round. Gonzales, with a big air reverse and critical turns, posted an impressive 15.83 heat score, handily defeating Davey Brand (RSA, 11.37), Gabriel Villaran (PER, 10.20) and Nahuel Amalfitano (ARG, 9.93).
The Panamanian also scored one of the highest single waves of the day, with a 9.00 for an amazing air reverse, landing perfectly right before the rocks at the point in Santa Catalina.
Brazil's Alan Jhones had the highest total heat score of the round earning 17.83, defeating Leandro Usuna (ARG, 10.07), Adrian Rodriguez (MEX, 9.17) and Alejandro Moreda (PUR,4.60). Jhones only rode two waves in the heat to seal his win, with individual scores of 9.50 and 8.33 points each.
The Woman's heat of the day featured South Africa's Tanika Hoffman, who with an 11.53 narrowly defeated, by only .03, Japan's Nao Omura 11.50 and sending home Thandi Tipene (NZL, 5.77) and Evelin Centeno (SAL, 4.33).
Other Woman's standouts of the day included Valeria Sole (PER), Faye Zoetmulder, Enilda Alonso (PAN), Maria Rojas (VEN) and Barbara Segatto (BRA), all winning their respective heats and advancing to the next round.
To wrap up the day, Men's Repechage took place as a storm was approaching. The wind calmed down making conditions great to close out the day.
Peru's Miguel Tudela had the best score of this Round, posting 15.83, defeating David Van Zyl (RSA, 8.67), his teammate Gabriel Villarán (PER, 8.17) and Sean Peggs (NZL, 7.97).
The elimination of Villaran along with the 13-times National Panamanian Champion, Gary Saavedra, were the upsets of the day. Saavedra, in a close, low scoring heat was defeated by Maximilliano Cross (CHI, 5.46) and Israel Barona (ECU, 5.27).
For a full list of today's results, click here- http://isawsg.com/results/
The 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games resumes tomorrow with The Morning Show at 11:10am (Panama time) hosted by Chris Ernst, featuring Costa Rica's Leilani McGonagle and Mexico's Dylan Southworth.
Following that, the competition will feature:
Open Men's Repechage Round 4
Open Women's Repechage Round 3
Open Men's Qualifying Round 4
Open Women's Qualifying 3
Open Men's Repechage 5
Open Women's Repechage Round 4
Open Men's Repechage 6
The live webcast of the entire championship is available on http://isawsg.com/
Here is the schedule for Day 6:
Friday, 11am call--Santa Catalina, Panama
Friday, 9am West Coast USA
Friday, 6pm Western Europe/South Africa
Saturday, 3am Sydney, Australia
Saturday, 4am Auckland, New Zealand