Bathsheba, Barbados, Wednesday 13th November 2019: After 2 consecutive lay days, competition got underway today with pristine conditions for Men's and Women's Round 1 of the 2019 Barbados Pro.
As expected, current World #1 Poenaiki Raioha from Tahiti came out of the gates all guns blazing, posting a couple of strong 7+ point rides and advancing directly through to Round 3. This was followed up by a strong performance from the leading French talent on the APP World Tour, Benoit Carpentier who posted a high 7 and a high 6 to skip the repechage to advance directly on.
But fireworks really started to kick off coming into heat 5, where Matheus Salazar came up against fellow Brazilian and current World #3 Wellington Reis, posting the first 9 point ride of the day. However, a contentious inteference in the dying minutes of the heat, almost cost Matheus the lead, just holding on to advance directly in Round 3, sending Wellington to the Repechage.
Sean Poynter from Florida skipped Sunset and had a dissapointing finish in New York, but is back in full effect here in Barbados posting not only the highest heat score total of the day, but also the single highest wave score so far. Surfing with power and flow, Sean developed an almost unsurmountable lead in his heat, despite a strong performance from the up and coming Lucase Medeiros from Brazil, who will be looking for redemption in the repechage.
Meanwhile in the final heat of Men's Round 1, a lull in the conditions led to a less explosive show, but saw New York SUP Open Champion and current World #2, Luiz Diniz from Brazil edge ahead of the young talent from Puerto Rico, Maximillian Torres to advance directly to Round 3.
Check out the highlights, galleries and much more at appworldtour.com & @appworldtour and make sure to join us for all the action LIVE from the Soup Bowl in Barbados tomorrow morning from as early as 7:30am Barbados time.
In the women's division, competition was no less intense, with some close battles across the board, but top seeds for the most part coming out on top.
Izzi Gomez cam out of the gates swinging and was on her way to an excellent score, before coming unstuck keeping her score in the good range: however, it was enough for her to take the win and advance on into Round 3.
The current World Champion Iballa Moreno from Gran Canaria was able to refind her 2018 form to take a convincing win against the 2019 Sunset Beach Pro Champion Fiona Wylde, with a solid display of polished surfing.
In heat 3, Aline Adisaka from Brazil led for much of the heat, continuing her impressive roll in 2019, but was edged out of advancing position by a late flurry of action from the Peruvian Vania Torres, who found the score she needed to advance directly to Round 3.
Meanwhile, the final heat saw Shakira Westdorp from Australia, current World number 3 take control of the heat to take the win and skip the repechage round ahead of Lara Claydon from Maui, completing an epic first day of competition here in beautiful Barbados.