The second day of the QS 10,000 SATA Azores Pro (located in an archipelago off the coast of Portugal) unfolded in clean, three-to-four foot surf allowing some of the World's top surfers to perform and drop huge scores in Round 2 of competition.
Brent Dorrington (AUS), 28, collected the day's highest combined heat total, an incredible 18.86 out of 20 possible, including a near-perfect 9.93 for a clean exited backhand barrel punctuated by a quick floater on the falling lip. The talented Aussie hailing from Coolangatta, had already bagged two excellent 8+ rides and continued to enjoy the conditions, posting another excellent score before the final horn.
"That wave kind of came out of nowhere, my plan was to stick to the right and then that thing popped up," Dorrington said. "It got pretty deep at the start and I just fit in that floater at the end, I thought I was going to go head over heels but I pulled it off so I was stoked. It was a little bit all-over the place this morning but as soon as my heat came up it really cleaned up and yeah I'm looking forward to the rest of the week for sure."
Adam Melling (AUS), 30, former winner of the Portuguese Waves Series - Cascais Trophy, posted the first and only perfect 10 point ride of the event so far, on a righthand deep barrel followed by a two-turn combo to finish the wave.
"It's good to be back here, I had a 10 here I think 3 years ago, and haven't had another one since," Melling stated. "That wave was pretty good, paddling into it I felt quite deep and I got through it and got a couple turns so yeah I'm happy with that. Getting good results on the QS would definitely help, I'm getting some heats under the belt and it definitely helps with confidence. I've won the Portuguese Waves Series before and would love to win it again."
Ezekiel Lau (HAW), 21, found similarities at Santa Barbara with his native Pacific atoll and managed to showcase his Hawaiian power in the clean peaks. With three dangerous Brazilian opponents, the young regularfooter stayed extremely patient in the lineup, only opting to ride three waves during the 30-minute matchup, two of which scored above 8 points.
"I feel good, the waves are a lot easier today than yesterday," Lau reflected. "Today it seems like the banks are pretty good in the corner and the waves are cleaner. I like coming to the Azores, it's pretty similar to home, a lot of power and beachbreaks so I'm having fun here."
Evan Geiselman (USA), 22, launched into a clean forehand rotation grabbed all the way and completed the wave with a nice floater to net an impressive 9.67 and take a win in Round 2. The talented Floridian relegated current World No. 21 Miguel Pupo (BRA) into second with his last minute heroics and will look to confirm his excellent form when the event resumes.
"I watched Miguel's two 7s and realized how the judges were scoring, it seemed like they wanted something different cause everyone's been doing two backside bangers or something," Geiselman analysed. "On my 9 it felt like a pretty big air and really corked down in the wind. I love doing airs, I love doing the most progressive stuff I can and film it, and I really want to make heats."
Timothee Bisso (GLP), 18, rounded up the day's action with a convincing heat win over Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) and Brazilians Thiago Camarao and Marco Fernandez. The junior surfer from Guadeloupe, who won an amateur European event at praia de Santa Barbara last year, found his rhythm and collected two major heat wins in his first QS 10,000 appearance.
"I'm making a lot of points here and will surf in the third round tomorrow, so for a first time in a QS 10,000 I'm super happy," Bisso commented. "Conditions were really tough today and not everyone got good waves, but I managed to find two fun lefts and I'm stoked. I came here last year and won the Euro Junior on this very same spot so I feel pretty confident out there."
Event officials and surfers will reconvene at 9 a.m. on Thursday for a potential restart of competition with the Round of 24.