None of the top seeds lost their step after a lay day yesterday and smashed their Round Four performances to determine stacked Quarterfinal draws. With today's action wrapped, a historic day for the island of Barbados will crown its first-ever Qualifying Series (QS) champions at the Barbados Surf Pro QS3,000.
Holly Wawn annihilated the line up at Drill Hall Beach with a massive 9.77 to secure her spot in the Quarterfinals. The Australian has found her groove throughout this event, posting an 8.33 in her opening Round Two heat and continued to show that form today in Round Four -- and her keen eye that helped get a 17.10 heat total under priority.
"It's good to just be paying attention, as well as know the situations," Wawn said. "It's important out there with it being smaller on a break like this to have that mindset and just stay with it. It's great to make a Quarter, but I really want to make a Final and get those bigger points to set myself up for a good run this year."
Chelsea Tuach has been relentless at her homebreak and posted an 8.50 in her stacked Round Four bout alongside Round Three standout Tessa Thyssen, French competitor Maud Le Car and wildcard selection threat, Kirra Pinkerton. Tuach has already claimed a win earlier this year at the Shoe City Pro QS1,000 and has found her rhythm once again.
"I'm feeling really good and it feels great to be moving through rounds with big scores -- the nerves are gone and now I'm just excited," Tuach said. "This momentum is so key and it's going to be an action-packed day tomorrow that won't be easy. Every heat is just stacked which is what makes it so exciting. Just like at the Shoe City Pro, I needed to find that momentum through rounds and here I know I can make it all the way -- I just have to stay focused.""
An in-form Alessa Quizon looked dangerous once again with another heat win to advance through to the Quarterfinals. The Hawaiian needs a result here two early exits at the two QS6,000s Australian leg, but could be on her way to a 3,000-point jumpstart here in Barbados with her 2017 outlook dialed in.
"I haven't made a finals day this year so far which is nice to break that curse, no matter what the points are it's just nice to make it to the last day," Quizon said. "It definitely helps knowing what waves you need to look for since the smaller ones lined up better in that heat, so I'll be cautious of that in the next one. I almost forgot what it was like to surf on my forehand and I know I'm faster on it than my backhand -- it's nice to find that speed and it'll all come back to me."
An in-form Claire Bevilacqua has been ripping her way through this event and secured her spot into finals day with a big Round Five performance. The 34-year-old looked spry amid a young field despite battling sickness from the travel to Barbados.
"I haven't really even practiced out here yet just being so sick and only watching it to try and figure it out," Bevilacqua said. "But, I'm old enough now and have surfed so many different breaks that I knew I'd be able to figure it out. I'm just happy to have made it this far and I've gained confidence with each heat so moving into the two-man heats I'll be able to loosen up a bit."
Brisa Hennessy, Caroline Marks and Tessa Thyssen also join these women in tomorrow's big Quarterfinal match ups.
Tune in live at 8:00 a.m. EDT for a historic day as the first-ever QS champions to be crowned on its shores begins at the Barbados Surf Pro QS3,000.