Round 2 competition at the 2014 ASP 3-Star Maui and Sons Arica World Tour reached a new level of intensity with solid, double-overhead sets reaching the 10-12 foot range (3-4 metres) with the occasional 15-footer taking competitors by surprise at El Gringo in Arica, Chile.
Despite being known as a barreling reef-break, due to onshore winds the majority of scoring opportunities were provided by late drops and huge turns on the powerful waves.
Robson Santos (BRA) earned a 9.25 for catching the best barrel of the event so far, ultimately attaining the day's highest heat total of a 16.40.
"It's huge out there and I was lucky to have gotten that one that opened up for me," Santos said. "I'm super stoked and even though conditions are really big, what's most important is that I made it into the next round and I'm sure things will only get tougher as the competition goes on."
This year's winner of the Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) opener in [Chile],(http://www.aspworldtour.com/events/2014/mbwt/1035/quiksilver-ceremonial-chile) Marcos Monteiro (BRA), displayed his comfort level in El Gringo's intimidating waves, defeating Myles Laine-Toner (USA) and Eli Olson (HAW) in Heat 2 of Round 2.
Paulo Moura (BRA) spent several years on the World Championship Tour (WCT) before focusing on big wave surfing. After securing his qualification with two well-surfed waves, Moura had one of the day's worst wipeouts on his last ride in Heat 3.
"Man, things are serious out there," said Moura. "The waves are really big and heavy and it feels incredible to have won my heat. Although at the end there, it felt like I fell off a 10-story building. When I saw that I was going headfirst into the rocks, I was saved by my reflexes when I put my hands out in front of me. I hurt my hands, broke my board and got dragged for about 100 yards by an avalanche of foam, but things could have been a lot worse."
"I'm pleased that I was able to win my heat in such extreme conditions," said Villaran. "The waves are really powerful and any mistake could be fatal. I caught a good one early on in the heat and that gave me added confidence to continue to do well [Saturday]."
A call is set for 7 AM local time to resume competition with Round 3. The live broadcast is available at www.aspsouthamerica.com.