Opening day of the event had an amazing crowd on hand to show their support for the athletes while chilling on the beach, listening to some great beats from the DJ booth and munching on tropical fruits. Thirteen overall water athletes competed against each other at the highest level in the waves all morning, in both the surf and stand-up paddle disciplines. Four heats were completed for each discipline with four or three riders in each heat respectively.
One of the many highlights during the morning was at the second heat of stand-up paddlers. The only female overall competitor Fiona Wylde, who also scored the female Master of the Ocean title in 2014, won those quarterfinals hands down. “The waves were really good and very rippable, it was absolutely amazing to be out there.”, Fiona smiled, “And of course it would be definitely fantastic if I manage to keep on beating the guys in the next rounds!”
Omri Hazor from Israel and first time competitor in the Master of the Ocean events won both his surfing and stand-up paddling runs. And although he just wanted to get back into the water after that to keep on surfing the picture perfect waves, he decided to take a break as he had injured his knee during kite practice the previous day and rest for the afternoon session. “I love it when the ocean is my playground, it’s great to be out there with just three other guys and pushing each other’s boundaries, I just can’t wait to get back in!”, Omri added enthusiastically.
Diego Anta, overall competitor from Spain and 2014 Master of the Ocean finalist, also featured a big black eye after a board hit him during practice the day before. But that did not stop him from happily joining his peers in the waves today and aiming for another finalist place. He explained that one of the main reasons why he loved this particular watersports event is the fact that riders are super supportive of each other. “I guess it’s because no one is really good at all four sports at the same time so we’re all just out there to mainly have fun, and we really do have a lot of fun.”
In the late morning, the wind started picking up so the semifinals for the overall competitors in the surf and stand-up paddle disciplines were postponed to tomorrow. Athletes were then asked to start rigging their windsurf and kitesurf gear for the afternoon overall session. The wind filled in and riders managed to complete four heats and winning their heats were, Brandon Sanford, Emmanuel Rondon, Samuel Perez Hults & Michael Gebhardt.
Todays full heat results in surfing, SUP and kitesurfing are listed below.
Tomorrow’s sessions will include the semi-finals of the overall competitors followed by the next two days of finals to find out who the allover Master of the Ocean will be.