The opening day of the 2016 Master of the Ocean started at Playa Encuentro with clear skies and shoulder to head high surf. The first heat of the day began with the SUP riders including former MOTO winner Emmanuel Rondon, Jeremy Green and Francisco Hernandez in heat 1. A super close battle ensued between Jeremy and the former champ, Emmanuel, who managed to pull out ahead by 1.25 points and won the heat with a final score of 13.75.
Round two was no less dramatic as Hawaiian Shelby Schweitzer (Zane Schweitzer’s little sister) took to the water against local favorites Luciano Gonzalez and Eniel Narvaez. Shelby who is no stranger to competition, found the right waves and went on to win the round with 11 points after beating Luciano.
Two time and current MOTO champion Zane Schweitzer, Carolina Gutierrez and Derek Gomes took to the water in round three. Zane, a Hawaiian native who was last years second place finisher in the World SUP Tour, dominated his heat and raised the bar for all of the competitors to win his heat with a surprising score of 48 points.
Round four had Cabarete local Dauryn Reynoso, along with Diony Guadanigno and Brandon Sanford in the final heat of the division. Dauryn’s local knowledge of the lineup helped him score key waves securing him the win with various top to bottom maneuvers that netted him a score 38.75.
At the end of the morning’s competition, when asked by MOTO organizers about this year’s event, defending champ Zane Schweitzer stated, “I am very excited to be back in Cabarete with my friends. I’ve trained hard to defend my title; I’m on my way to my third consecutive title, so be prepared! I am pleased that the conditions have given good weather and waves. Cabarete premises make us feel at home. I’m Happy that my sister Shelby is competing with me. Thank you for inviting us!”
By mid-morning the surf heats were up next and right out of the gate they put on an impressive display in the playful swell that delivered plenty of waves for the contestants. Round one began with the same contestants, Emmanuel Rondon, Jeremy Green and Francisco Hernandez pitted against each other. In this category, the Venezuelan Francisco showed his strength and skill to beats his rivals with a combined score of 37.5.
Round two had Shelby Schweitzer, Luciano Gonzalez and Eniel Narvaez jockeying in the water the entire heat. Although both Sheby and Eniel hustled to find good waves, it was Lucianp, a Dominican local, that found the better waves and a victorious win with 28.75 points.
Zane Schweitzer, Carolina Gutierrez and Derek Gomes started off round three in full fighting mode with Derek striking in the opening minutes with the first tube ride of the day. Not to be outdone, Zane locked into a big wave, going vertical and hitting the lip hard. This clash intensified as the heat progressed, both going wave for wave, but Derek, sensing a victory at Zane’s expense, kept his momentum going into the end with a collective score of 40.
Round four was in full froth mode by this stage of the competition, which included Diony Guadanigno, Dauryn Reynoso and Brandon Sanford. All three athletes secured good waves early on in the heat, but it soon became clear who the winner was going to be. With his fluid but aggressive style, Brandon had the energy to outperform both Diony and Dauryn, thus grabbing the win with a score of 28.25.
Unfortunately the wind gods were not able to produce the conditions needed to hold both the kitesurfing and windsurfing heats, but a good forecast is in store for tomorrow.