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Large swell heading for Maui and Sons Arica Pro in Chile

Andy Criere © Pablo Jimenez/WSL




Maui and Sons Arica Pro Chile

WSL QS1500 Men's Event
El Gringo, Arica Chile
5 - 10 August 2015

French and Chilean surfers rule on Day 4 of WSL QS 1500 at El Gringo

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 7 August, 2015 - El Gringo - Competition continued on Friday at the World Surf League Men’s QS 1500 Maui and Sons Arica Pro Tour with glassy waves in the 3-5 foot range (1-1.5 meters), but was cut short after only four heats due to strong onshore winds at El Gringo, in Ex Isla Alacrán, Chile.

Before conditions deteriorated, Andy Criere (FRA) was completely in-sync with the barreling lefthanders and earned the day’s highest heat score of a 16.40, which included a 9.50. The Frenchman had never been to El Gringo, let alone Chile, and has been impressed with the country.

"Yeah, it’s my first time here to Chile and I really like Arica," continued Criere. "I arrived three days before the contest started and the waves were huge. The waves here are very powerful and it’s great for getting barreled. It’s a very interesting place to surf. You just need to respect El Gringo, and I always respect the ocean. Conditions can change quickly, so you always have to pay attention and know how to make the right decisions when the sets come."

Competitive surfing puts your decision-making abilities to the test. In the same heat with Criere, WSL Big Wave Tour surfer Cristian Merello (CHL) and WSL South America rankings leader Robson Santos (BRA) were both called for interference, which reduced their 2nd scoring wave by half. Regardless of this fact, Merello still squeaked by with an 8.07 heat total to advance into Round 4.

"Today (Friday) the waves are a little better than yesterday, but I already knew that there would be a lot of battling in the water and that the heats would be tough," said Criere. "I entered the water thinking that I needed to get at least one good wave. There was some hassling going on for positioning, which is normal because everyone wants to win, so I decided to paddle a little farther right, and that’s where I found the waves that gave me the victory. I only started to feel more relaxed after I got spat out of that barrel that turned into a 9.5. The battle for 2nd place was intense. I know there were a couple of interferences, so I’m happy I advanced into the next round."

Due to his loss, Santos has left the door open for Lucas Silveira (BRA) to gain ground on the WSL South America rankings. When competition resumes on Saturday, Silveira will be in the first heat of the day and will face up against former CT surfer Paulo Moura (BRA) and the young standouts Miguel Tudela (PER) and Lucca Mesinas Novaro (PER).

In Heat 1 of Round 3, Lucas Chianca (BRA) continued his torrid pace as he advanced to Round 4 in 1st place alongside Sebastian Correa (PER) over 2013 event winner Alvaro Malpartida (PER) and Joaquin Del Castillo (PER) respectively.

"That heat was rad," claimed Chianca. "It took a while to get going, but then after that everyone got good waves. It was a close heat and everyone wanted to win badly. This is my third time to Arica and I love this wave. Even without a contest, I enjoy coming here to practice because it’s so similar to Pipeline."

Besides the Chilean athlete Merello, Manuel Selman (CHL) and Nicolas Vargas (CHL) also displayed their local knowledge and advanced into Round 4 at the Maui and Sons Arica Pro Tour QS 1,500. Vargas caught an 8.50 on an incredible tube-ride to lead the charge for the Chileans.

"I’m so stoked to be competing in this event again, because it’s such an important contest for the Chileans," said Vargas. "It’s even more exciting when you’re getting nice barrels and winning heats. Today the waves were kind of small and the take-off zone was pretty crowded. It caused some interferences, but the forecast looks good and it seems like it’s going to get bigger."

According to the regional forecast, a large swell is moving up the coast and can see wave size increase from overhead to triple-overhead throughout the weekend.

Heat 1: Lucas Chianca (BRA), Cristian Merello (CHL), Nicolas Vargas (CHL), Luan Wood (BRA)

Heat 2: Andy Criere (FRA), Sebastian Correa (PER), Kevin Sullivan (HAW), Manuel Selman (CHL)

ROUND 3 - 3rd =17th place (U$ 700 and 300 points) and 4th =25th place (U$ 600 and 280 points):
Heat 1: 1-Lucas Chianca (BRA)=13.00, 2-Sebastian Correa (PER)=9.75, 3-Alvaro Malpartida (PER)=9.70, 4-Joaquin Del Castillo (PER)=7.95

Heat 2: 1-Nicolas Vargas (CHL)=11.25, 2-Manuel Selman (CHL)=11.05, 3-Yago Dora (BRA)=9.25, 4-Kiron Jabour (HAW)=7.00

Heat 3: 1-Andy Criere (FRA)=16.40, 2-Cristian Merello (CHL)=8.07, 3-Robson Santos (BRA)=7.95, 4-Wesley Leite (BRA)=4.50

Heat 4: 1-Kevin Sullivan (HAW)=10.40, 2-Luan Wood (BRA)=6.60, 3-Alcides Lopes (BRA)=3.55, 4-Johnny Noris (USA)=2.55

Pending heats on Saturday:
Heat 5: Miguel Tudela (PER), Paulo Moura (BRA), Lucas Silveira (BRA), Lucca Mesinas Novaro (PER)

Heat 6: Jeronimo Vargas (BRA), Eala Stewart (HAW), Max Longhurst (AUS), Travis Beckmann (HAW)

Heat 7: Dimitri Ouvre (BLM), Guillermo Satt (CHL), Nahuel Amalfitano (ARG), Jacob Szekely (USA)

Heat 8: Alonso Correa (PER), João Chianca (BRA), Paul Cesar Distinguin (FRA), Leon Vicuña (CHL)

Gabriel Gontijo

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