The 1st Street Jetty continued to deliver clean, two-to-three foot swell for the World Surf League (WSL) Vans Pro Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000 as the remaining heats of Round 3 were completed. Top seeds steadily made their debuts throughout the morning’s action and put on a display of power surfing to post more excellent scores, meaning a score ranging from 8.00 – 10. Past champions Patrick Gudauskas (USA) and Michael Dunphy (USA) got in the water today and showed they have not lost any of their Virginia Beach, Va. spark.
But, the heat of the morning came from Griffin Colapinto (USA), Kilian Garland (USA), Hiroto Arai (JPN), and Cam Richards (USA) with one of the best exchanges of the event thus far. Garland took off to an early, big lead with a 16.10 (out of a possible 20) heat total but it was Colapinto who capitalized on the four wave set that had all four surfers locking in solid numbers. Posting a 9.17, Colapinto added to his previous 7.53 for a narrow win over Garland and both are into an all-important Round 4.
“I couldn’t believe the waves were this good walking up the past two mornings and wanted to surf my heat yesterday but today ended up being just as fun,” Colapinto said. “I wasn’t expecting that at all thinking a couple of 6s would be getting us through then Kilian had two 8s in the first five minutes so it was a battle after that. A big flurry of waves came and everyone got a great wave in that exchange — it’s so fun to have a heat like that and feels amazing when you come out of it with a win.”
“I’m stoked that I’m surfing smart heats which is something I’ve really been trying to do so hopefully keep that going into the next one,” Colapinto added. “I like how you have to grovel here and really put in your best surfing to make heats. If you get a solid result here it’s such a confidence boost knowing you can win in these conditions and build for the next few events.”
2013 Vans Pro Champion Patrick Gudauskas (USA) made his debut in terrific form to start the morning’s proceedings with an 8.00 and winning his Round 3 bout. The San Clemente, Calif., surfer found victory in the first year he competed at Virginia Beach and, with a renewed vigor to qualify, will look for another big win this year. Surfing against one of his role models coming up, Gudauaskas was elated with a brilliant performance and will direct all of his focus into Round 4.
“To surf with [Aaron] Cormican was a treat being my favorite East Coast surfer of all time and he’s just a guru over here so that got me super fired up,” Gudauskas said. “I’m really stoked with that first heat since I’m looking for some momentum heading over to Europe. With a lot of contests getting cancelled it makes each one that much more crucial. I haven’t been in a good starting position in a long time so this feels really good.”
“One of the key things I’ve been focusing on is to just stay in the moment because it’s easy to excited with everything coming up,” Gudauskas added. “It’s a good change of pace to keep that focus after thinking, at least over the first few years, that it was going to be easy getting back on tour but with how challenging the QS is these days you just have to be present every day.”
Also staying in the moment and finding his rhythm, 2014 Vans Pro winner Michael Dunphy (USA) is back in home waters and relishing each day spent here. Working to find a keeper result this year, the Virginia Beach, Va. standout will need more scores like the ones today in order to make his way back to the Finals.
“I really just want to do well here having a tough run at the QS this year and I’ve lost a lot of heats like that lately so that was a good turn around,” Dunphy said. “It’s even better having a good run here at home having my family and friends here to support me instead of me being halfway around the world with them watching online at midnight. I don’t want to look too far ahead with what I have to do in front of me but a win would amazing. The year that I won I was really relaxed and just in the moment so if I can find that rhythm again it’ll be great heading into each heat with my full focus.”
Looking to make a big charge heading into the back half of 2016, Brett Simpson (USA) came out firing on all cylinders posting an 8.23 and 7.50 in his debut. Only finding one solid result so far this year with an equal 17th at the Vans US Open of Surfing, the Huntington Beach, Calif., native found the gems still on offer and did not let them go to waste.
“I was so stoked to my rhythm in that heat after watching a slow heat just prior to paddling out,” Simpson said. “It was my plan to stay furthest out and if the wave comes just put up my best surfing instead of chasing the smaller ones. I kept building my scoreline and that was great because your freed up by the end of it and that’s when my eight came. It was definitely one of my best heats from start to finish in a long time so it felt great.”
Tomorrow’s 7:30 a.m. EST Call will determine a possible 8:00 a.m. EST Start for either Round 4 of the Vans Pro Men’s QS3,000 or Quarterfinals of the Vans Pro Junior. For more information, go to www.worldsurfleague.com, or download the WSL App to get event updates on your mobile device.
Upcoming Vans Pro Men’s QS3,000 Round 4 Match Ups:
Heat 1: Kaito Ohashi (JPN), Luel Felipe (BRA), Kalani Ball (AUS), Brad Ettinger (USA)
Heat 2: Yuji Mori (JPN), Kaito Kino (HAW), Miguel Tudela (PER), Tomas Hermes (BRA)
Heat 3: Rafael Pereira (VEN), Krystian Kymerson (BRA), Ian Crane (USA), Evan Geiselman (USA)
Heat 4: Samuel Pupo (BRA), Colin Moran (USA), Rafael Teixeira (BRA), Francisco Bellorin (VEN)
Heat 5: Patrick Guduaskas (USA), Griffin Colapinto (USA), Mitch Crews (AUS), Oney Anwar (IDN)
Heat 6: Luan Wood (BRA), Kilian Garland (USA), Flavio Nakagima (BRA), Michael Dunphy (USA)
Heat 7: Hiroto Ohhara (JPN), Parker Coffin (USA), Noah Schweizer (USA), Matt Passaquindici (USA)
Heat 8: Tomas Tudela (PER), Ian Gouveia (BRA), Brett Simpson (USA), Elijah Gates (HAW)
Remaining Vans Pro Men’s QS3,000 Round 3 Results:
Heat 9: Patrick Guduaskas (USA) 15.33, Luan Wood (BRA) 11.56, Aaron Cormian (USA) 11.33, Jake Marshall (USA) 10.53
Heat 10: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 16.70, Kilian Garland (USA) 16.30, Cam Richards (USA) 15.10, Hiroto Arai (JPN) 15.06
Heat 11: Flavio Nakagima (BRA) 10.77, Mitch Crews (AUS) 10.10, Brian Toth (PRI) 9.83, Monty Tait (AUS) 8.10
Heat 12: Michael Dunphy (USA) 14.66, Oney Anwar (IDN) 11.57, Dale Lovelock (AUS) 10.60, Gabriel Andre (BRA) 4.66
Heat 13: Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) 12.87, Tomas Tudela (PER) 9.20, Nathaniel Curran (USA) 8.30, Taylor Clark (USA) 8.00
Heat 14: Parker Coffin (USA) 12.94, Ian Gouveia (BRA) 11.96, Carlos Munoz (BRA) 10.07, Kevin Sullivan (HAW) 5.36
Heat 15: Brett Simpson (USA) 15.73, Noah Schweizer (USA) 14.30, Alonso Correa (PER) 11.87, Kei Kobayashi (USA) 9.14
Heat 16: Elijah Gates (HAW) 12.23, Matt Passaquindici (USA) 12.17, Bino Lopes (BRA) 9.76, Travis Beckmann (HAW) 9.60