NAGS HEAD, North Carolina/ USA (Thursday, August 31, 2017) – A dream day at the World Surf League (WSL) WRV Outer Banks Pro Qualifying Series (QS) 1,000 presented by Pacifico unfolded in all-time, five-to-seven foot conditions at Jeannette’s Pier as remaining Round 1 heats, Round 2 and Round 3 were all completed in their entirety. It was a pure barrel fest throughout the entire day leading into the final few heats with numerous near-perfect, and a Perfect 10 (out of a possible 10), were scored. But, only eight remain after heavy match ups stacked up and Quarterfinalists are locked in.
Port Stephens, Australia, native Chris Michalak (AUS) is making a surge at Jeannette’s Pier with jaw-dropping performances in today’s excitement. Michalak nearly posted a perfect heat total in Round 1 with an immaculate 19.36 (out of a possible 20) after finding two wide-open barrels that he managed to come flying out of behind the spray, showing he couldn’t be any deeper in the tube. Hoots and hollers from the beach followed each wave, including his near-perfect 9.83 in Round 3, and cheered him on into the Quarterfinals.
“I’m just having fun and enjoying the waves when they’re this big — I just love getting pitted,” Michalak said. “I just wanted to get deep in there because I knew that’s what they were scoring so I’d look at a few and think I wouldn’t be deep enough, and just wait for that special one. Especially like that last righthander I got, it actually lifted me up a bit and had to step back down to get out. I just missed out on the cut for the QS6,000s, but I’ve come here with some good lads like Kevin Schulz and Logan Landry so that’s great to have some good people around you. I’d be stoked if I could win this thing, but I wasn’t even thinking about that today and just tried to get kegged out there.”
Dustin “Johnny Tsunami” Richardson (USA) offered a clinic on tube-riding all day, winning two of his three heats on the marathon day. But, Richardson saved the best for last with massive drops into bomb set waves that opened up wide for him to race through and make clean exits — earning an 8.27 and near-perfect 9.37. The Florida-turned-California transplant continues to push through events looking for a breakthrough result and is on his way to one here in Outer Banks while enjoying the ride.
“I feel like I’m in a dream, you can’t really beat these kinds of waves for a contest,” Richardson said. “It was hard to stay patient with so many fun waves, but I got some texts from a few friends saying you’ve had some fun now go get a really good one, so I’m glad I got a few solid sets in that last heat to go along with some of my other fun barrels. It’s hard to think about a competition when the waves are this good. I just wanted to stay in there as long as I could and get as deep as I could every time, it was just way too much fun.”
“I definitely didn’t expect any of this to happen with perfect waves and perfect vibes on the beach,” Richardson added. “I wasn’t really planning on doing an event after seeing the forecast for Virginia, but then saw this one and thought ‘I have to go.’ But, I had an issue signing up with my new account so we’re running with ‘Johnny Tsunami’ for sure — all the kids here were on social media asking ‘who’s this Johnny Tsunami?’ I’m loving it and this event.”
North Carolina native Gabriel Morvil (USA) found multiple gems in the dreamy conditions on offer with a near-perfect 9.10 barrel, along with an 8.27, ride that he completed with searing rail work. The 18-year-old put on a tube showcase even further in Round 3 with a solid cover-up once more to earn another 9-point ride. Morvil now finds himself into his best result on the QS of his young career with a Quarterfinal appearance.
“It doesn’t get like this often, but when it does it’s so nice and with hurricane season starting we’ll start see a lot more of it,” Morvil said. “I feel like I’m just freesurfing out there. The waves have been so good everywhere, I’ve just been back and forth between the contest and further south. When I found out they were scoring the barrels I really just wanted to get a few, but toward the end it got a little fatter with the tide coming in so I just laid in to some turns the best I could. It was nice to get those two excellent scores to start the day off, it made me feel strong heading forward and now hopefully get some more waves for finals day.”
Fellow East Coast surfer Tommy Coleman’s (USA) Round 2 performance yielded barrel after barrel to earn a 16.87 heat total behind an in-form Morvil. But, Coleman continued to find the waves he needed in Round 3 for a big heat win to top runner-up Tomas King (CRI), who scored the event’s first and only Perfect 10 in Round 2, and into his second Quarterfinal of 2017 at the QS level.
“I can’t believe it’s like this at Jeannette’s right now, the waves are so fun out there,” Coleman said. “I didn’t even go out before the heats started and just wanted to go get some good waves — there’s just so many good ones out there. Getting those scores in my first heat gave me a lot of motivation going into the next one just to keep having fun out there. I actually wasn’t even going to do this event, but a few of my friends all entered and encourage me to so I’m stoked I did. The waves are pumping and I did pretty well so I’m definitely happy.”
Event organizers will reconvene to make a 7:30 a.m. EDT call for a possible 8:00 a.m. start to begin Quarterfinal action. The WRV Outer Banks Pro pres. by Pacifico will be webcast LIVE throughout the event window running August 30 through September 3. For more information, please visit www.WorldSurfLeague.com or download the WSL App to receive updates on your mobile device.
WRV Outer Banks Pro QS1,000 Remaining Round 1 Results:
Heat 9: Stevie Pittman (USA) 17.37, Brian Toth (PRI) 15.43, Knox Harris (USA) 13.87, Mason Barnes (USA) 5.40
Heat 10: Dane Mackie (BRB) 15.33, Alex Maniatis (GRC) 11.33, Franks Chenault (USA) 0.73, Joshua Chester (HAW) 0.00
Heat 11: Jake Kelley (USA) 18.30, Dustin Richardson (USA) 13.00, Andrew Fletcher (USA) 10.93, Paul Pugliesi (USA) 6.90
Heat 12: Kevin Schulz (USA) 13.60, Christopher Kervin (USA) 7.83, Logan Landry (CAN) 6.77, Sebastian Mendes (USA) 6.46
Heat 13: Francisco Belloring (VEN) 16.27,Bruce Mackie (BRB) 14.47, Gabe Kling (USA) 9.30, Gabe Kling (USA), Sean Morris (USA) 0.00
Heat 14: Facundo Arreyes (ARG) 14.27, Aldo Chirinos (CRI) 12.93, Nate Dorman (USA) 8.93, Italo Mesinas (USA) 5.14
Heat 15: Chris Michalak (USA) 19.36, Micha Cantor (USA) INJ, Zander Venezia (BRB) 8.20, Jennings Sessoms (USA) 3.60
Heat 16: Rob Kelly (USA) 15.66, Rory Reep (USA) 9.92, Kade Matson (USA) 7.40, Christopher Smolko (USA) 6.50
WRV Outer Banks Pro QS1,000 Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Tomas King (CRI) 19.07, Ryland Rubens (USA) 14.44, Noah Hill (USA) 12.10, Jacob Burke (BRB) 9.30
Heat 2: Che Allan (BRB) 16.64, Gabriel Farias (BRA) 15.80, Michel Flores (BRA) 15.03, Chauncey Robinson (USA) 11.30
Heat 3: Gabriel Morvil (USA) 17.47, Tommy Coleman (USA) 16.87, Luke Marks (USA) 11.44, Rey Hernandez (MEX) 11.20
Heat 4: Jhonny Corzo (MEX) 15.67, Pedro Neves (BRA) 12.53, Christopher Ropero (USA) 8.86, Jonathan Zambrano Chila (ECU) 6.36
Heat 5: Dustin Richardson (USA) 16.16, Stevie Pittman (USA) 15.84, Christopher Kervin (USA) 6.00, Dane Macie (BRB) 4.57
Heat 6: Jake Kelley (USA) 15.60, Alex Maniatis (GRC) 15.00, Brian Toth (PRI) 13.16, Kevin Schulz (USA) 8.80
Heat 7: Francisco Bellorin (VEN) 13.00, Facundo Arreyes (ARG) 12.76, Rory Reep (USA) 8.83, Zander Venezia (BRB) 2.87
Heat 8: Chris Michalak (AUS) 16.00, Rob Kelly (USA) 14.27, Aldo Chirinos (CRI) 12.94, Bruce Mackie (BRB) 12.37
WRV Outer Banks Pro QS1,000 Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Tommy Coleman (USA) 13.20, Tomas King (CRI) 12.17, Pedro Neves (BRA) 11.27, Che Allan (BRB) 10.50
Heat 2: Gabriel Farias (BRA) 16.37, Gabriel Morvil (USA) 14.17, Ryand Rubens (USA) 13.90, Jhonny Corzo (MEX) 10.94
Heat 3: Dustin Richardson (USA) 17.64, Facundo Arreyes (ARG) 13.30, Rob Kelly (USA) 12.77, Jake Kelley (USA) 11.33
Heat 4: Chris Michalak (AUS) 17.83, Stevie Pittman (USA) 12.60, Francisco Bellorin (VEN) 11.54, Alex Maniatis (GRC) 11.23
WRV Outer Banks Pro QS1,000 Upcoming Quarterfinal Match-Ups:
QF 1: Tommy Coleman (USA) vs. Gabriel Morvil (USA)
QF 2: Tomas King (CRI) vs. Gabriel Farias (BRA)
QF 3: Dustin Richardson (USA) vs. Stevie Pittman (USA)
QF 4: Facundo Arreyes (ARG) vs. Chris Michalak (AUS)