PUNTA ROCA, La Libertad/El Salvador (Saturday, July 7, 2012) ? The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 3-Star Copa Quiksilver El Salvador returned to Punta Roca and saw the field narrow from 32 down to eight Quarterfinalists in varying two-to-four foot (1 metre) surf.
Gavin Gillette (HAW) easily navigated the varying conditions at Punta Roca today to take the day?s highest single-wave score of 8.50 as well as the highest heat total of 15.17 while advancing to the Copa Quiksilver El Salvador Quarterfinals.
?The waves are sort of like Haleiwa,? Gillette said. ?I had a game-plan to start the heat by myself up the point and I just got lucky. That first wave I got was a beautiful one and I just backed it up with a 6. My board feels good and I feel good. I?m happy to be here.?
Gillette is currently experiencing his first trip to El Salvador, but his lifelong preparation at local Hawaiian pointbreaks have provided the perfect training grounds for success at Punta Roca.
?This is my first time here,? Gillette said. ?I?m used to point breaks. I surf them a lot back home. I?ve been spending some time here and it?s a tricky wave and I don?t have it figured out at all. I just sit down awhile before my heat and watch it closely and it?s luck of the draw sometimes.?
Joaquin Del Castillo (PER) continued to make a name for himself as one up-and-coming Latino to watch. The 16 year old Peruvian has been a standout throughout each round and was equally deadly today, taking out two heat victories over an international field to earn his position in the Quarterfinals.
?The conditions were really challenging,? Del Castillo said. ?The waves are bigger and it?s windy, but I was lucky to get that one wave that opened up and allowed me to do a few turns and I got the 7. It?s tiring out there, but I?m really happy to get through to the Quarterfinals.?
Evan Thompson (Jacksonville, FL), a standout on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series, was another young talent to find success in the varying conditions today with a variety of committed forehand carves and progressive turns to earn a Quarterfinals berth.
?I knew with the high tide it would be slow and the guys in my heat were gnarly,? Thompson said. ?I wanted to make sure I caught waves. It?s hard to stay with a strategy because people paddle each other deep and I just lucky to get waves. This is my third time here, I love right points and I?m stoked to come here and surf perfect waves.?
Event organizers will reconvene on the final day of Copa Quiksilver El Salvador at 7am local time. For the LIVE action log on to www.quiksilver.com/elsalvador.
COPA QUIKSILVER EL SALVADOR ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Miguel Tudela (PER) 11.17, Dege O?Connell (HAW) 10.16, Phillip Goold (USA) 9.97, Anthony Fillingham (CRI) 8.37 Heat 2: Gavin Gillette (HAW) 15.17, Michael Dunphy (USA) 10.33, Dylan Goodale (HAW) 8.63, Cody Thompson (USA) 6.47 Heat 3: Joaquin Del Castillo (PER) 11.04, Hank Gaskell (HAW) 10.84, Ian Crane (USA) 7.93, Luel Felipe (BRA) 7.54 Heat 4: Evan Thompson (USA) 11.14, Shane Beschen (USA) 7.54, Angelo Lozano (MEX) 6.10, Jacob Davis (USA) 5.43
COPA QUIKSILVER EL SALVADOR ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Miguel Tudela (PER) 11.17, Cody Thompson (USA) 10.50, Kellen Ellison (USA) 6.17, Ricky Whitlock (USA) 3.06 Heat 2: Anthony Fillingham (CRI) 12.03, Dylan Goodale (HAW) 9.90, Matt Pagain (USA) 7.47, Sidney Guimaraes (BRA) Heat 3: Gavin Gillette (HAW) 12.20, Dege O?Connell (HAW) 11.83, Tom Curren (USA) 11.34, Gilbert Brown (CRI) 7.43 Heat 4: Michael Dunphy (USA) 10.16, Phillip Goold (USA) 9.70, Guillermo Satt (CHL) 8.90, Makai McNamara (HAW) 6.23 Heat 5: Ian Crane (USA) 10.00, Angelo Lozano (MEX) 9.16, Cristobal De Col (PER) 5.67, Taylor Thorne (USA) 5.00 Heat 6: Joaquin Del Castillo (PER) 11.33, Evan Thompson (USA) 11.06, Victor Done (USA) 8.67, Javier Swayne (PER) 8.57 Heat 7: Jacob Davis (USA) 12.17, Luel Felipe (BRA) 11.73, Diego Cadena (MEX) 11.40, Jimmy Rotherham (SLV) 6.37 Heat 8: Shane Beschen (HAW) 10.70, Hank Gaskell (HAW) 9.60, Caetano Vargas (BRA) 9.47, Aaron Cormican (USA) 6.80