Made Widiarta (IND), one of today’s top performers and one of tomorrow’s Quarterfinalists. Pic ASP/Robertson
RIYUE BAY, Wanning/Hainan Island/China (Tuesday, January 29, 2012) – Day two of the ASP 4-Star rated Hainan Classic was treated to two-to-three foot (1.5 meter) waves that ran up to 150 meters at Riyue Bay, Hainan Island, China. The field that started with 96 surfers was today culled to just 12 as three and a half rounds of competition were run and won. Only nine heats remain until we will be crowning an event champion.
Mitch Crews (AUS) tore apart multiple Riyue Bay runners, and finished first in his Round of 32 match-up against Maxime Huscenot (FRA) Chris Waring (USA) and Lincoln Taylor (AUS) who finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively. Crews unloaded a barrage of sharp backhand snaps, selected the best waves and also later advanced through his Round of 16 heat to make the Quarterfinals.
“It was fun, but it was slow, so it’s hard out there with four guys,” Crews said. “You’ve got to be lucky and be on the best waves. Yesterday I wasn’t and I struggled, but today I was, and it made so much of a difference. Yesterday there was more waves, but today the surf was cleaner, so they’ve both been good.”
Made Widiarta (IND) came flying out of the gates in his Round of 32 heat today, posting an excellent score, thanks to some crisp turns and a big air-reverse. Widiarta credited his success at this event to the similarity to his home break, Kuta Beach, Bali. He advanced to the next round in 2nd position behind Hall and went on to win his Round of 16 heat and advance to the Quarterfinals.
“I was just lucky some sets came through to me and I’m stoked to be into the Quarterfinals,” Widiarta said. “I like this wave, it’s fun, almost like Kuta Beach. I grew up in the same town as Lee (Wilson) and Raditya (Rondi) and we travelled together for our first time to China. It’s different here, like the food and the people, but it’s fun.”
Frederico Morais (PRT) from Portugal advanced into the Round of 16 in second position behind Australian Wade Carmichael (AUS). It was a close heat with the surfers both going for broke on the long left-handed waves, Carmichael took the win, but Morais was just behind him.
“It was a really hard heat,” Morais said. “Wade Carmichael got all the good waves and I didn’t choose the right waves, but I got second so I’m stoked. It has been fun here in China, the food is a bit weird, but it’s good to try a different culture. I’d love to come back here next year for the contest too.”
Carlo Zapata (PER), yesterday’s top scorer, was impressive again today, eliminating 2000 ASP World Champion Sunny Garcia and Puerto Rican Brian Toth (PRI) in the heat of the day and advanced to the Round of 16 with Brent Dorrington (AUS) in second place.
“I feel very happy about this heat,” Zapata said. “The waves are better than they were in the morning. That was a hard heat, I didn’t even see the names that were surfing against me until I was about to go in the water. I was going out and tried to relax and not be nervous and it worked. Sometimes you get connected with a wave and I think this one is working for me.”
Caio Ibelli (BRA) sent an ominous message to his fellow competitors today, in just two heats he posted the highest and second highest heat totals of the event this far. Ibelli was well and truly the day’s top performer, flying down the line faster than the rest and executing multiple explosive turns.
“My board is working really good,” Ibelli said. “It’s really fast and I can make all the sections and that’s helping me a lot. I’ve had really good start, posting nines and eights. I had a really good day and I hope I can keep it going tomorrow. I never thought I would go to China to surf, it’s been fun, the waves were really good today.”
Deivid Silva (BRA) is proving to be one of the form surfers of the 2013 Hainan Classic. Silva looked right at home here in China, posting a couple of excellent scores, eliminating Glenn Hall (IRL), reigning Hainan Classic event champion and advancing to the Quarterfinals.