June 11, 2008: – – Offshore winds, a powerful and ridiculously consistent 2m southerly groundswell along with a pristine day delivered the best day ever for the SriLankan Airlines Pro in the Maldives. The waves were faultless and the surfers went crazy, throwing massive bottom to top turns combined with high-risk lip floaters through to aerial moves and even barrels.
On the sunset deck of the magnificent Chaava Island, spectators were treated to professional surfing at it’s best. The point break runs right along the decking and with cocktail or soft drink in hand under an umbrella, there’s no better viewing platform on the Association of Surfing Professionals World Qualifying Tour with the surfers performing their mastery within a 10 to 50 meter zone of the deck.
Excellence was the only acceptable standard today from the judges, if the surfers went big, they were rewarded, any thing less and scores were banished to the average zone; no excuses today.
Standout’s Jay Thompson (AUS), Tory Meister (HAW), Kekoa Balcalso (HAW), Nathan Yeoman’s (USA), Dustin Barca (HAW), Bernardo Mirandia (BRA), Drew Courtney (AUS), Adam Robertson (AUS), and Hizunome Bettero (BRA) were just a sample of the big hitters who finished off the round two heats.
The two highest heat scores of round two went to young Australian Matt Wilkinson’s 18.83, which included a perfect 10 point ride and Hizunome Bettero (BRA) on 17.83. The biggest shock of round two were the elimination of last years champion Heitor Alves (BRA) and his fellow finalist last year Jarrod Howse (AUS). Both surfers were comprehensively taken out of the event.
Bettero echoed the feeling of all surfers after his heat win saying ” The Maldives is amazing. Waves are so perfect and when you sit out the back in the heat and the sets are coming you are filled with excitement knowing you’re getting a perfect wave and you just have to score big – It’s the best event for me for sure, I love it here.”
Late in the day Number one seed Michael Campbell won the opening round of round three with the expected 9 point score lines and on exiting the water said ” Best day of competition I can remember in ASP World Qualifying Series history – It’s so good out there!” Sunny Garcia followed Campbell’s heat with a massive heat that included an outstanding 9.57 ride.
The event moved into the all important round three and the coming days look set to deliver an incredible few days of surfing with all swell and weather charts indicating nothing but pumping surf. Log into ASPWorldTour.com hit the event mini site and watch it live. The event is headed for a showdown.
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