Tonix Pictures GmbH
D - 24103 Kiel
The final 8 players are carved-out as the double elimination goes critical
No waves at Ponta Preta meant the contest went mobile, shifting over to a remote spot called 'Little Ho'okipa', where a decent wind swell was breaking over a shallow reef.
25-minute heat duration was set with the best 2 waves counting and the best 2 riders advancing at a time.
The action was hot once again and competition was tight for spots in every following heat.
Trialist Kai Katchadourian (Quatro / Simmer), a regular Cabo Verde visitor, showed his knowledge of the islands breaks today.
The American survived a tough encounter against Scott McKercher (Starboard / Severne), John Skye (F2 / Naish) and Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra) before getting on a roll to reach the top 8.
This limited 32-man event had a cutthroat qualifying contest and some of those entrants have shown great hunger to advance far in this competition.
Amongst them, Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Caste showed great skill to secure his top 16 finish after climbing the ladder impressively so far.
Things got serious in the third round when more top names fell by the wayside.
2007 season runner-up Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / Simmer) and former world champion Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / Gaastra) were axed by fiery performances from Thomas Traversa (Tabou / Gaastra), and Marcilio Browne (Mistral / Gaastra) -- the reigning freestyle world champ.
Traversa shone brightly with his radical vertical riding style, which that saw him launch tweaked airs and show aggressive gouging of the steep head-to-half mast-high wave faces.
And Browne pulled a perfect air taka and looks set to fulfill another prophecy to reach the top of the wave sailing rankings.
But the star of the day had to Alex Mussolini (RRD / NeilPryde) who threw some massive high Goytas landed back onto the wave, and clocked a 9.0 for a Goyta and big aerial back-to-back on the same ride.
Fading light and wind meant the final 6 heats must wait until tomorrow before we can produce an event winner.
The forecast is for more wind swell and a larger ground swell towards the weekend, but the outlook for wind to come with it is not so positive.
Skippers' meeting is at 10.00 tomorrow at Ponta Preta but it's almost a given that we'll be moving to another spot once again.
You can follow every stroke of action at www.pwaworldtour.com