Puerto Escondido Delivers Barrel Fest for Oaxaca Pro pres. by Corona Opening Day

Courtesy of WSL North America

  • Clean, Six-to-Eight Foot Barrels Kick Off Competition 
  • Glatzer, Kobayashi Find Near-Perfection In First Visit to Puerto Escondido
  • Puerto Escondido Native Rogercin Ramirez Recovers From Early Falter
  • Californians Thrive In Early Goings Among Mexican Contingent 
  • More Available At WorldSurfLeague.com
CAPTION: Skip McCulloch thrived in his Round 3 debut with the day’s highest total at the Oaxaca Pro pres. by Corona.
CREDIT: © WSL / Andrew Nichols

PUERTO ESCONDIDO, Mexico (Thursay, October 17, 2019) – The world-renowned beach break of Playa Zicatela, Puerto Escondido, delivered for opening day affairs at the World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) Oaxaca Pro QS 1,500 presented by Corona. Six-to-eight foot, occasional plus size sets, steamrolled into the contest site lineup and those lucky enough earned the view of a lifetime. Competition raced through Rounds 1, 2 and 3 Heat 6 before going on hold due to afternoon winds – eventually making it to Heat 12 after resuming competition.

Early goings witnessed the first 9.00 (out of a perfect 10) delivered by Australia’s Jack McDonald, who happened to be on vacation and entered the event for his first-ever QS, in Round 1 Heat 3. Unfortunately for McDonald, the dream run was cut abruptly short in Round 2 before top-seeded competitors made their debut in Round 3.

Leon Glatzer and Kei Kobayashi Narrowly Miss Perfection

Representing his German heritage, Leon Glatzer (DEU) is on a great run in 2019 and has only spent a few weeks back home in Costa Rica. The 2018 Pismo Beach Open victor took that momentum into a busy season of training and competition, including the Redbull Airborne series in France, that led him to the Oaxaca Pro this week and found a near-perfect 9.17 on his very first attempt. Glatzer navigated his way through a deep barrel, making it out after the wave regurgitated to show how deep he was, before celebrating with a fly-away air.

“It was amazing and everybody here is frothing to do a QS with perfect waves and just get barreled,” Glatzer said. “None of us are nervous and we just want to go out and have a good time out there. I was just in the right spot and it feels really good to be here for the first time and get a good wave like that. At the moment I feel like a QS warrior (laughs). We have support from the Olympic committee in Germany and we’re definitely taking this sport to the Olympics now which is insane. Between that and my sponsor it definitely feels like I new chapter in my life.”

Pictured: Kobayashi found his dream start in Puerto Escondido with a 9.00.
Credit: WSL./ Nichols

Following a brief hold with increased winds, conditions improved once more and Round 3 Heat 7 got action back underway with more impressive surfing as Kei Kobayashi (USA) nearly found perfection of his own to kickstart his campaign on a high note. The San Clemente, California, native found himself on one of the bigger waves during opening day and navigated the barrel with speed to find his way out for a 9.00. Despite a tough season following his berth into the QS 10,000’s to start the year, Kobayashi is bouncing back and looks to enjoy the moment.

“It’s all barrels down here and just having fun even though it’s a competition,” Kobayashi said. “I’ve had a rough year this season so I’m just stoked to be here and super grateful for Jhony Corzo and his family for putting me up. I’m really stoked to get a 9-point ride when I had first priority and it just came to me. This is my first time here so I just want to surf my brains out and have a good time but obviously a win would be incredible since I’ve never won a QS. I’m just staying in the moment and enjoying it all.”

Puerto Escondido Native Rogerin Ramirez Salvages Debut

Pictured: Rogerin Ramirez held it down for the local Puerto Escondido crew on a last-second buzzer-beater.
Credit: Nichols

Getting an interference in competition is a hard task for competitors to make their way out of the heat and Rogercin Ramirez (MEX) defied the odds. Ramirez started off the heat with an early wave before taking off in front of Manuel Selman (CHL), who held a higher priority, and was given a Priority Interference meaning his second-scoring wave would not count. But the Puerto Escondido native represented brilliantly for his hometown in the dying seconds when he found a 6.93 to take the win during one of the day’s slower heats.

“This is my first QS and it was really good at the end because I didn’t have priority, so I had to leave the wave now that I understood it more,” Ramirez said. “I just hoped another was coming and it came. I couldn’t believe I got the chance and it felt so good to make it out. This is a really high level of surfing and I’m used to surfing this heavy wave, it’s my home, so it’s incredible to have this event here.”

Californians Thrive in the Heavy Conditions

Pictured: McCulloch straight out of his Round 3, day’s best performance.
Credit: Nichols

La Jolla, California’s, Skip McCulloch garnered the day’s highest heat total of a 14.70 in Round 3 Heat 10 following the hold. McCulloch is no stranger to waves of consequence with a win at the Siargo Cloud 9 Surfing Cup last year and throwing himself into slabs at the Arica Pro Tour at El Gringo in Chile. The 23-year-old knows what it takes to make his way up the ranks and embraces each new experience.
 
“Wherever it’s barreling just throw me out there I don’t care where it is (laughs),” McCulloch said. “I freesurfed for about two and a half hours before my heat because I couldn’t help myself and then just went straight into that heat. I’ve surfed maybe a dozen heats in the last month and I feel warmed up for knowing those scenarios of being at the fifteen-minute mark and needing this – it’s all about experience. It’s always just getting ready for the next one and it’s good to feel comfortable in heats these days.” 

McCulloch’s fellow Californians Jake Szekely, Ben Coffey, Shaun Burns and Jackson Butler all won their respective Round 3 heats as well.
Event organizers will convene at 7:00am CDT for a possible 7:15am start to Round 1.

CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS FROM ROUNDS 1, 2 and 3
 
The Oaxaca Pro QS 1,500 pres. by Corona will run October 17-20 at Puerto Escondido, Mexico.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com

About the WSL 
The World Surf League (WSL) is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The organization, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, annually running more than 230 global events across the Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Redbull Airborne, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed Men’s and Women’s World Champions across all tours.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright, John Florence, Lakey Peterson, Grant Baker, Keala Kennelly, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Steven Sawyer, Soleil Errico, Mateus Herdy, Kirra Pinkerton, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most dynamic field of play of any global sport. For more information, please visit worldsurfleague.com.

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