Many beachgoers were then treated to the sight of windsurfing's highest profile names tearing the lengthy set waves apart. Rarely can the action be seen as close up as these sandy beaches near Santa Maria allow, with world class displays performed right under the judges and spectators noses.
The four-man heat duration was set at 30 minutes, with the best two waves for each competitor counting, and the best two riders advancing.
Testing offshore winds challenged everyone, but standing out in the first heat were Scott MCKERCHER (AUS) and Klaas VOGET (GER). It was a tribute to their skill that they left Robby SWIFT (GBR) and up and coming talent 'Brawzinho' BROWNE (BRA) in their wakes.
The second heat was also toughly contested. Time spent training in Cabo Verde paid off for Julian TABOULET (FRA), who made it into the next round alongside Kauli SEADI (BRA). SEADI's stylish rhythm and impressive vertical attack made him shine above most people on the water today, his twin fins perhaps helping him make turns many other top class acts struggled to replicate.
Unlucky not to progress were impressive local rider Titik LOPES (CPV), whose radical aerials earned many cheers from locals and visitors alike, as well as seasoned campaigner Marcos PEREZ (ESP) who became a victim of the razor sharp reef resulting in five stitches to his feet.
Around lunchtime the sets were too infrequent so sailors were once more placed on standby, hoping that the low tide later in the afternoon would coincide with a slightly less offshore wind direction, and perhaps a more established swell.
The outlook for tomorrow is also super positive with favourable conditions that Punta Preta's locals and regular visitors claim could be epic. Skipper's meeting is set for 08:00 with a first possible start at 08:30
Professional Windsurfers Association (PWA) Events are designated as ISAF Special Events. There are five main disciplines that are held on the PWA World Tour: Wave, Freestyle, Race (Slalom 42), Super X and Indoor. Competitors at each World Tour event score points towards the PWA Annual Ranking list. At the end of the season, the sailor with the highest total score in each discipline is the PWA World Champion for that year. For more information on the PWA, the events and the sailors visit the PWA website - www.pwaworldtour.com.
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