Kei Kobayashi's aerial antics got everyone excited today in Netanya
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 January, 2018 - Kontiki Beach - The SEAT Pro Netanya ran through a critical day of action to complete the second round and four heats of the third in good four foot surf. A mid-period swell and lighter winds provided plenty of opportunities for all the surfers to perform.
Kei Kobayashi (USA) wasted no time in his first heat to find the waves with the best scoring potential, posting two big numbers early on. With the pressure to perform gone, the Californian lit up and found a clean ramp to launch into a big forehand rotation. The first major move perfectly landed, he proceeded with a check turn and finished off his ride with another aerial, to post a near-perfect 9.93 and take the day’s top honors.
“The past couple of days I haven’t been surfing very well and it sort got into my head, but finally this morning in the free surf I did a couple good airs and it put me right back in the mood,” he said. “I’ve been working a lot and watching clips of myself trying to figure out what I need to do in those QS events.”
The 19 year-old from San Clemente whose first qualifying effort last season landed him a spot in the coveted Top 100, looks to climb much higher on the QS ladder and a big result in Netanya could jump-start his 2018 bid to qualify for the Championship Tour.
“My friend Griffin (Colapinto) qualified last year and I really want to do the same this year for my second full season on the QS, it was really inspiring.” he added.
Miguel Pupo (BRA) got another massive heat and tied with Kobayashi for the event’s highest combined heat total of 18.00 out of 20. In his Round Two heat, the battle for second place was almost more interesting than his dominant effort.
Andy Criere (ESP) took on perennial threat Eduardo Fernandes (PRT) and amateur World Champion Jhonny Corzo (MEX) in an exciting 25-minute battle. Criere got off to an early start to post two solid scores on the board on his first two tries, and despite a late comeback from the Portuguese, it was Criere who claimed the precious ticket into Round Three alongside Pupo.
“I worked a lot this past winter, preparing for big heats like that,” Criere said. “I’ve worked on boards as well and feel good physically at the moment. I got two good waves at the start and had to manage it from there. I’m super motivated and I always want to do my absolute best in each heat so I’m stoked when it works out like that.”
Reo Inaba (JPN) and Arashi Kato (JPN) made team Japan look good in the morning heats as well, posting some of the biggest totals on their way to Round Three. But while Inaba managed to confirm his excellent form in the following round, Kato’s run was halted by Tomas Fernandes (PRT) and Aritz Aranburu (ESP) in Round Three.
“I had two fun heats and pretty good scores so I’m happy,” Inaba said. “Waves are kind of tricky but at the same time it’s very similar to what we surf in Japan, so I made it work for me. I’m stoked to be here, I expected something very different but it’s really cool.”
Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) and Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) put two good heats together as well to make their way into Round Four.
Today’s major upsets included the losses of Marc Lacomare (FRA), Carlos Munoz (CRI), Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) and Adrien Toyon (FRA). Unfortunately all Israeli hopes vanished as well in Round Two as no local surfer managed to advance past this one.
Competitors and organizers will reconvene at 7:30 a.m Tuesday in expected clean conditions to potentially complete the third and fourth Rounds, ideally setting up for finals day in the best conditions.
REMAINING SEAT PRO NETANYA ROUND 3 MATCHUPS:
Heat 5: Ruben Vitoria (EUK), Eithan Osborne (USA), Charly Martin (GLP), Jose Gundesen (ARG)
Heat 6: Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK), Nelson Cloarec (FRA), Shane Sykes (ZAF), Keijiro Nishi (JPN)
Heat 7: Rafael Teixeira (BRA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Jared Hickel (AUS), Jacome Correia (PRT)
Heat 8: Pedro Neves (BRA), Andy Criere (ESP), Vitor Ferreira (BRA), Maxime Huscenot (FRA)
SEAT PRO NETANYA ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Reo Inaba (JPN) 14.43, Wesley Leite (BRA) 13.67, Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 12.30, Pedro Nogueira (BRA) 11.34
Heat 2: Tomas Fernandes (PRT) 12.90, Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 12.74, Arashi Kato (JPN) 10.90, Luis Diaz (CNY) 10.70
Heat 3: Kei Kobayashi (USA) 16.00, Tom Cloarec (FRA) 13.47, Gatien Delahaye (FRA) 12.93, Jason Torres (CRI) 11.53
Heat 4: Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 15.97, Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 14.60, Kalani Ball (AUS) 14.50, Miguel Blanco (PRT) 13.70
SEAT PRO NETANYA ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Wesley Leite (BRA) 12.53, Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 10.84, Arran Strong (GBR) 8.66, Lens Arancibia Avila (FRA) 6.83
Heat 2: Reo Inaba (JPN) 14.27, Tomas Fernandes (PRT) 11.00, Luke Dillon (GBR) 8.54, Diego Suarez Diaz (CNY) 8.50
Heat 3: Arashi Kato (JPN) 14.00, Pedro Nogueira (BRA) 11.77, Vicente Romero (ESP) 11.50, Frederico Magalhaes (PRT) 7.13
Heat 4: Luis Diaz (CNY) 13.60, Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 10.74, Arne Bergwinkl (DEU) 9.64, Stev Levine (ISR) 5.73
Heat 5: Tom Cloarec (FRA) 13.40, Kalani Ball (AUS) 12.27, Yoni Klein (ITA) 10.76, Ignacio Guisasola (ESP) 8.60
Heat 6: Kei Kobayashi (USA) 18.00, Miguel Blanco (PRT) 13.76, Marc Lacomare (FRA) 11.60, Pedro Coelho (PRT) 7.94
Heat 7: Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 14.53, Gatien Delahaye (FRA) 14.17, Ruben Gonzalez (PRT) 13.57, Paul Cesar Distinguin (FRA) 10.37
Heat 8: Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 12.34, Jason Torres (CRI) 12.27, Adi Gluska (ISR) 8.73, Sharon Taieb (ISR) 5.90
Heat 9: Ruben Vitoria (EUK) 14.24, Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK) 12.57, Carlos Munoz (CRI) 11.03, Francisco Almeida (PRT) 9.47
Heat 10: Eithan Osborne (USA) 13.64, Nelson Cloarec (FRA) 11.80, Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 11.40, Luis Perloiro (PRT) 9.80
Heat 11: Shane Sykes (ZAF) 13.46, Charly Martin (GLP) 12.64, Vladimir Merlis (ISR) 9.60, Zur Arkin (ISR) 6.56
Heat 12: Keijiro Nishi (JPN) 13.40, Jose Gundesen (ARG) 11.73, Pablo Montero (ESP) 9.10, Henrique Pyrrait (PRT) 7.13
Heat 13: Rafael Teixeira (BRA) 14.63, Pedro Neves (BRA) 12.04, Tal Asayag (ISR) 11.56, Enzo Poulat (FRA) 7.87
Heat 14: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 18.00, Andy Criere (ESP) 16.04, Eduardo Fernandes (PRT) 15.44, Jhonny Corzo (MEX) 13.03
Heat 15: Vitor Ferreira (BRA) 12.97, Jared Hickel (AUS) 10.57, Adrien Toyon (FRA) 9.70, Ely Cassirer (ISR) 7.33
Heat 16: Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 14.00, Jacome Correia (PRT) 9.23, Gil Zilka (ISR) 5.60, Amir Rafaeli (ISR) 2.33