So two of the world’s best surfers, Kolohe Andino of the United States and Igarashi, who is Japanese American and competes for Japan, set out in the rain and wind at 7 a.m. for a high-level quarterfinal. The sloppy storm surf made for difficult conditions for the competitors and a bit of a spectacle for those watching. Igarashi advanced, spoiling Andino’s medal hopes.
“It was hard, but that’s what makes surfing fun,” Igarashi said.
If there was any apprehension about the conditions, Medina of Brazil, the world’s top men’s contest surfer of the past few years, pronounced the contest fully on in the next heat. He launched a skyward full rotation, landed smoothly and pounded his chest in celebration. Judges were impressed, too, giving the ride a 9.0, the highest score of the contest to that point.
In the women’s quarterfinals, Moore, the four-time world champion from Hawaii, advanced past Silvana Lima of Brazil.
It was more a roiling stew than a series of sets, better to look at than to surf. Clean rides were sporadic, but the white water made for spectacular images.
“The waves go really fast, and then they just dump,” Moore said. “It’s kind of tricky to place your maneuvers in this kind of surf.”
Marks, the other American semifinalist, advanced with a victory over Brisa Hennessy of Costa Rica. She rushed out of the water to take the measure of the changing conditions.
Adapting was key; she had warmed up on one board, then competed on another. The tide was pulling out, and the action was shifting north along the quarter-mile beach. There was a lot of paddling, and fatigue could be a factor at the end of a long day.