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The fourth day of competition of the 2016 INS ISA World Surfing Games featured 18 crucial heats, narrowing the field of Open Men and Open Women surfers at the midpoint of the contest period.

Peru gained an early advantage over their competition, maintaining four competitors in the Main Event and two in the Repechage Rounds. Peru has no easy task ahead of them as their two male and female surfers left in the Main Event will face off against each other in their upcoming heats.

Day 4 of competition opened up with stacked heats in Round 3 of the Open Men Main Event. Costa Rica’s Carlos Muñoz and Noe Mar McGonagle were the standout performers, advancing through to Round 4 and posting the two highest heat totals (15.00 & 14.84) of the Round in their respective heats.

Japan’s Takumi Nakamura managed to squeeze through his nail-biting Main Event Round 3 heat. Nakamura, the last Japanese athlete in the Main Event Open Men category, earned a heat total of 12.60 that placed him in second place, narrowly edging out Brett Simpson’s (USA) score of 12.50.

Nakamura expressed his emotions following his heat.

“I feel really confident right now and I feel like I can win it all. I just need to keep building on my strong performances and stay stoked in the water.”

Day 4 continued with Open Women Repechage heats, where the women posted some of the day’s highest scores.

Chile’s Jessica Anderson (16.00) and South Africa’s Tanika Hoffman (15.66) posted the highest heat totals, gaining momentum for the Repechage heats they will face in the coming days.

Tanika Hoffman spoke about finding her form in the Repechage Rounds.

“I was really happy to find a running wave and I surfed it as well as I could. The Repechage Rounds are kind of nice because you can get into a rhythm and really get to know the wave at the contest site.”

12 heats of the Open Men’s Repechage Round 2 finished off the day, where Japan’s Hiroto Arai obtained two solid waves in the excellent range (9.17 and 8.10) to earn a heat total of 17.27, the highest of the day for any competitor.

ISA President Fernando Aguerre, who is currently in Rio attending the Olympics due to the International Olympic Committee’s vote on August 3 to include Surfing in the Sports Program for the Tokyo 2020 Games, chimed in after watching the action on the live webcast.

“We have reached the midway point of the competition and the in-form surfers are beginning to emerge above the rest of the field. In the days that are coming, emotions will run high and the competition will intensify as the surfers edge closer to crowning world champions. We are witnessing history as world champions will be crowned on Sunday, the first champions in the era of Olympic Surfing.”

Surfline, the official forecaster, is predicting that a new 3–4 foot Southwest swell will continue to show more size on Thursday, August 11. The swell is expected hold through the end of the contest period, until Sunday, August 14.

The full Surfline Forecast can be found here.

View the full results from Day 4 of competition here.

Photos and video by Johan Pacheco
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