GRAN Canaria, Canary Islands (Saturday, November 6, 2010) - On a day which saw the Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro step into top gear with the quarter-finalists being decided, Australians Heath Joske and Davey Cathels battled out the heat of the contest which saw Joske come through in the tricky conditions at the shallow right of El Confital.
After being on hold for over two hours due to the low tide and inconsistent sets, event officials eventually gave the green light to run Round Four of competition in the clean 2-3ft (1m) waves. The forecast for the remainder of the waiting period is not clear, forcing organisers to run the moment the reef at El Confital was covered with water and the sets started to pour in.
Heath Joske (Valla Beach, AUS) 21, amassed a massive combined heat total of 17.33 to narrowly oust fellow Australian Davey Cathels (North Narabeen NSW, AUS) 19, 17.00 out of 20 in the tussle of the event. Joske scored a near perfect 9.8 out of 10 to have his opponent on the ropes at the midway stage. However Cathels answered back with an 8.33 and an 8.67 to hold the lead momentarily before Joske secured a 7.53 to take the win.
"I do feel a bit bad actually. He (Cathels) was surfing amazing. We surf contests to have heats like that with both guys getting really good scores. It was super exciting and we were chatting out in the line-up between waves but it got a bit serious at the end when he started pulling those 8's out of the bag and my heart was going on that last wave he got."
Joske was not keen on running this morning because of the inconsistent sets rolling in. As the afternoon advanced the swell pumped producing excellent right-handers. Contest director Jose Rodriguez and many local surfers assure that this is a common occurrence.
"It seems to start off a little slow and after high tide when it starts to drop the swell starts pulsing," commented Joske. "It is good out there man-on-man because you can be in the right spot when the waves come through and you can have a really good time. I went out to get off to a quick start but which I did but in the end it didn't really matter because there were heaps of waves."
A laconic Davey Cathels despite losing was pleased with his overall performance at the Islas Canarias Ocean & Earth Pro and gave full credit to his victor. One of the standout surfers all event, Cathels was never going to be easily beaten on the peeling rights.
"You don't get many heats where you get three 8's and you lose but it is better to lose that way than to not get any scores at all. It was fun out there with Heath and we were talking so a good heat for sure with him and I'm not too disappointed."
Jesse Mendes (Guarujà, BRA) 17, scored one of the highest single wave scores of the day with a scintillating backhand assault to claim an 8.67 out of a possible 10. Holding priority and perfectly positioned on the peak, Mendes cracked off four consecutive turns to finish on the dry reef and take a commanding lead over Aritz Aranburu (EUK).
"The conditions are really slow and hard out there because of the small waves. I just tried to keep myself calm and wait for the sets to come through. I knew Aritz was going to be a tough guy to beat, probably one of the hardest in the contest, so I had to be patient and wait for the sets."
Priority and patience were the keys to Mendes making it through to the quarter-finals, his second best result of the year. Currently n