Another spectacular day of competition was held with sunny skies and waves in the 3-5 foot range at the Itauna Beach point break in Brazil.
Otton overcame compatriot Perth Standlick in their heat, and he was relieved to come through such a tense encounter.
“My heat against Perth Standlick was tense,” Otton said. “I had already faced him and won in this event, so I think he had some revenge in mind.
“What’s incredible is that there were great waves breaking here yesterday (Friday) but competition was called off. But today, conditions are even better, with larger sets and things are classic again.
“The two waves I caught today were the best I’ve gotten this whole week. I hope tomorrow (Sunday) has good waves as well and I hope I can win again.”
The day’s highest scoring single wave of a 9.57 was obtained by Kolohe Andino, in the competition’s only legitimate tuberide so far, in his heat against Jean da Silva of Brazil.
“The sets were taking a really long time to come in, so I couldn’t believe it when that barrel popped up,” said Kolohe Andino.
“My board helped me out, I set my rail in there and I was able to make it out. It was amazing.
“This contest has been so much fun, great waves, a perfect day and I hope it stays the same for tomorrow.”
High drama unfolded for the event’s top Seeded surfer, Gabriel Medina of Brazil, in his heat against the Canary Island’s Jonathan Gonzalez.
Breaking his board in the middle of the heat, Medina lost a hefty amount of time by having to swim back to shore, switch boards, and then paddle back out, before launching two massive frontside airs to continue in competition.
“That was intense,” Medina said. “I had a hard time in that heat, but I’m still in the hunt for the title.
“I brought my whole family along with me and they’ve been helping me out a lot. Matt (Wilkinson) is a surfer that can throw some modern manoeuvres too, so I can’t wait to face him. I’m really frothing, but I guess I have to wait until tomorrow.”
The event winner will be crowned tomorrow (Sunday) where U$ 40,000 dollars and 6,500 ASP World Ranking points will be distributed amongst the competitors.
Kai Otton (AUS) vs Sebastien Zietz (HAW)
Kolohe Andino (USA) vs Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Nathan Yeomans (USA) vs Keanu Asing (HAW)
Round of 16 results:
Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 11.10 v 10.94 Hizunome Bettero (BRA)
Kai Otton (AUS) 16.27 v 8.50 Perth Standlick (AUS)
Kolohe Andino (USA) 16.74 v 8.90 Jean da Silva (BRA)
Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 15.07 v 11.16 Romain Cloitre (FRA)
Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 8.96 v 8.33 Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.10 v 11.66 Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY)
Keanu Asing (HAW) 12.67 v 12.63 Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)
Nathan Yeomans (USA) 13.10 v 9.67 Filipe Toledo (BRA)