Day 5 of the 2022 ISA World Surfing Games did not disappoint and was jam-packed with action.
Athletes in the main draw didn't compete but still tuned up to make a lively atmosphere at Huntington Beach, California, with rowdy teams cheering for their athletes in repechage heats.
For those that survived the day, it was sometimes a case of surfing three heats in short succession.
While this event marks the start of surfing's road to Paris 2024, providing two quota spots for the winning men's and women's national teams, the International Surfing Association (ISA) today announced the dates for the second event in their Olympic qualification process.
The 2023 Surf City El Salvador ISA World Surfing Games will be from May 30 to June 7, 2023.
But before we get to El Salvador, let's see who is going to lead the way and win the first surfing spots for Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Keep reading for a full round-up of day five and be sure to tune in to Olympics.com, to catch the action live.
Moment of the day
At just 13 years of age, Yang Siqi of China made history today.
The young star has progressed further than any other Chinese surfer ever has at an ISA World Surfing Games after finishing second in repechage 4 with a total 9.00 score.
It's understood the previous best result of a Chinese surfer was 61st. Now that the teenager has made it through to repechage round five, the lowest possible result she can achieve is 29th.
Yang has considerably improved her surfing even in just the last few months.
In June she finished 37th at the 2022 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship.
We suspect there is more to come from this talented pocket rocket.
Caught our eye: Sportsmanship
Maybe we had World Peace Day on our minds (September 21) or maybe it was just the good vibes on the beach, but there was a notable amount of kindness and sportsmanship on the beach today.
Whether it was hugging, high-fiving, smiling or carrying someone else's equipment, there was a genuinely good feeling at Huntington Beach today.
The conditions were far from perfect at times. Waves were chopping and often unpredictable, so some athletes left the water disappointed their competition was over. But the environment remained pleasant and the overall outlook was that being on the beach on a sunny September day was something to be grateful for in itself.
As it happened: Day five at 2022 ISA World Surfing Games
Fitness was a huge factor that came into play today. For athletes like Frederico Morais (POR) and Rio Waida (INA) it was a matter of needing to surf three times, to survive and progress through to Thursday's action.
The pair were also in the standout heat of the day, (repechage 4, heat 9) trading waves with Mexico's Sebastian Williams and Italy's Jesse Mendes. It wasn't until after the heat was over and the final judge's score came in that it was clear Morais would go through to the next heat. He stomped a solid 6.13-point wave in the last minute to keep his competition alive.
They both went on to win their repechage 5 heats with Waida impressive until the very end, scoring a 9.17.
For the women, Wednesday was the Zoe McDougall show. The American claimed the top two overall heat results (12.90 and 12.83), and was second to India Robinson of Australia (7.33) for the highest single-wave score (6.83).
Forecast: Day six action and weather
Thursday will be an action-packed morning with the main draw heats back on the beach competing.
The forecast has 3-4 ft waves and the typical light early wind which will continue to build through the day. All going to plan the competition will be done for the day by the time the wind really picks up.
Things are starting to get interesting as the picture becomes clearer as to which men's and women's national teams might take the first two spots for Paris 2024.
In the men's, look out for France, Portugal, USA, Japan and Brazil and Australia who are all on the same number of points.
In the women's the same nations are considered the favourites, plus Canada and Germany.