MEREWETHER, New South Wales/Australia (Tuesday, March 9, 2010) – Action in the ASP WQS 4-star Burton Toyota Pro in Newle commenced today at the break directly across the road from the home of 4-time ASP World Champion and event patron Mark Richards.
Eight heats in the Round of 112 and four heats in the Round of 96 were completed.
After a week of wind-affected conditions, competitors were greeted with a flawless blue sky and a one metre swell fanned by an offshore wind.
The direction of the swell forced organisers to move the event down the beach a few hundred metres from Merewether point.
Most surfers were thrilled to be surfing a bank that offered potential for scoring opportunity – none more so than Brazilian surfer Ricardo Dos Santos.
As one of only two seeded surfers in the first heat of the Round of 96, Dos Santos is hoping today’s form can continue into the finals.
The 19-year-old racked up a heat score of 12.34 to remain in front of the USA’s Chris Ward (10.94) and Aussies Ice Pereira-Ryan (6.54) and Matthew Bradley (2.66).
Despite achieving the highest wave score (8.17) of the round, the youngster admitted his confidence was not all that high to with.
“I was super nervous at the ning after watching Chris (Ward) do so well in the heats this morning,” Dos Santos said.
Ward too had carved an 8.17 in the first round.
Only Australian Dean Bowen’s first round wave (8.5) could better the duo’s effort.
“I was pretty sure I could do a good job if I chose the right wave.
“I got lucky in the first five minutes where I was able to catch two fantastic waves that gave me some good points,” the Brazilian said.
As one of 37 international surfers competing in the Burton Toyota Pro in 2010, the goofy-footer is hoping to show the form that saw him win the 2009 Billabong Pro Junior in Chile.
“My aim is to try to keep focused and to do my best in every heat so that I can reach my goal of getting to the final.”
The Burton Toyota Pro will continue tomorrow with a 7.30am call for the remaining four heats in the Round of 96.