ITAUNA BEACH, Saquarema, Rio de Janeiro / Brazil (Tuesday, May, 24, 2011) – Tuesday at Itauna beach began with good weather but small waves for the start of the ASP PRIME event, the Coca-Cola presents Oakley Saquarema PRIME in the northern region of the state of Rio de Janeiro.
Contest director, Pedro Muller said: “We made three calls this morning (Tuesday) hoping to get the contest underway even though the forecast said the swell would lose pressure throughout the day. So we decided to wait for better conditions since the swell forecast shows some improvement for the next couple of days.”
Half of the ASP Tour’s athletes stayed in Brazil to compete in the 2011 Oakley Saquarema Prime. The 96 competitors were seeded into 24 heats, beginning with Tahitian Michel Bourez, Jay Quinn from New Zealand, the South African Dale Staples and the local boy, Leonardo Neves (BRA).
During the event’s press conference, Adriano de Souza, winner of the ASP Tour event in Rio de Janeiro, talked about his expectations in this event.
“The last time I was here was six years ago,” said Adriano de Souza. “I know about the city’s history and the wave here at Itauna which is one of the best in Brazil. Raoni (Monteiro) and Leo (Neves) who are locals here know this spot really well, as does Willian (Cardoso) who is defending his title. It’s going to be a great event and I’ve got high expectations. I’m coming off of a great week at Barra da Tijuca and I’m going to try my best here too.”
When asked about how he felt to be the first Brazilian to be ranked number one by the ASP, Adriano de Souza said, “Everything was amazing in Rio. Even I still don’t believe it! It was the best feeling in the world! It’s always been my biggest dream, my biggest wish since watching Peterson Rosa win the contest at Barra in 1998. I thought that one day, that could be me. I got close in 2009, but it just slipped through my fingers. Now, I was able to win it and seeing my name on the primetime news was unbelievable! But now I need to get back to my routine. Today I woke up early and am focused again.”
Representing the local break at Saquarema, Raoni Monteiro knows how important this event is for the region at Itauna. “The event’s status has increased each year and this favors the local economy. Saquarema has awesome waves and I’m going to do everything I can to win my heats and make it to the last day of competition,” said Monteiro.
Another WT contender, Jadson Andre spoke about the quality of the waves in Itauna and the raise in the event’s status to an ASP World Prime competition.
“It couldn’t be more fair or well deserved for this event to turn Prime,” said Andre. “Saquarema has some of the best waves in Brazil and in the last two years, it has been one of the best events that I’ve competed in. Whoever wins here is going to earn crucial rating points, so the fight for the title is going to be good.”
Out of the field of 96 competitors, 58 are international surfers compared to the 38 Brazilians that complete the list and 17 of the total being part of the ASP World Tour’s elite surfers.
The Coca-Cola presents Oakley Saquarema Prime 2011 is sponsored by Coca-Cola and Oakley with support from the State of Rio de Janeiro through the Secretary of Sport and Leisure, the City of Saquarema, CCR and the Surfing Federation of the State of Rio de Janeiro.