ITAUNA BEACH, Saquarema, Rio de Janeiro / Brazil (Sunday, May 29, 2011) - Due to extreme conditions, onshore winds and huge waves in the 15-17 foot range (5-6 meters), the ASP World Prime Oakley Saquarema Prime presented by Coca-Cola will be postponed until tomorrow (Monday). The event was on stand-by since 8am local time, but after checking out other possible locations, it was evident to the athletes, event directors and organizers that the competition could not go on due to safety reasons.
The athletes came to a unanimous decision that no one would hit the water due to the stormy conditions at Saquarema. “We’re trying to look out for our best interests, safety first,” said Willian Cardoso, 2010 event winner.
“Of course, we’d all like to finish the contest today, but it’s a challenge for everyone. We can’t risk taking one of those big sets on the head because even the jet ski took 15 minutes to get outside. I think it’s the best decision to make when the waves are like this,” said Cardoso.
For the first time in the history of the ASP World Circuit in Brazil, an event has been postponed. In a complete contrast of conditions, two lay days were called because of a lack of waves and now another postponement caused by too heavy a swell. The announcement for the postponement until Monday of the Oakley Saquarema Prime was only made official after event organizers were able to calculate the logistics of an additional day of competition.
More than a hundred people are working at this event, many with flights booked that needed to be transferred. Plus, the majority of athletes that are competing in Saquarema are confirmed for another ASP World Prime event scheduled to begin on Tuesday in Imbituba, Santa Catarina-Brazil.
“We didn’t have much of a choice,” said Pedro Muller, Event Director for the Oakley Saquarema Prime. “The waves are too big, larger than what was predicted. I don’t think anybody thought that the swell would hit so hard and even the jet skis are having difficulty getting outside. We can’t risk the safety of our athletes, so our only option was to postpone the event.”
With forecasts indicating a small drop in swell, a call is scheduled for 7:30am local time on Monday, with a probable start by 8am. The first heat of the day matches up Cory Lopez (USA) against Gabriel Medina (BRA) in the Round of 12.
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.
ROUND OF 12 – 1st to Quarterfinals, 2nd earns 9th place:
Heat 1: Cory Lopez (USA) vs. Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Heat 2: Lincoln Taylor (AUS) vs. Junior Faria (BRA)
Heat 3: Adam Melling (AUS) vs. Adam Robertson (AUS)
Heat 4: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)