PRAIA DA VILA, Imbituba, Santa Catarina / Brazil (Saturday, June 4, 2011) - Confirming prior forecasts, the conditions at Praia da Vila changed drastically today (Saturday) at the ASP PRIME SuperSurf Internacional Prime. A southerly cold front hit the Santa Catarina coast bringing very strong winds and waves in the 6-8 foot range (2-3 meters). Although facing challenging conditions, the athletes were still able to compete at a high level.
One of the best heats of the day was a remake of the final at the ASP PRIME in Margaret River, Australia, matching up Damien Hobgood (USA) against Yadin Nicol (AUS). Nicol, who is on the bubble for reaching the Top 32 was not able to defeat Hobgood, who scored the highest heat-wave total of the dayy with a 16.20 out of a possible 20 points.
“Yadin’s (Nicol) been one of the best surfers of the event,” said Damien Hobgood. “He’s been surfing really well and I just wanted to have a good heat. I knew that he’d be a tough opponent, but I think I had a small advantage since I’ve been here before and surfed under similar conditions.”
Hobgood has made two finals appearances at the Brazilian ASP World Tour event held at Imbituba, winning the title in 2005.
Other surfers that qualified into the next round of competition were Richard Christie (NZL) who scored a heat total of (14.87) and Brazilian surfers Gabriel Medina (14.94) and Miguel Pupo (14.96), who scored the day’s highest single-wave score with an 8.83 out of a possible 10.
“The heat was really difficult,” said Miguel Pupo. “You can’t hear anything out there and I didn’t even see Neco (Padaratz, his opponent). It’s really choppy and blown-out with a strong current and really strong winds. I even asked the jet ski to pull in a little closer so I could hear the scores. I’m happy to qualify and earn more points towards the ranking.”
The guaranteed 9th place at the SuperSurf Internacional Prime will be a big push for four surfer still competing: Gabe Kling (USA), Royden Bryson (ZAF), Richard Christie (NZL) and Ricardo Santos (BRA), who eliminated Granger Larsen (HAW) from the event, who was sitting at Number 32 of the ASP World Ranking.
“I’m really used to these kinds of conditions,” said Ricardo Santos. “Here in the south of Brazil, you have two predominant winds, from the North and the strong winds from the South. I just tried to concentrate on my surfing and not think about the tough conditions or who I’m facing. We can’t choose who we’re going to surf against, so I just think about surfing.”
Ricardo Santos jumped from 112th to 92nd in the ASP World Ranking and Dylan Graves (PRI) also went up twenty positions from 104th to 84th by defeating Leo Neves (BRA) at Praia da Vila.
“It was one of the most exhausting heats I’ve had in a long time,” said Dylan Graves. “There’s a lot of wind, a lot of waves, a lot of current. Everything in excess and no way to position yourself out there. And that’s not even including the paddle! I’m worn out from all the paddling, but I’m happy that I won the heat and so it was all worthwhile.”
The last day of competition (Sunday) at the SuperSurf Internacional Prime will begin at 7am local time at Praia da Vila with the Round of 12 (no losers). The first heat of the day will see Raoni Monteiro (BRA), Mason Ho (HAW) and Tom Whitaker (AUS) matching up, with the winner advancing directly into the Quarterfinals. The Finals are scheduled for 2:30pm local time.
The SuperSurf Internacional Prime 2011 is presented by Peugeot and produced by Editora Abril. This ASP PRIME event is also sponsored by the State of Santa Catarina and FUNDESPORTE and with the support of The City of Imbituba, FECASURF and the Surfer’s Association of Imbituba with exclusive coverage by ESPN Brasil.
SuperSurf Internacional stRound of 12 (No Losers): 1 to Quarter Finals, 2nd and 3nd to Round of 12:
Heat 1: Raoni Monteiro (BRA), Mason Ho (HAW), Tom Whitaker (AUS)
Heat 2: Gabe Kling (USA), Hizunome Bettero (BRA), Ricardo Santos (BRA)
Heat 3: Damien Hobgood (USA), Gabriel Medina (BRA), Royden Bryson (ZAF)
Heat 4: Miguel Pupo (BRA), Richard Christie (NZL), Dylan Graves (PRI)
SuperSurf Internacional Round of 24 Results:
Heat 1: Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 12.67 x 11.40 Yuri Sodre (BRA)
Heat 2: Mason Ho (HAW) 11.34 x 8.23 Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Heat 3: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 14.00 x 9.60 Bernardo Pigmeu (BRA)
Heat 4: Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 12.00 x 6.40 Ben Dunn (AUS)
Heat 5: Gabe Kling (USA) 13.04 x 12.33 Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)
Heat 6: Ricardo Santos (BRA) 10.33 x 7.96 Granger Larsen (HAW)
Heat 7: Royden Bryson (ZAF) 10.83 x 6.56 Austin Ware (USA)
Heat 8: Damien Hobgood (USA) 16.20 x 14.77 Yadin Nicol (AUS)
Heat 9: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.94 x 6.94 Tomas Hermes (BRA)
Heat 10: Dylan Graves (PRI) 11.54 x 10.90 Leonardo Neves (BRA)
Heat 11: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 14.96 x 12.13 Neco Padaratz (BRA)
Heat 12: Richard Christie (NZL) 14.87 x 13.34 Jay Quinn (NZL)