SALVADOR / Bahia, Brazil (Monday, August 29, 2011) – The race for the South American Men’s ASP Pro Junior title began at the Surf Eco Festival presented by Billabong this Monday in rippable waves in the 2-3 ft. (0.5-1 meter) range at Jaguaribe Beach in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. The top ranked surfers faced some stiff competition, but were able to qualify into Round 2.
The day’s highlights were provided by Lysandro Leandro (BRA), who scored the day’s highest heat-total with a 15.35 (out of a possible 20 points) and Sidney Guimaraes (BRA) who scored the day’s highest single-wave total of an 8.25 (out of a possible 10 points) by taking to the air.
“Yeah, I think I caught the worst wave of the heat, but I kept surfing it until it formed a ramp on the inside section and I was able to pull off a nice air,” said Sidney Guimaraes, who currently sits at No. 26 in the ranking but still has a chance mathematically of finishing within the top four surfers that will qualify for the ASP World Pro Junior Tour. “It’s all going to be decided here, and there are a bunch of people that can make it on to the Junior Tour, so we’re giving it all we got.”
Lysandro Leandro also used his aerial attack to score a 7.85 and a 7.30 to qualify in first place in his heat followed by Ian Gouveia (BRA). “I was able to find two good waves in that heat and I’m really happy to defeat the guy that’s leading the ranking,” said Leandro, who is not in the race for the ASP World Junior. “For me, that’s already a personal victory.”
Even with his second-place finish in his debut at the Billabong Surf Eco Festival, Ian Gouveia was happy to qualify into the next Round.
“I can’t believe that I made that heat,” said Gouveia, son of former World Tour surfer, Fabio Gouveia. “The heat was almost over and I needed a good score. But conditions were tough and I was lucky enough to catch a good one there at the end and qualify.”
Another strong candidate for the ASP South America Pro Junior Series title is Filipe Toledo (BRA) who also qualified in second behind Luan Carvalho (BRA). Toledo is currently sitting at No. 4 in the ranking.
“I couldn’t find the waves with a good face for making turns, but the most important thing is that I qualified into the next Round and I hope to find better waves so I can show what I can do,” said Toledo.
The biggest upset of the day came with the elimination of Santiago Muniz (ARG) who was defending his Billabong Surf Eco Festival title. He was defeated in the final minutes of the heat, losing out to Thomas Demetrio (BRA) and Lucas Silveira (BRA).
12 of the 16 Round 1 Heats took place and competition continues tomorrow (Tuesday) at 9am local time at Jaguaribe Beach. Rounds 2 and 3 will also be completed tomorrow in addition to Round 1 of the Women’s Pro Junior event in Salvador. Wednesday will see the conclusion of the ASP South America Pro Junior Series 2011 with the Final scheduled for 1:50pm local time. Thursday starts the day with the first heats of the Billabong Surf Eco Festival Men’s ASP World 2-Star event that finishes off on Saturday.
The Surf Eco Festival is brought to you by Dende Productions and Axe Mix and presented by Billabong and is sponsored by the State of Bahia, the City of Salvador and by Petrobras, Skol, Azul Airlines and Monster Energy. Together, the event organizers combine sports with local artistic presentations to promote environmental education throughout the week at Jaguaribe Beach. Live: www.surfecofestival.com.br and www.aspsouthamerica.com.br