SALVADOR / Bahia, Brazil (Saturday, September 03, 2011) – Local surfer Bino Lopes (BRA), 23, wins the ASP World 2-Star Billabong Surf Eco Festival at Jaguaribe Beach in Salvador, Brazil. Scoring 17.00 (out of a possible 20 points) on a 9.0 and a 7.0 on his first few waves, he defeated the stand-out surfer of the event, 16 year old, Michael Rodrigues (BRA) to take home U$ 5,000 in prize money and the 500 points going to his ASP World Ranking and the ASP South America Surf Series 2011 Ranking.
“It’s been an entire year that I don’t win a contest.” said Bino Lopes. “I was feeling kind of frustrated, but everything worked out perfect here. I’m surfing in front of my home crowd, at the beach where I always surf, so I think it was all supposed to come out this way. I knew it was going to be difficult against Michael (Rodrigues) who’s been the best surfer of the event since the Final he made in the Pro Junior and making it to the Final in this event. I just tried to wait for the best waves and my strategy worked out.”
The youngster Michael Rodrigues made a name for himself by making the Final in both ASP South America Pro Junior and World 2-Star events. He began Saturday’s Final by taking to the air while his opponent Lopes focused on fully-committed, rail-to-rail turns.
“Bahia’s a lucky place for me,” said Michael Rodrigues. “Even though I didn’t win the events I’m happy to have made both Finals. Conditions were difficult today and I got pretty worn out from the earlier heats. The current was really strong and so was the wind. So, I’m going to analyze what went wrong so I can improve and win next time.”
After a full week of good conditions with sunny skies and rippable waves, the Billabong Surf Eco Festival finished off in stormy conditions with onshore wind-blown waves in the 4-6 foot (1-2 meter) range. The unfavorable conditions however, were not enough to turn the crowd on the beach away for the final day of the event.
“The crowd that showed up today to cheer for me was essential,” said Event-Winner Bino Lopes. “All of the energy coming from the beach and my family helped me out a lot. It was really emotional. I’m just so happy I won!”
For the fourth consecutive year, the Billabong Surf Eco Festival was held in Salvador in Bahia, Brazil and the third time the South America Pro Junior Championships finished off at the same venue. Event Organizer, Railton Lemos, celebrated another successful event and the fact that a local surfer won the event for the first time.
“We had an excellent finish,” said Railton Lemos. “Everything worked out great and we were able to put Bahia on the map for international sporting events in a place better known for its tradition of Carnival. There’s surf here too! I’d like to thank the support of the ASP, Billabong and all of the sponsors that helped to make this event possible. There’s more to come next year.”
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
FINAL ASP 2-STAR BILLABONG SURF ECO FESTIVAL:
Champion: Bino Lopes (BRA) – 16.00 pontos – US$ 5,000 and 500 points
Runner Up: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) – 11.00 pontos – US$ 2,500 and 375 points
SEMIFINALS – 3th place – US$ 1,750 and 281 points:
1: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 9.25 x 8.35 Elivelton Santos (BRA)
2: Bino Lopes (BRA) 10.75 x 10.25 Christiano Spirro (BRA)
QUARTER-FINALS – 5th place – US$ 1,100 and 211 points:
1: Elivelton Santos (BRA) 12.65 x 10.35 Pablo Paulino (BRA)
2: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 13.25 x 10.50 Cesar Aguiar (BRA)
3: Bino Lopes (BRA) 12.65 x 10.75 Marco Fernandez (BRA)
4: Christiano Spirro (BRA) 10.15 x 6.75 Dennis Tihara (BRA)