CACIMBA DO PADRE, Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco / Brazil (Friday, February 10, 2012) – Another day of incredible waves in the 3-5 foot range (1-1.5 meters) and sweltering temperatures greeted the privileged athletes competing in the ASP PRIME Hang Loose Pro Contest 2012 at Cacimba do Padre Beach, in Fernando de Noronha, Brazil. Three Brazilians and a Puerto Rican will contend tomorrow for the U$ 40,000 in prize money and take an early lead in the 2012 ASP World Ranking with the 6,500 points going towards the event winner.
Jean da Silva (BRA) was the highlight of the day, scoring a record breaking 19.47 out of a possible 20 points for the highest-heat total of the event over Mitch Coleborn (AUS) in the Round of 16. In his following heat, da Silva took out the event’s Top Seed, Gabriel Medina (BRA) in the Quarter-Finals.
“My day has certainly been blessed,” said Jean da Silva. “I just followed my same routine, waking up, resting well, checking out the waves and currents. I caught some good waves and I’m really pleased with everything that happened to me today. Surfing good waves in the heats has given me more and more motivation and confidence to compete here. I’m staying in the right spots and choosing the right waves. Now I want to be the first 2-time Hang Loose Pro champion and hopefully that’ll happen tomorrow (Jean da Silva was the 2006 event winner).”
The only Puerto Rican surfer in the event, Brian Toth, showed off his outstanding tube-riding abilities at Cacimba do Padre in his victories over Dion Atkinson (AUS), Raoni Monteiro (BRA) and Joan Duru (FRA) on his way to the Semi-finals.
“This place is spectacular,” said Toth. “In Puerto Rico, there’s a similar wave, also tubular, but it’s a reef-break, not a beach-break like here. For me, there’s no other place like Cacimba do Padre. It’s been 4 or 5 years that I’ve been coming here and this is my best result ever. I love this place and it’s one of the best waves on the Tour to compete in.”
Miguel Pupo (BRA) had heats with two other Brazilian surfers, Willian Cardoso and Wiggolly Dantas respectively, in his path before he could guarantee his spot in the Semi-finals.
“I was really nervous in that last heat (against Dantas),” said Pupo. “I needed a score and time kept passing and I couldn’t catch any waves, but in the end, everything worked out fine. I spent a lot of time just sitting around and waiting, which made things difficult and made me even more nervous. I think I need to improve on that to make it to the Finals.”
Ricardo dos Santos (BRA) continued his sensational surfing in Fernando de Noronha, racking up huge scores and seeming to be in complete harmony with the conditions in his heats. His best score of the day was a 9.33 that sealed his victory over Chris Ward (USA). He also defeated Damien Hobgood (USA) with an amazing tube-ride that topped off at 9.70.
“Apparently, everything’s working out for me,” said Ricardo dos Santos. “The connection with the sea is fundamental, especially when conditions are fantastic for those that can find the right waves. I’m going to head into the Semis the same way as my other heats, which was without a lot of strategy and just being in tune with the waves. Winning through surfing is the best, but if I need to stick to someone, I can use the rules as well.”
The winner of the ASP PRIME Hang Loose Pro Contest will be decided tomorrow.
The Hang Loose Pro Contest is an ASP South America sanctioned event and is the introductory ASP World Prime event of 2012, sponsored by Hang Loose and in partnership with the State of Pernambuco through EMPETUR, the Secretary of Tourism, the Administration of Fernando de Noronha, Projeto TAMAR and co-sponsored by Overboard, Bleat, Hot Water, Central Surf, Sthill, WQSurf, Tent Beach, Star Surf, Supertubes, K&K, Cut Wave and Red Beach. The event comes with the support of the Pernambuco Surf Federation, the Northeastern Surf Association, Fluir Magazine and Waves Website.
The Hang Loose Pro Contest will be decided on Saturday, where forecasts predict even better conditions. Event info can be found at http://www.hangloose.com.br/procontest2012/default.asp
HANG LOOSE PRO CONTEST 2012 SEMI-FINALS:
Heat 1: Miguel Pupo (BRA) x Ricardo dos Santos (BRA)
Heat 2: Brian Toth (PRI) x Jean da Silva (BRA)
QUARTER-FINALS – 5th place = US$ 6,500 and 3,320 points:
Heat 1: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.37 x 12.00 Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)
Heat 2: Ricardo dos Santos (BRA) 18.33 x 8.34 Damien Hobgood (USA)
Heat 3: Brian Toth (PRI) 16.24 x 10.83 Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 4: Jean da Silva (BRA) 17.00 x Gabriel Medina (BRA)
ROUND OF 16 – 9th place = US$ 5,000 and 2,400 points:
Heat 1: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.47 x 11.66 Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Heat 2: Ricardo dos Santos (BRA) 17.16 x 16.70 Chris Ward (USA)
Heat 3: Joan Duru (FRA) 19.47 x 12.77 Nic Von Rupp (DEU)
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.37 x 6.60 Yuri Sodre (BRA)
Heat 5: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 15.60 x 14.40 Bernardo Miranda (BRA)
Heat 6: Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.83 x 8.90 Mason Ho (HAW)
Heat 7: Brian Toth (PRI) 17.33 x 10.87 Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 8: Jean da Silva (BRA) 19.47 x 17.56 Mitchel Coleborn (AUS))