Praia de Santa Bárbara, Sao Miguel – Azores Islands (Thursday, September 5, 2013) - Competition recommenced this morning in a wind affected lineup and 3-4 foot waves at the beautiful black-sand beach of Santa Barbara. The last four heats of the second round were completed before going into the no-loser round of 24 which allowed the eight winning surfers to move directly into the Round of 16 of the ASP Prime SATA Airlines Azores Pro.
Filipe Toledo (BRA) 18, current World No. 17 and aerial guru, was the first surfer to break the 8.00 barrier with an above-the-lip manoeuver this morning. Taking things to the next level on his forethand, Toledo netted one of the highest heat totals of the day.
“I went out there relaxed because it’s a no-loser round, but thinking of first place to get straight into the round 16,” Toledo stated. “I watched the heats before and airs didn’t score very well, so I tried to go higher and bring variation in the rotations and grabs. My 8+ was an inverted frontside reverse and in the first section of the wave, I think that’s why I got a good score for it.”
Ryan Callinan (AUS) 21, managed to hold back on his usual high-flying ardor, performing more traditional surfing while advancing into the round of 16 ahead of C.J Hobgood (USA) and Brian Toth (PRI).
“I’ve never got into a prime, so it’s cool to be here and I’m doing pretty well, I’m stoked,” Callinan said. “It’s really cool to surf cause all the heats are so hard, there are CT guys in almost every heat and I feel like I’ve learned already a lot from the last couple. There’s still some fun contestable waves out there, I did a little air at the end and only got a 4.6 so I was like okay I’ll stick to the turns!”
Nathan Hedge (AUS) 34, former elite WCT surfer now back in the qualification race, has been discretely advancing through the rounds at the ASP Prime SATA Airlines Azores Pro, but nonetheless winning all-three to advance directly into the round of 16. With his classic, yet very efficient surfing, the Australian edged out former runner-up at the World Juniors and rising Hawaiian star Ezekiel Lau.
“The conditions were challenging but I’ve got really good small-wave boards under my feet,” Hedge said. “It’s really important to do well in the Primes, we only have eight for the year and we’re halfway through. I got super fit, worked on my equipment and made some lifestyle changes, I’m surfing better and faster than even when I was on tour before. I just had to be open minded to try new things, and work on my strengths!”
Alejo Muniz (BRA) 23, dominated the opening heat of the no-loser round of 24, in an all-Brazilian affair against powersurfer Willian Cardoso and Hizunome Bettero. Muniz started on an inside righthander to perform four radical turns including two perfectly executed snaps on his frontside and scored an impressive 8.77 out of 10.
Unfortunately later in the heat, Muniz missed the landing on a full rotation aerial and suffered an ankle injury and won’t be able to surf when the event continues tomorrow.
“It looks like it’s a compression between bones on his ankle and Alejo’s gone to the hospital for an MRI so we’ll hopefully know more soon,” Phillipe Malvaux, Hurley European Team Manager said.
We wish Alejo a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him back on his feet ripping again very soon.
The SATA Airlines Azores Pro will recommence tomorrow at 7:30am with the round of 24. Up first will be Willian Cardoso (BRA) against Brett Simpson (USA).
The ASP Prime Men’s SATA Airlines Azores Islands Pro is scheduled from September 3-8, 2013 in Sao Miguel, Azores Islands. For all results, photos, video highlights, press releases and LIVE webcast, log on to www.aspeurope.com/azores.
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SATA Airlines Azores Pro presented by Sumol 2013 is organized by DAAZ Events and Atlantic Action Sports Association, with the support of the following event partners: SATA Airlines, Azores Tourism, Ribeira Grande City Hall, Sumol, MOCHE, MEO, Vip Executive Açores Hotel, FUEL TV, RFM, RTP, Jornal i, Surf Total, Surf Portugal, ONFIRE, Beachcam and Puro Feeling.
UPCOMING SATA AIRLINES AZORES PRO ROUND OF 16 MATCHUPS:
Heat 1: Alejo Muniz (BRA) vs TBD
Heat 2: Cooper Chapman (USA) vs TBD
Heat 3: Ryan Callinan (AUS) vs TBD
Heat 4: Adam Melling (AUS) vs TBD
Heat 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs TBD
Heat 6: Tomas Hermes (BRA) vs TBD
Heat 7: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) vs TBD
Heat 8: Nathan Hedge (AUS) vs TBD
UPCOMING SATA AIRLINES AZORES PRO ROUND OF 24 MATCHUPS:
Heat 1: Willian Cardoso (BRA) vs Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs Hizunome Bettero (BRA)
Heat 3: C.J Hobgood (USA) vs Peterson Crisanto (BRA)
Heat 4: Marco Fernandez (BRA) vs Brian Toth (PRI)
Heat 5: Keanu Asing (HAW) vs Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 6: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs Maxime Huscenot (FRA)
Heat 7: Conner Coffin (USA) vs Jay Thompson (AUS)
Heat 8: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) vs Mitch Crews (AUS)
SATA AIRLINES AZORES PRO NO-LOSER ROUND OF 24 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 16.27, Willian Cardoso (BRA) 13.00, Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 11.66
Heat 2: Cooper Chapman (USA) 12.97, Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.43, Brett Simpson (USA) 9.87
Heat 3: Ryan Callinan (AUS), C.J Hobgood (USA) 11.36, Brian Toth (PRI) 7.94
Heat 4: Adam Melling (AUS) 13.46, Marco Fernandez (BRA) 11.93, Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 10.80
Heat 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.86, Keanu Asing (HAW) 14.03, Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 11.66
Heat 6: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 15.50, Tomas Hermes (BRA) 14.66, Joan Duru (FRA) 11.57
Heat 7: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 12.50, Conner Coffin (USA) 11.30, Mitch Crews (AUS) 10.56
Heat 8: Nathan Hedge (AUS) 14.26, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 9.83, Jay Thompson (AUS) 8.24
SATA AIRLINES AZORES PRO ROUND OF 48 RESULTS:
Heat 9: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 16.33, Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 11.64, Damien Hobgood (USA) 11.50, Granger Larsen (HAW) 11.20
Heat 10: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 15.44, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 12.34, Frederico Morais (PRT) 10.34, Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 6.50
Heat 11: Conner Coffin (USA) 13.93, Jay Thompson (AUS) 12.70, Charles Martin (GLP) 12.16, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.90
Heat 12: Nathan Hedge (AUS) 13.23, Mitch Crews (AUS) 12.57, David Do Carmo (BRA) 12.53, Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 12.40