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Checking in the action at the O’Neill SP Prime

Italo Ferreira © ASP/Smorigo




O’Neill SP Prime

ASP Men's Prime Event
Maresias, Sao Paulo  Brazil
3 - 8 November 2014

Check the Live Action | Portuguese

Ferreira, Dantas & Toledo all into quarterfinals

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 8 November, 2014 - Praia de Maresias, Sao Sebastiao, Sao Paulo - Filipe Toledo (BRA) once again delighted the spectators that filled the beach at Maresias for Day 5 of the O’Neill SP Prime presented by Guarana Antartica. Toledo combined fierce roundhouse hacks with a superior air game to defeat Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) by a total of 17.83 to 10.67 in Heat 8 of Round 5. Due to his recent success, Toledo is now tied with Jadson Andre (BRA) for 2nd place on the ASP Qualification Series (QS) rankings.

"Just being here with my friends and family is great," said Toledo. "But being here while surfing well during the contest is even better. Everything’s been working out. I’ve been very focused before all of my heats. I’ve been studying the waves and been paying attention to all the details before I hit the water. I’ve been feeling so thankful for my family and for everything that’s happened so far at the event. My goal is to reach the Finals and hopefully win the entire event."

On Friday, Julian Wilson (AUS) caused the upset of the day after eliminating local surfer and current World Championship Tour (WCT) leader Gabriel Medina (BRA) by a score of 15.30 to 14.43 in Round 4.

"I really needed to win that heat and I knew it was going to be difficult," stated Wilson. "That was probably the toughest heat I’ve had against Gabriel (Medina), because he’s such a great surfer, plus he’s competing at home here in Maresias. The waves have gotten smaller and I just wanted to wait for the larger sets. It’s unfortunate for Gabriel, but I really needed the ranking points and I wish him the best of luck during the Title Race at Pipeline."

After completion of Round 5 at the O’Neill SP Prime, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) now has 16,465 points and is the new leader of the ASP Qualification Series rankings. Dantas, who has already guaranteed a spot on the 2015 World Championship Tour, will be part of the new group of rookies reaching the elite level for the first time. In addition to Dantas, after repeated success in recent events, Italo Ferreira (BRA) has jumped to 5th on the QS rankings and has also assured entry onto the WCT by reaching 13,600 points after his victory over Ian Gouveia (BRA).

"I’m very excited for making it to the Quarterfinals, which has gotten me into the WCT," claimed Ferreira. "But my objective at this contest is to do even better. I want to make it to the Semifinals, then the Finals because my goal is to win this event. I really wanted to qualify for the WCT at this event so I’d have less pressure going to Hawaii. I know it’s going to be very difficult for me there. It will be the first time that I’ll compete for the Triple Crown, so I didn’t want to have to rely on getting a result there. I’m going to surf more relaxed, now that I’ve achieved my dream of getting on tour. I’m sure my family and my city (Baia Formosa, Brazil) are very proud of me."

As a consequence of their performances at the O’Neill SP Prime, Nathan Hedge (AUS) and Carlos Munoz (CRI) are two surfers that have both catapulted up the QS rankings. Hedge began the competition in 46th in the standings and is now sitting at 25th. In a similar situation, Munoz began the competition at 42nd and is currently in 23rd. However, only one surfer will have an opportunity to increase their position in the ranking because they will face each other in Heat 3 of the Quarterfinals.

The remaining Quarterfinalists that will compete on Saturday will be: Wiggolly Dantas against Matt Banting (AUS), who dropped to 4th on the QS. Italo Ferreira against Julian Wilson, and Filipe Toledo will face Jack Freestone (AUS), who despite solid performances, has been flying under the radar at Maresias.

"Conditions have been changing a lot during the event," said Freestone, who now sits at 11th on the QS rankings. "One second there’s really strong onshore winds, then the wind dies down and the waves get good. So you just have to be smart and adapt quickly. It’s good to know that I’m near qualification, but I think I need to win two more heats before I can relax. Tomorrow’s going to be difficult against Filipe (Toledo). He’s been surfing like a maniac and has been the in-form surfer of the event."

1.a: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) x Matt Banting (AUS)
2.a: Julian Wilson (AUS) x Italo Ferreira (BRA)
3.a: Carlos Munoz (CRI) x Nathan Hedge (AUS)
4.a: Filipe Toledo (BRA) x Jack Freestone (AUS)

Gabriel Gontijo

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