O’Neill SP Prime
ASP Men's Prime Event
Maresias, Sao Paulo Brazil
3 - 8 November 2014
Check the Live Action | Portuguese
Filipe Toledo Leads Aerial Display at O’Neill SP Prime
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 5 November, 2014 - Praia de Maresias, Sao Sebastiao, Sao Paulo - The beach at Maresias, Brazil is where Gabriel Medina (BRA), Miguel Pupo (BRA) and Filipe Toledo (BRA) all honed their skills in the water. They’ve all faced each other an innumerable amount of times while they were growing up.
Now, after each surfer has imprinted their presence on the World Championship Tour, all three have returned to their homebreak to lead the charge at the O’Neill SP Prime presented by Guarana Antartica.
On Tuesday, under favorable conditions with waves in the 4-5 foot range (1.5 meters) and light winds, a full day of competition was held in front of another large audience. Currently residing in California, Filipe Toledo (BRA) felt right at home as he attacked the surf and executed a huge no-hand, full-rotation air to earn a 9.93 for the highest score so far at the O’Neill SP Prime.
"I was getting really anxious during the heat," said Toledo. "I’d been waiting for a perfect little right to come through so I could throw that air. I was so stoked that I landed it perfectly and I feel very confident that I’ll get a good result at this event."
Three out of the five judges gave Toledo a perfect 10-point ride for his stunt. "I’ve been practicing it a lot here in Brazil. I’ve only been surfing down by the end of the beach since I arrived without surfing at the contest site once. I stuck one earlier this morning and I felt like I could do it again in a heat. After I got a couple of good scores on some waves, I started giving it a few shots and when I made it, I knew I’d get the win."
Miguel Pupo (BRA) was the first of the crew to hit the water today in Heat 13 of Round of 96. Pupo nailed his first few waves and netted a 15.00 heat total early on against Nathan Hedge (AUS), Igor Moraes (BRA) and Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR), but only Hedge made it through along with heat-winner Pupo.
"I don’t like competing in the first heat of the day because my body usually feels like it isn’t fully awake," observed Pupo. "So I took a cold shower as soon as I woke up and it helped, because I won the heat. I’m competing at home in front of my friends and family, so that gives me more incentive to do well, but at the same time, it kind of builds a lot of pressure. The last time I participated in an event here, I was thirteen-years old. I remember that I made a heat and at the time, that was the best feeling in the world. I love competing here again, so I just want to thank the organizers for bringing the contest back."
Yet once again, the entire beach started buzzing as soon as Gabriel Medina arrived at the beach. Currently leading the rankings on the WCT, Medina is bombarded daily with questions about the Title Race, but seemed serene as he warmed up before his heat against Joan Duru (FRA), Brett Simpson (USA) and Maxime Huscenot (FRA). After a few low scores, Medina quickly built a lead by persistently taking to the air for the heat victory.
"There weren’t many good waves in our heat, but I landed that air at the end that saved me," stated Medina. "Conditions kept changing with the tide, so we didn’t really know where to sit. That’s why I’m glad I made it to the next round. The crowds have been incredible, there are so many people coming to the event, and this is just on Monday and Tuesday. I’m sure that things will be insane on Saturday."
After each of their victories, Toledo, Pupo and Medina all made sure to give attention back to their fans. Crowds gathered, autographs were signed and selfies were taken.