Azores Airlines Pro
Fun surf helps narrow field down to 48 contenders
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 6 September, 2017 - Against all-odds the Azores Airlines Pro pres. by SEAT resumed in improved conditions with two-to-three foot punchy peaks gracing the West corner of Santa Barbara beach this morning. The event’s top seeds entered competition in Round Two and fought all-day for a precious spot into the next round.
The Brazilian contingent thrusted the post-heat winner interview spot with a demonstration of excellent surfing from the likes of Jesse Mendes (BRA), Alex Ribeiro (BRA) and Yago Dora (BRA) in the first few heats.
With twenty-seven athletes in Round Two, the auriverde crew not only is the biggest in number, but also packs some serious talent with rankings leader Mendes’ just marching through with momentum, Ribeiro dominating his heat from start to finish and Dora showcasing his x-factor aerial game for the event’s highest combined heat total.
“Our heat was kind of slow, it often happens with the first heat of the day somehow,” Mendes reflected. “But I managed to get a couple fun ones so I’m happy. I’m on a CI board, a new model that I tried first in Japan and have been hooked on ever since. It’s a shortboard with less rocker and it works incredibly well to go through the flat sections.”
“My epoxy board works just so well in those conditions,” Ribeiro explained. “I was right at home in those conditions and with my magic board I was just relaxed and having a lot of fun! I’m stoked to make it through and advance with Thiago (Camarao) my good friend, he got that last wave and made the most of it so I’m happy for him too.”
“I expected it to be a really good heat and it turned out to be!” Dora said. “I had a couple of mediocre scores at the beginning and realized I needed to step it up and do something else. Waves were kind of wedge and fun so I went for the air. The European leg is always good to me and I love coming here to the Azores.”
Former Championship Tour surfer Alejo Muniz (BRA), 27, continued with the trend and added another win on behalf of the Brazilian team. Muniz currently sits in 21st place on the Qualifying Series and needs a big result if he’s to re-qualify for the elite tour he was apart of the last six years.
“I’ve been training very hard and had a shocker in Pantin which was very hard for me,” Muniz said. “So I just wanted to surf you know, no strategy I really just wanted to show what I can do. I’ve been surfing the same board as last week, but without the neoprene suit I feel much lighter and better in those waves.”
Another strong candidate for a potential CT berth in 2018 is the current QS No.9 and yet another Brazilian Willian Cardoso (BRA), 31. Cardoso’s buzzer-beater win came with an impressive 8.77 on a shoulder-high left and four turns including a first massive backhand gauge to set the tone.
“I had a low back-up and I knew the other two guys could score at any time so I tried to stay patient and be in the right spot when finally a really good wave came at the end,” Cardoso said. “I like surfing backside, I know I’m capable of getting big scores for two good turns so I enjoy those conditions. I had two poor results in California and Pantin so that was disappointing after my runner-up in South Africa, but I’m still feeling good and I hope I can make more heats here this week.”
A number of other surfers contributed to that trend to build an nineteen-man strong Brazilian field in Round Three when the event recommences.
Surfers and event officials will reconvene at 7:20 a.m Thursday in expected great waves for a third consecutive day of competition in Azores.
UPCOMING AZORES AIRLINES PRO ROUND 3 MATCHUPS:
Heat 1: Jesse Mendes (BRA), Miguel Tudela (PER), Gony Zubizarreta (ESP), Thiago Camarao (BRA)
Heat 2: Takumi Nakamura (JPN), Ryan Callinan (AUS), Cooper Chapman (AUS), Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
Heat 3: Yago Dora (BRA), Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR), Charly Martin (GLP), Marco Fernandez (BRA)
Heat 4: Peterson Crisanto (BRA), Shun Murakami (JPN), Alejo Muniz (BRA), Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Heat 5: Patrick Gudauskas (USA), Thiago Guimaraes (BRA), Kilian Garland (USA), Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 6: Krystian Kymerson (BRA), Wade Carmichael (AUS), Vicente Romero (ESP), Seth Moniz (HAW)
Heat 7: Tomas Hermes (BRA), Joshua Moniz (HAW), Tristan Guilbaud (FRA), Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
Heat 8: Dion Atkinson (AUS), Marco Giorgi (URY), Marcos Correa (BRA), Mitch Crews (AUS)
Heat 9: Aritz Aranburu (ESP), Lliam Mortensen (AUS), David Do Carmo (BRA), Griffin Colapinto (USA)
Heat 10: Jorgann Couzinet (FRA), Davey Cathels (AUS), Flavio Nakagima (BRA), Lucas Silveira (BRA)
Heat 11: Hiroto Arai (JPN), Billy Stairmand (NZL), Shane Campbell (AUS), Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY)
Heat 12: Yage Araujo (BRA), Bino Lopes (BRA), Ian Crane (USA), Michael February (ZAF)
AZORES AIRLINES PRO ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 14.83, Takumi Nakamura (JPN) 10.87, Jacome Correia (PRT) 10.27, Cristobal De Col (PER) 9.96
Heat 2: Miguel Tudela (PER) 13.53, Ryan Callinan (AUS) 10.66, Robson Santos (BRA) 10.13, Kalani Ball (AUS) 9.43
Heat 3: Cooper Chapman (AUS) 13.17, Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 12.07, Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 9.87, Jared Hickel (AUS) 8.53
Heat 4: Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 14.67, Thiago Camarao (BRA) 13.37, Tom Cloarec (FRA) 13.13, Luel Felipe (BRA) 8.67
Heat 5: Yago Dora (BRA) 16.73, Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 13.43, Michael Dunphy (USA) 13.20, Tomas Tudela (PER) 9.30
Heat 6: Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 13.00, Shun Murakami (JPN) 11.90, Taylor Clark (USA) 10.37, Noe Mar McGonagle (CRI) 7.50
Heat 7: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 14.77, Charly Martin (GLP) 13.90, Nolan Rapoza (USA) 11.60, Oney Anwar (IDN) 8.20
Heat 8: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 15.94, Marco Fernandez (BRA) 14.56, Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 9.10, Ariihoe Tefaafana (PYF) 9.06
Heat 9: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 12.37, Krystian Kymerson (BRA) 11.67, Charly Quivront (FRA) 10.56, David Van Zyl (ZAF) 8.70
Heat 10: Thiago Guimaraes (BRA) 12.53, Wade Carmichael (AUS) 11.37, Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 10.76, Slade Prestwich (ZAF) 8.16
Heat 11: Vicente Romero (ESP) 13.86, Kilian Garland (USA) 13.17, Soli Bailey (AUS) 12.13, Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 7.70
Heat 12: Seth Moniz (HAW) 12.57, Keanu Asing (HAW) 11.60, Deivid Silva (BRA) 11.40, Yuji Nishi (JPN) 10.36
Heat 13: Tomas Hermes (BRA) 13.77, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 12.83, Cam Richards (USA) 12.47, Quinn Bruce (AUS) 11.04
Heat 14: Joshua Moniz (HAW) 12.46, Marco Giorgi (URY) 11.76, Jackson Baker (AUS) 11.73, Vitor Mendes (BRA) 11.03
Heat 15: Marcos Correa (BRA) 14.33, Tristan Guilbaud (FRA) 11.87, Koa Smith (HAW) 11.10, Carlos Munoz (CRI) 6.50
Heat 16: Mitch Crews (AUS) 12.93, Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 12.60, Brett Simpson (USA) 12.34, Mihimana Braye (PYF) 9.13
Heat 17: Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 9.40, Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 9.26, Timothee Bisso (GLP) 8.84, Joaquin Del Castillo (PER) 8.60
Heat 18: Lliam Mortensen (AUS) 13.80, Davey Cathels (AUS) 13.30, Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 12.96, Miguel Blanco (PRT) 12.47
Heat 19: Flavio Nakagima (BRA) 11.83, David Do Carmo (BRA) 10.57, Weslley Dantas (BRA) 10.33, Rafael Teixeira (BRA) 9.50
Heat 20: Lucas Silveira (BRA) 10.77, Griffin Colapinto (USA) 9.06, Tomas Fernandes (PRT) 8.53, Joao Chianca (BRA) 7.63
Heat 21: Hiroto Arai (JPN) 13.60, Yage Araujo (BRA) 12.34, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 10.56, Jordy Collins (USA) 9.03
Heat 22: Billy Stairmand (NZL) 12.50, Bino Lopes (BRA) 11.77, Yuri Goncalves (BRA) 10.40, Mikey Wright (AUS) 8.65
Heat 23: Ian Crane (USA) 14.76, Shane Campbell (AUS) 13.86, Marc Lacomare (FRA) 13.50, Joshua Burke (BRB) 10.03
Heat 24: Michael February (ZAF) 11.50, Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 9.80, Jeronimo Vargas (BRA) 9.57, Nelson Cloarec (FRA) 8.34