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Brazilians dominate Mahalo Surf Eco Festival

Surf Eco Festival © Leandro Rolim






Mahalo Surf Eco Festival

ASP 4-Star Men's QS Event
Tiririca Beach in Itacare, Bahia, Brazil
27 October - 2 November 2014

ASP 4-Star event set to finish on Saturday in Itacare, Bahia, Brazil

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 31 October, 2014 - Praia da Tiririca, Itacare, Bahia - On Thursday, competition resumed at Praia da Tiririca for another action packed day at the 2014 ASP 4-Star Mahalo Surf Eco Festival presented by Skol. Wave selection proved to be crucial today as athletes faced waves in the 2-3 foot range (1 meter) with the occaisional larger set and moderate onshore winds. After the completion of Round 4, the field has narrowed and a champion will be crowned on Saturday for both the Men’s and Women’s divisions. 

Krystian Kymerson (BRA) provided the highlights of the day by scoring a 16.55 heat total in his victory in Round 3. In 2012, Kymerson won the Surf Eco Festival held in Salvador, Bahia. By classifying into Round 5, he is focused on repeating his feat once again.

"I’m so stoked. My entire family is here and I’ve been working hard on coming back from a knee injury I suffered in South Africa. I spent two months out of the water, so I’m very focused on getting a good result here," said Krystian Kymerson. "I’m so thankful that I’m able to surf as good as before my injury. My two heats today were my first since I hurt my knee, so it’s nice to hear that I was able to get the day’s highest scores. I know that no one has ever won this event twice, so my goal is to become the first."

Young local surfer, Yage Araujo (BRA) brought the crowd to their feet after pulling off several airs to earn an 8.25 in addition to an 8.06 that was later cut in half due to an interference call.

"I feel great and I think that I felt even more relaxed after I got called on that interference, so I just started throwing some airs and I think the judges liked it since they rewarded me for it," stated Araujo. "It’s hard to believe that I won the heat even after being called on an interference. But I think the judges saw me going for it on every wave, so they ended up giving me the scores I needed. Now I’m concentrating on not committing the same mistakes in my next heats."

In a stacked heat, Jay Thompson (AUS), Yago Dora (BRA), Michael Rodrigues (BRA) and Kiron Jabour (HAW) fought to the last second to see who would qualify. Thompson jumped to a quick lead while Rodrigues and Jabour battled for 2nd place. Rodrigues, who had been on a tear in recent events, looked out of sync and was not able to complete his final maneuvers. Despite showing off lightning-quick surfing, Jabour could not find a scoring opportunity and left Dora with a chance in the dying seconds of the heat. By demonstrating stylish surfing, Yago Dora wafted consecutive tailslides in tight sections to guarantee his qualification into Round 5 alongside Thompson.

Jesse Mendes (BRA) who is the remaining top seed at the Mahalo Surf Eco Festival also qualified into Round 5 in his heat alongside Cahill Bell-Warren (AUS). 

"It’s always tough to face the Brazilians anywhere around the globe, but it’s even harder in their country," stated Bell-Warren. "I was lucky enough to find some waves that were good enough to get me into the next round. This is my first time to Brazil and I’m loving everything here. The town is really cool and the people are super nice. All I need now is a good result to help boost my rankings."

In addition to the crucial ASP Qualifying Series ranking points being distributed, the ASP 4-Star Mahalo Surf Eco Festival presented by Skol will be decisive in determining the ASP South America title. The final event in the series will take place next week at the O’Neill SP Prime in Maresias. Alex Ribeiro (BRA) currently leads the South American rankings after his event victory in Mar del Plata, Argentina. On Thursday, Ribeiro eliminated QS contender Willian Cardoso (BRA) and is set on claiming the continental title.

"I’m leading the rankings, but I don’t even want to think about that. I just want to take things heat by heat and focus on the waves at this competition," said Ribeiro. "The waves are a little bigger today, but the swell is coming from a different direction, so the peaks are spread out along the beach. You need to stay calm and choose carefully to find a wave that will stand up and let you execute some big turns. I’m glad that I’m still in the event, so let’s see how things go tomorrow because my goal is to win the contest."

Gabriel Gontijo

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