PRAIA DE SANTA BARBARA, Sao Miguel/Azores Islands (Thursday, September 6, 2012) – The SATA Airlines Azores Pro completed another marathon day today, running through 28 heats of both the Round of 96 and the Round of 48. Conditions improved on Day 3 of the waiting period with clean waves in the 3-4Ft range and lighter winds.
Cory Arrambide (USA) 23, was on fire today in Heat 6 of the Round of 48, posting a near perfect 9.87 out of 10 for an incredible frontside inverted aerial to advance ahead of Messias Felix (BRA). In the highest scoring heat of the event so far, Jay Thompson (AUS) and up-and-coming prodigy Filipe Toledo (BRA) were defeated despite both having a high score on the board.
“I’m so stoked,” Arrambide said. “I was struggling at the beginning, couldn’t find a rhythm with the ocean and I was watching Bottle just hacking these rights and finally I just changed my whole plan and moved down the beach. I caught a good right and then straight into that left. I don’t usually claim a wave but there was just too much adrenalin running, and I was psyched! That was a good heat, I’m stoked!”
Arrambide caused the biggest upset today, defeating rising star Filipe Toledo (BRA) at his own game using aerials to beat two Brazilians in their third Round exchange. With all four surfers scoring over 13.80, Arrambide had to bust out the big guns to make a difference and landed the biggest and most radical aerial seen so far in the SATA Airlines Azores Pro.
“Usually in most contests I rely on some little air reverses on the lefts, because recently my backhand has been giving me scores. I’ve been waiting to pull out a good air on my frontside, and those lefts down the beach were standing up today. It was a bit weird, I saw that left and I knew it was going to be a good one, but when I stood up my back foot was kind of in the wrong spot but I just went for the air on the first section and I got some good height and I stuck it so I was stoked!”
Messias Felix (BRA) 26, who finished second behind Arrambide, was one of the most impressive surfers again today, scoring both the second highest single-wave and second combined heat total of the event so far, to move into the next round of competiton ahead of former ASP World Championship Tour contender Jay Thompson (AUS) and potentially qualified Filipe Toledo (BRA).
“I’m stoked to advance through that one, because at the end there I got really nervous with Cory having those two huge scores and Filipe was right behind with a big one too. I knew before we started that this was going to be one of the hardest heats of my life with all those guys out there and I think tomorrow I’ll wake up feeling good and will try to advance heat by heat a few more. You know, from now on, every heat is harder than the previous so I’ll have to see how it goes.”
Willian Cardoso (BRA) 26, was one of the few surfers to advance through two rounds today, and winning two very different heats early this morning and late this afternoon. World No. 36 at the moment, Cardoso opened his day with an incredible 9.00 ride, third highest score of the event so far, which he earned with a combination of poweful gouges that are his signature moves.
“It was an amazing day for me,” Cardoso started. “I woke up really really early today and coming to the beach I was exhausted, I didn’t really sleep well last night. Going out for my first heat everything changed and I got the scores I needed to advance including a 9.00 on one of the best waves of today, and with those three big maneuvers I was stoked to get that score.”
In his second opposition today, Cardoso faced California’s Tanner Gudauskas, Frenchman Joan Duru and Australian Lincoln Taylor. The four experienced competitors kept their exchange very tight with only a 0.6 difference between first and third, and an actual tie between Gudauskas and Duru for second place that was resolved by looking at their third highest scored wave because the first two were identical. Cardoso managed to get the better of his opponents to move into the Round of 24 tomorrow.
“This second heat was so much different, the three surfers are really good and they all could have gotten through this one. It was hard because I didn’t find any waves at the beginning of the heat and got my first good score in the last ten minutes, so I’m stoked to make it through that one!”
Not inside the official Top 34 in 2012, William Cardoso did however participate in three out of five World Championship Tour events filling in for injured surfers. Gaining experience in exotic locations like Tahiti and Fiji this year, Cardoso has also been collecting strong results in the qualifying events and may very well secure his official ticket for the Dreamtour in 2013.
“That’s a really tricky year for me, because I never know what’s going to happen the next week, I may get a call two days before an event and have to fly halfway across the globe, but I’m super happy because I get to surf and train in the World Tour waves and even though I didn’t get great results I still competed and had a couple close ones, I’m still learning! Right now I think I may be in a position to qualify for next year and there’s still a couple more events to drop my lowest results and qualify!”
Stu Kennedy (AUS) 22, demonstrated great potential today moving into the third round of competition ahead of current World Junior Champion Caio Ibelli (BRA). Kennedy, who opened well his European campaign in the UK with a 9th place struggled to confirmed in the next couple of events and is still looking for his big break on the old continent.
“I didn’t really have much of a plan,” Kennedy said. “I haven’t really made that many heats in this leg and, going back to Newquay that was my best result and I kept busy in every heat and that worked for me, so maybe not thinking too much and let my surfing do it all. The waves have a few bumps and lumps through them and because this board is epoxy you can get bounced off pretty easily so you got to get your timing perfect and give it your best!”
With an 8.30 and a 6.00 as his two best scores, the young Australian clinches one of today’s strongest heat totals and starts building momentum for the rest of the event. In his third attempt at the Azores title, Kennedy managed to find the best scoring rides in Heat 18 today, and will surf in the remaining Round of 48 Matchups tomorrow when competition resumes.
“My first year here with Wilko and Owen I didn’t make the first heat, I had an 8 on my first wave and didn’t catch anything else during the heat. Then I came here the year it got cancelled, and finally last year I didn’t make the first heat either so yeah it feels good to put a heat together and finally make it through over here! I haven’t really done much touristy stuff this year I’m really focused, it’s the last week of the Europe leg for me. Being away from home for nearly 10 to 11 weeks it’s easy to get negative so I’m trying to stay focused and keep a positive mindset.”
With the recent return to competition of Nathan Hedge (AUS), Stu Kennedy found an opportunity to travel with a seasoned professional and get valuable insights from a surfer he’s always looked up to. Apart from the usual logistic details of the life on tour, the ‘Hog’ has been influencing Kennedy’s general well being and focus this year.
“I’ve been hanging out with Nathan Hedge, he’s been through a lot and has been able to stay positive and we’re working off each other’s energy, that seems to be working in some of the events, not always but hopefully this one will be mine! After that I’ll probably come to the last event in Lanzarote cause I think a lot of people aren’t coming if they feel they’re not qualifying, but you gotta stay positive as I said, you can still move up the ratings, it only takes one really good result to move up, why not give it a crack when you can!”
Nat Young (USA) 21, won his Round of 48 bout and moved into the next round of competition that will see only three surfers in the water trying to qualify for the man-on-man action starting with the last 24 competitors. Currently sitting 20th on the ASP World Rankings and potentially surfing with the Elite Top 34 next year, the Santa Cruz local will need to drop a couple of low results to lock in his spot.
“It went well I won the heat,” Young stated. “I got a good one at the beginning, kind of an inside one and got a 7 on it, and then it was kind of slow and I was trying to back it up but kept falling. Then right at the end I got a decent one, so I’m stoked to get through today and looking forward to tomorrow.”
With three solid results on the Prime series this year, including a third in South Africa’s Mr Price Pro Ballito and two ninths in the two Californian events, Young has showed consistency in the major events this year but is still to get to the final heat and win a 6-Star or a Prime. With his progressive repertoire of tricks, Young seems to have all weapons necessary in the Azores to make his first appearance at the Top.
“I do have a couple results I’d like to drop, I’ve had a couple tough contests lately and I’d love to do good out here, I’m looking to perform here before Hawaii. This is my fourth time out here and I’ve never really done too well, so I’m looking to keep it going.”
Event’s top seed and currently ranked 16th on the ASP World Rankings, Glenn Hall (IRE), 30, was defeated as well in the very last heat of the day by Brazil’s Wiggolly Dantas and Granger Larsen (HAW).
Tomorrow morning, surfers and event officials will meet at 8am to re-assess conditions and decide of the day’s schedule. Conditions are looking similar than today and action will start with Heat 9 of the Round of 48 where Stu Kennedy will take on a handful of Brazilians in the names of Jean Da Silva, Thiago Camarao and Simao Romao.
The ASP 6-Star SATA Airlines Azores Pro is scheduled from September 4-9, 2012 in Sao Miguel, Azores Islands. For all results, photos, video highlights, press releases log on to zarautz.aspeurope.com.
The SATA Airlines Azores Pro is organized by DAAZ Eventos and USBA (União de Surfistas e Bodyboarders dos Açores) with the support of the following event partners: SATA Airlines, do Turismo dos Açores, Câmara Municipal da Ribeira Grande, Sumol, Moche, and the participation of Hotel Vip Executive Açores, FUEL TV as official TV Channel, RFM, RTP, Jornal i, Surf Total, Surf Portugal and ONFIRE.
REMAINING SATA AIRLINES AZORES PRO ROUND OF 48 MATCHUPS:
Heat 9: Jean Da Silva (BRA), Stu Kennedy (AUS), Thiago Camarao (BRA), Simao Romao (BRA) Heat 10: Ty Watson (AUS), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Cristobal De Col (PER), Nat Young (USA) Heat 11: Hodei Collazo (EUK), Maxime Huscenot (FRA), Charles Martin (GLP), Matt Wilkinson (AUS) Heat 12: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), Marc Lacomare (FRA), Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY), Marlon Lipke (DEU)
SATA AIRLINES AZORES PRO ROUND OF 48 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Tiago Pires (PRT) 11.67, Brian Toth (PRI) 10.40, Evan Geiselman (USA) 9.13, Steven Pierson (PYF) 6.10 Heat 2: Tim Macdonald (AUS) 11.50, Eric Geiselman (USA) 10.47, Alain Riou (PYF) 10.17, Frederico Morais (PRT) 8.27 Heat 3: Nat Young (USA) 14.54, Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 12.93, Alan Donato (BRA) 10.17, Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 7.67 Heat 4: Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 11.93, Krystian Kymerson (BRA) 11.23, Jano Belo (BRA) 7.73, Romain Cloitre (FRA) 5.20 Heat 5: William Cardoso (BRA) 11.66, Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 11.03, Joan Duru (FRA) 11.03, Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 5.87 Heat 6: Cory Arrambide (USA) 18.57, Messias Felix (BRA) 16.84, Jay Thompson (AUS) 14.44, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.83 Heat 7: Dion Atkinson (AUS) 13.43, Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 10.34, Santiago Muniz (ARG) 8.24, Yujiro Tsuji (JPN) 5.67 Heat 8: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 13.00, Granger Larsen (HAW) 12.76, Thomas Woods (AUS) 9.94, Glenn Hall (IRL) 9.33
SATA AIRLINES AZORES PRO ROUND OF 96 RESULTS:
Heat 5: Nat Young (USA) 13.34, Jano Belo (BRA) 10.03, Luke Davis (USA) 8.23, Manuel Selman (CHL) 6.53 Heat 6: Alan Donato (BRA) 11.93, Romain Cloitre (FRA) 8.74, Billy Stairmand (NZL) 8.54, Filipe Jervis (PRT) 4.67 Heat 7: Krystian Kymerson (BRA) 12.30, Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 10.50, Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 8.87, Jerome Forrest (AUS) 8.60 Heat 8: Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 12.50, Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 11.87, Garrett Parkes (AUS) 11.77, Alexandre Chacon (BRA) 8.70 Heat 9: William Cardoso (BRA) 15.50, Cory Arrambide (USA) 14.73, Bernardo Miranda (BRA) 10.00, Eduardo Fernandes (PRT) 7.60 Heat 10: Joan Duru (FRA) 15.60, Messias Felix (BRA) 12.40, Miguel Tudela (PER) 9.93, Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 9.56 Heat 11: Jay Thompson (AUS) 12.33, Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 9.64, Guillermo Satt (CHL) 9.63, Ian Gouveia (BRA) 7.16 Heat 12: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.80, Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 12.67, Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 11.36, Masatoshi Ohno (JPN) 7.70 Heat 13: Santiago Muniz (ARG) 12.43, Glenn Hall (IRL) 10.67, Medi Veminardi (REU) 7.97, Jeffrey Lukasik (USA) 7.80 Heat 14: Dion Atkinson (AUS) 14.33, Thomas Woods (AUS) 11.50, Matt Banting (AUS) 5.67, Gavin Gillette (HAW) 5.47 Heat 15: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 15.27, Yujiro Tsuji (JPN) 11.23, Dillon Perillo (USA) 9.84, Nathan Hedge (AUS) 8.96 Heat 16: Granger Larsen (HAW) 14.27, Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 11.07, Ian Crane (USA) 10.90, Eneko Acero (EUK) 10.17 Heat 17: Jean Da Silva (BRA) 13.94, Ty Watson (AUS) 12.67, Flavio Nakagima (BRA) 9.85, Adrien Toyon (FRA) 8.33 Heat 18: Stu Kennedy (AUS) 14.30, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 13.50, Nobuyuki Osawa (JPN) 10.90, Teale Vanner (AUS) 8.10 Heat 19: Cristobal De Col (PER) 14.17, Thiago Camarao (BRA) 12.00, Keanu Asing (HAW) 11.00, Rudy Marechal (FRA) 7.07 Heat 20: Nathan Yeomans (USA) 10.90, Simao Romao (BRA) 10.66, Kiron Jabour (HAW) 9.56, Marco Fernandez (BRA) 5.57 Heat 21: Hodei Collazo (EUK) 11.30, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 11.26, Sidney Guimaraes (BRA) 9.50, Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 8.00 Heat 22: Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 9.93, Marc Lacomare (FRA) 8.50, Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 8.27, Alan Jhones (BRA) 7.96 Heat 23: Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 13.34, Charles Martin (GLP) 10.03, Bruno Rodrigues (BRA) 9.10, Vicente Romero (ESP) 9.07 Heat 24: Marlon Lipke (DEU) 10.33, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 9.56, David Do Carmo (BRA) 7.44, Nunes Weverton (PRT) 3.37