PRAIA DE SANTA BARBARA, Sao Miguel – Azores Islands (Friday, September 28, 2012) - Conditions didn’t improve sufficiently to allow competition to commence and event officials had to call a second consecutive lay-day on Day 2 of the SATA Airlines Azores Pro. With a massive northerly swell breaking on the black-sanded beach of Praia de Santa Bárbara and strong side-shore winds, surfers all agreed to wait for improved conditions to commence competition.
“We didn’t run the contest today because basically the conditions are still not ideal,” Iain Buchanan, ASP Europe’s Head Judge stated. “We have quite a wobbly swell with pretty chunky sets and not great scoring potential, maybe only one okay maneuver, it’s hard to put two maneuvers together out there and there’s a lot of paddling, a lot of water moving around. For such a crucial event and the girls trying to qualify for next year, we’ve taken the option to wait for better conditions tomorrow.”
The weather has started to clear up in Sao Miguel this afternoon with lighter winds and sunshine but unfortunately the swell hasn’t decreased like expected and has kept almost everyone from even trying to paddle out in front of the competition area. With approximately 48 girls entering the event and only two days remaining in the official waiting period, organizers and surfers alike are looking at completing a marathon day tomorrow.
“The girls are aware that they’ll probably have to surf four to five times tomorrow, and after speaking with a lot of them, they all agreed to run tomorrow and take the risk of the conditions being a bit smaller, but also a lot cleaner. The only risk is that Sunday is looking smaller again, so there’s a possibility that we might actually run the whole contest tomorrow if the swell has dropped considerably from what it is today and is showing on the decreasing size that Sunday might not even be an option. We’ll have an early start to run through to the semi-finals and see what the conditions are like, but it was an unanimous vote from the girls, and seeing that nobody is out freesurfing I think it’s the best option.”
The next Call has been set to an early 7:15am tomorrow for a possible 7:30am Start with Heat 1 of the Round of 48 that will see Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Anali Gomez (PER), Skye Burgess (AUS) and Minami Takechi (JPN) battle it out for the two spots into the next round.
The ASP 6-Star Women’s SATA Airlines Azores Pro is scheduled from September 27-30, 2012 in Sao Miguel, Azores Islands. For all results, photos, video highlights, press releases and LIVE webcast, log on to azores.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.
UPCOMING SATA AIRLINES AZORES PRO ROUND OF 48 MATCHUPS:
Heat 1: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Anali Gomez (PER), Skye Burgess (AUS), Minami Takechi (JPN) Heat 2: Alizé Arnaud (FRA), Ornella Pellizzari (ARG), Mikaela Greene (AUS) Heat 3: Philippa Anderson (AUS), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Lori Kelly (AUS), Yusbelki Aldana Herrera (VEN) Heat 4: Coco Ho (HAW), Felicity Palmateer (AUS), Nao Omura (JPN) Heat 5: Justine Dupont (FRA), Brittani Nicholl (AUS), Dominic Barona (ECU) Heat 6: Sarah Baum (ZAF), Alessa Quizon (HAW), Carina Duarte (PRT), Keshia Seelow-Eyre (PRT) Heat 7: Felicity Palmateer (AUS), Georgia Fish (AUS), Joana Rocha (PRT), Miho Ihara (JPN) Heat 8: Pauline Ado (FRA), Maud Le Car (FRA), Ellie-Jean Coffey (AUS) Heat 9: Rebecca Woods (AUS), Cannelle Bulard (REU), Nicola Atherton (AUS) Heat 10: Nage Melamed (HAW), Johanne Defay (FRA), Alisha Gonsalves (USA), Frankie Harrer (USA) Heat 11: Alana Blanchard (HAW), Suelen Naraisa (BRA), Jordan Hundley (USA), Laura Rishworth (NZL) Heat 12: Jacqueline Silva (BRA), Amandine Sanchez (FRA), Anne-Cecile Le Tallec (FRA), Quincy Davis (USA)