SAN JUAN, Lanzarote/Canary Islands (Friday, October 26 2012) – Tiago Pires (PRT) 32, has won the ASP 6-Star Islas Canarias Santa Pro today in shifting 2-3Ft waves at the main break of San Juan, Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. Pires’ victory over Gabe Kling (USA) 32, in an exciting final sees him claim an important 3,500 ranking points and the $25,000 check. Marlon Lipke (DEU) was crowned the 2012 European Champion as well today, marking the end of a prosperous season for the German surfer.
Tiago Pires’ road to victory in Lanzarote was no walk in the park, but rather a difficult trail where he had to overcome multiple obstacles including Brazil’s Willian Cardoso and a handful of in-form European up-and-comers. In a breathtaking final, both surfers got back-to-back rides and tried to keep busy and build momentum but ultimately it was ‘Saca’ who took command of the heat and imposed his backhand attack to come out with the win.
“I feel amazing, it’s been a few years since I’ve won an event and I haven’t felt the rush of adrenalin you get when winning for a while now,” Pires stated. “I was really sad with my performance in the European leg, I’ve been struggling on the last few CT events and I just came here to get some points and work on my Star rankings. It’s been a very tough event with many guys shredding and I didn’t see myself make the final, but things got together for me and I felt better and better throughout the event with the semifinal being my peak performance. I was scared of Gabe cause he’s a really good competitor, he’s won events and I knew it was going to be a hard one!”
Current No. 36 on the ASP World Ranking before today’s win, Pires adds a priceless 3500 points to move up the ladder and get closer to a sixth consecutive season among the Elite Top 34. An experienced Tour competitor, Pires had a definite strategy coming into this event, both in and out of the water to ensure he was in the best possible conditions to compete.
“I came here by myself, I knew I was going to hang out with my friends here, but I’ve been staying alone, I just feel more focused and more concentrated on my job. I just got this board at Trestles and it feels amazing. I really didn’t want to break it here, because heading to Santa Cruz I really need a big result on the CT. I feel great now, maybe I’ll be a little less pressured there and we’ll see how it goes!”
Gabe Kling (USA) 32, former ASP WCT competitor, places second to the Portuguese tiger in San Juan. The Floridian put on a great fight all the way to the last minutes of the final tonight but was unable to find waves with enough scoring potential. With numerous 9-point rides scored throughout the event, Kling was a standout all week and entertained the crowd and surfer’s area with his incisive competitive approach.
“I’m so stoked to make the final, but I feel like I left a little something on the table,” Kling said. “I didn’t surf my best heat last and that’s what it’s all about. Tiago surfed great all event, there’s no shame in losing to him. I haven’t really had much else since my third at the beginning of the year, so there’s a lot of positives I can take from that and I had a great time!”
Three events shy of the end of the 2012 ASP Star and Primes series, Kling nets important points towards a potential return to the ASP World Championship Tour but is very prudent when analyzing his situation.
“It’s been an on-and-off year for me and I feel like I’ve had an okay start and I’d like to finish strong and see where that leaves me. I’m super stoked to get a result and that’s basically it. If something crazy happens in Hawaii, I could slide in possibly, but I don’t even know. I’m not banking on anything, I’m just going to go have fun in Hawaii and hope something cool happens.”
Nathaniel Curran (USA) 28, placed equal 3rd and was defeated by an untouchable Gabe Kling in their semifinal matchup. Curran came to Lanzarote sitting just outside the qualification bubble on the World Rankings and adds an important 1800+ points to his overall tally to climb a few spots heading in to Hawaii.
“I’m stoked,” Curran said. “It feels good to get a little result at the end, I haven’t done too many events, I’m having fun. I was in France before this, just having a good time and I think that’s what makes me happy and makes me earn the results. It was fun out there with Gabe, it was kind of tricky conditions, he got the two clean set waves, I waited quite a while and didn’t get one. But yeah it was fun and I’m stoked with the result and stoked for Gabe.”
With a runner-up finish in Ballito earlier this year and a couple of 9th places at the US Open and Virginia, Curran will be looking to confirm his excellent form when the year ends in Hawaii. The Californian was looking for a huge score in the dying minutes of his semi-final and went for a hail Mary aerial attempt but couldn’t complete his manoeuver and will go home with an excellent equal 3rd place.
“Comboed with five minutes to go, I was looking for one good left and then to paddle as fast as I could and try to get a right to do an air. It didn’t work, the left wasn’t really good, I try to make the most of it but it wasn’t enough. I’m going home for a week or so and then Hawaii which is like a second home too. I’ve been going there since I was like fourteen, so I can’t complain!”
Willian Cardoso (BRA) 26, current World No.30 and an incredible performer all week in Lanzarote, couldn’t match Tiago Pires’ rhythm in the second semifinal and placed equal third at the Islas Canarias Santa Pro.
“I feel really frustrated right now because everything I tried in that heat didn’t work,” a disappointed Cardoso commented. “I don’t know what happened, I had the wrong wave selection and Tiago got all the good ones. He surfed so well and got the two best scores of the comp, but I’m still happy because I got some good points here and they are super important for me right now.”
Winner of the 6-Star event in Newcastle last March, and acting first alternate on the WCT this year, Cardoso once again demonstrated his immense talent on the long-running lefthanders of San Juan and claimed several of the highest scoring rides and heat totals of the event.
“I needed a guy to get injured this year to be able to compete and I really don’t like to look at the guys hoping they’d get injured. I was just waiting for my time and I’m hoping to qualify this year. All I hope now is to get a massive swell in Hawaii and get a good result there to make the Tour, and go home for a big party.”
Marlon Lipke (DEU) 28, claimed his maiden European Title today in Lanzarote. The talented goofy-footer who won two events this season, the Protest Vendee Pro and Cabreiroa Pantin Classic Pro, witnessed all his opponents in the Title race get eliminated short of the result they needed, and came out on top of an exciting 2012 European Title race.
The ASP 6-Star Islas Canarias Santa Pro was scheduled from October 23-28, 2012 in San Juan, Lanzarote / Canary Islands. For all results, photos, video highlights, press releases and LIVE webcast, log on to lanzarote.aspeurope.com.
For additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com or www.aspeurope.com
The Islas Canarias Santa Pro is made possible with the support of the following event partners: Gobierno de Canarias, Islas Canarias Water Sports Experience, Cabildo de Lanzarote, Servicio Insular de Deportes, Lanzarote Reserva de Biosfera, Ayuntamiento de Teguise, Ayuntamiento de Tinajo, Sands Beach Active, Stilo Vitae – Sands Beach Center, FCS Federacion, SURFERS Village, Naviera Armas, Windguru, Graficas Alayon, Grupo Creativo Ferver, Lanzawagen, Sport8.es, Embotelladora de Canarias, REINA, 7UP, Clipper, Lanjaron amongst others.
ISLAS CANARIAS SANTA PRO FINAL RESULTS:
1 - Tiago Pires (PRT) 16.53 2 - Gabe Kling (USA) 14.47
ISLAS CANARIAS SANTA PRO SEMI-FINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Gabe Kling (USA) 17.50 def. Nathaniel Curran (USA) 11.60 SF 2: Tiago Pires (PRT) 19.73 def. Willian Cardoso (BRA) 14.10
ISLAS CANARIAS SANTA PRO QUARTER-FINALS RESULTS:
QF 1: Gabe Kling (USA) 12.33 def. Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 9.36 QF 2: Nathaniel Curran (USA) 14.00 def. Jean Da Silva (BRA) 8.74 QF 3: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 15.33 def. Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 7.27 QF 4: Tiago Pires (PRT) 14.17 def. Marc Lacomare (FRA) 13.54
ISLAS CANARIAS SANTA PRO ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Gabe Kling (USA) 12.33 def. Heitor Alves (BRA) 10.07 Heat 2: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 13.86 def. Romain Cloitre (FRA) 5.30 Heat 3: Nathaniel Curran (USA) 14.00 def. Nat Young (USA) 11.00 Heat 4: Jean Da Silva (BRA) 14.94 def. Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 12.77 Heat 5: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 10.00 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 7.20 Heat 6: Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 12.17 def. Lucas Silveira (BRA) 8.94 Heat 7: Tiago Pires (PRT) 12.50 def. Adrien Toyon (FRA) 6.40 Heat 8: Marc Lacomare (FRA) 11.27 def. Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 8.93