Huge airs made for big scores in Europe for a special Association of Surfing Professional 6-Star competition, the SATA Airlines Azores Pro. International competitors are competing this week for valuable ranking points on Santa Barbara Beach in Sao Miguel of the Azores Islands. Day 3 dawned with clean 3-4 ft surf and another long day of competition, with final heats of the Round of 96 for the first half of the day and 8 heats of the Round of 48 making for a total of 28 heats in Portugal.
The standout performance of the day came from Ventura local, Cory Arrambide (USA) who was able to get a 9.87 for a massive frontside air reverse which gave him the lead and the highest scoring heat of the day. Arrambide took first in his heat with Messias Felix (BRA) coming in second as they both advanced onward, but Jay Thompson (AUS) and Filipe Toledo (BRA) were eliminated, despite having some of the high wave scores of the day.
“I’m so stoked,” Arrambide shared. “I was struggling at the beginning, couldn’t find a rhythm with the ocean and I was watching Bottle just hacking those 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!”
Arrambide defeated the high-flying Brazilian at his own game, a great confidence booster for the young Californian, but also slightly dampened Filipe Toledo’s run at the 2013 World Tour. However, Toledo is still ranked 18th on the ASP World Rankings and has nearly secured his spot on the tour.
“In most contests, I rely on some little air reverses on the lefts, because recently my backhand has been giving me scores,” Arrambide reflected. “I’ve been waiting to pull out a good air on my frontside, and those lefts down the beach were standing up today… 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 got some good height,” said Cory of his heat winning air. “I stuck it, so I was stoked!”
Messias Felix, who advanced along with Arrambide, was another highlighted surfer posting both the second highest heat score and second highest single-wave score of the entire event, but it was not enough to overcome Arrambide and take the win.
“I got really nervous with Cory having those two huge scores and Filipe was right behind with a big one, too,” Felix remarked. “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.”
The Brazilians kept charging through as William Cardoso (BRA) was one of few surfers to advance through two heats today. Cardoso began posting high scores early with a 9.00 in his first heat for a combination of three power hacks.
“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 today, and with those three big maneuvers I was stoked to get the score.”
In his second heat of the day, Cardoso faced off against Tanner Gudauskas (USA), Joan Duru (FRA) and Lincoln Taylor (AUS) and ended up being a very, very close heat with only a margin of .6 points seperating 1st and 3rd. Cardoso finished with first, but second place was an even tie between Gudaukas and Duru who had identical top 2 waves; however, Tanner ended up getting the nod into the next round after having a higher 3rd wave score than Duru.
William Cardoso has competed in 3 out of 5 ASP World Tour events this year, taking the place of injured surfers Dusty Payne (HAW) and Jadson Andre (BRA). Cardoso hopes that if he can get strong results on the Qualifying Series, so that he will be able to secure his spot on the 2013 World Tour.
“It’s a really tricky year for me, because I never know what’s going to happen next week. I may get a call two days before an event and have to fly halfway across the globe,” Cardoso expresed. Yet, it’s not all stressful. “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. 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) led the charge for the Australians as he surfed a strong Round of 96 heat, posting an 8.3 and 6.0 and putting him into the Round of 48. Kennedy is hoping that he will get his big break in Europe as he carries momentum from his solid showing in the Round 0f 96.
“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’ve got to get your timing perfect and give it your best!” Kennedy said.
Kennedy has been here several times before, but is hoping that the third time is the charm so that he can claim the Azores title and the much needed ranking points.
“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,” Kennedy reflected. “It feels good to put a heat together and finally make it through over here! 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.”
Kennedy has found some refuge with his fellow Australian competitor, Nathan Hedge, who just recently returned to competitive surfing. The veteran competitor has been keeping the rookie focused and also making sure he stays healthy for his several weeks on the road.
“We’re working off each other’s energy,” Kennedy shared about his friendship with Hedge. “And it only takes one really good result to move up.”
Nat Young (USA) was the only other American – along with Cory Arrambide – that won his heat in the Round of 48. Young began his heat with a solid score, but couldn’t back it up until the end; it was enough to win and move on.
“I got a good one at the beginning, kind of an inside one and got a 7, 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,” Young stated.
Young is currently sitting 20th on the World Rankings and needs to keep up his consistent showings in Prime events, one-upping his past results from this year in California and South Africa at Primes, with a finals appearance here in Portugal.
“I do have a couple results I’d like to drop,” Young shared. “I’ve had a couple tough contests lately and I’d love to do good out here.”
A contest shocker was the defeat of Glenn Hall, the highest ranked non-World Tour surfer, sent home by Granger Larsen (AUS) and Wiggolly Dantas (BRA).
Tomorrow morning, surfers and event officials will meet at 8am to re-assess conditions and decide the day’s schedule. Conditions are looking similar to today and heat 9 of the Round of 48 will be the first in the water as Stu Kennedy will take on a handful of Brazilians, such as Jean Da Silva, Thiago Camarao and Simao Romao. Boa sorte!
The ASP 6-Star SATA Airlines Azores Pro is scheduled from September 4-9th, 2012 in Sao Miguel, Azores Islands. Watch it LIVE here.
For more info, check out ASPEurope.com.
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