Tiago Pires, World Championship Tour surfer from Portugal, took home the win after a succesful event at the ASP 6-Star Islas Canarias Santa Pro in San Juan, Lanzarote. Pires fought an exciting heat against USA’s Gabe Kling in shifting 2-3ft waves, earning him a $25,000 check and 3,500 vital ranking points on the ASP Tour. The 2012 European Champion, Marlon Lipke (DEU), was announced at the event as well, giving the reign over to Germany.
Tiago Pires faced difficult competition throughout the event, all the way until the final heat where both competitors scored back-to-back rides, not giving either opponent space to breathe. Pires managed to eventually take control over the final by implementing his backhand attack to earn enough points to place him on top.
“I feel amazing; it’s been a few years since I 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 semi-final 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.”
Before Pires cleaned up on 3500 points to add to his overall ASP score, the WCT competitor sat at No. 36 in the world. With five seasons under his belt, Pires went into the Islas Canarias Santa Pro with a definite strategy to guarantee he would take home the crown.
“I came here by myself… I feel more focused and more concentrated on my job. I just got this board in 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… Maybe I’ll be a little less pressured there; we’ll see how it goes.”
Placing second overall in the event, Gabe Kling (USA) battled through the competition with several 9-point rides, all the way until his final heat against Pires.
“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 last heat and that’s what it’s all about. Tiago surfed great all event, there’s no shame loosing out to this amazing surfer. 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.”
Kling remains particular in calculating his ranking points as the 2012 ASP Star and Prime series moves into the last three events.
“It’s been an on-and-off year for me and I feel like I’ve had an OK start, and I’d like to finish strong and see where that leaves me. I’m super stoked to get a result… If something crazy happens in Hawaii, I could slide in possibly… I’m not banking on anything, I’m just going to go have fun in Hawaii and hope something cool happens!”
Nathaniel Curren (USA) managed to add an important 1800 points to his overall ASP score after placing equal third against the fierce Gabe Kling in their Semifinal matchup.
“I’m stoked,” Curran shared. “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 allows me to get the results. It was fun out there with Gabe. There were kind of tricky conditions; he got the two clean set waves, I waited quite a while… It was fun and I’m stoked with the result, and stoked for Gabe.”
Curran will move into Hawaii with a runner-up finish in Ballito, a couple of 9th places in the US Open and Virginia and an equal third at Lanzarote. The thirsty competitor attempted a hail Mary aerial in the dying minutes of his Semifinal heat, but couldn’t complete the maneuver.
“Comboed with five minutes to go, I was looking for one good left and then 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 tried to make the most of it but it wasn’t enough… I’m going home for a week or so and then to Hawaii which is like a second home… I’ve been going there since I was fourteen, so I can’t complain!”
No. 30 ranked Brazilian surfer, Willian Cardoso, faced Tiago Pires in the Semifinals but couldn’t discover the rhythm he needed to place higher than equal third in the event.
“I feel really frustrated right now, because nothing I tried in that heat worked,” a disappointed Cardoso commented. “I don’t know what happened…. wrong choice of waves 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 many points here and they are super important for me right now.”
Cardoso served as an alternate on the ASP WCT this year and was able to unload his arsenal of talent on the running lefthanders of San Juan by accumulating 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!”
German competitor, Marlon Lipke, celebrated his title as the 2012 European Champion. With two event wins this season at the Protest Vendee Pro and Cabreiroa Pantin Classic Pro, Lipke held his position on the race for the title and was crowned at the Islas Canarias Santa Pro.
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