Brazilian surfer, Tomas Hermes, has won the ASP Prime SATA Airlines Azores Pro in 3-4ft waves at Santa Barbara beach on Sao Miguel Island. The 26-year-old surfer defeated Adam Melling (AUS) in a 30 minute final that he led from start to finish.
Successfully eliminating Miguel Pupo (BRA), Filipe Toledo (BRA), and Mitch Crews (AUS), Hermes has been the giant killer for the event. Using his powerful turns and smooth airs, Hermes takes ahold of his first ever major win on the ASP circuit and makes his way to the 34th spot on the World Rankings.
“I feel incredible, this is the best day of my life for sure, my first win on the ASP World Tour,” Hermes stated. “Brazilians must have something special going on here in Azores, I’m stoked to be the third to win here ! I was feeling super confident here I trained everyday after the contest and felt comfortable and the work has paid off. I’m focusing on surfing good and not on rankings, I’m taking things one heat at a time and I’ll continue to do so in the next event in Carcavelos !”
This win puts Hermes in an early lead for the Portuguese Waves series, a series of three events that include the Rip Curl Pro Peniche and the Cascals Pro next month. The winner of the series will cash in an incredible $50,000 prize!
Adam Melling 28, currently placed at 27 on the World Championship tour, was the runner-up at the SATA Airlines Azores Pro being unable to find the lefthanders that he has been ripping all week. Throughout the competition, Melling proved himself a powersurfer amongst the crowd of younger aerialists and dominated with his signature radical turns on waves of all sizes and shapes.
“It’s a bummer that we didn’t get many waves at high tide, but I’m pretty happy, Tomas got me on that first exchange, that’s what set him up,” Melling said. “I like powersurfing and if you can do big turns on a small wave they’re going to love it so that’s what I was trying to do. I really wanted to get on the podium this time and get a positive vibe going through the next few events through Europe, it’s a good start and I’m looking forward to the next !”
Kolohe Andino (USA) 19, stated his day with an excellend 9 point ride on his very first wave. Unfortunately, he fell short of finding a similar opportunity in the semi-finals against Adam Melling. The Californian local placed 3rd in Azores and solidifies his lead on the World Rankings.
“I think I blew it, there were some good waves after his,” Andino analysed. “But I’m stoked for Melling and I hope he wins ! I wanted to finish the year with a win, but a third’s cool and there are a lot of events left so I’ll have more opportunities. I’m going to concentrate on the WCT now and hopefully I won’t even need my world rankings points to finish the year. I’ve been on the road a lot this year so I’ll probably won’t do the second Prime in Portugal but I’ll surf the Triple Crown for sure.”
Mitch Crews 23, had the lead in the semi-final against Hermes but committed a mistake dealing with priority. Hermes ended up with a better wave and Crews eventually fell short of finding the average score he needed to advance. With this being his second 3rd place this season, Crews jumps up the rankings a few spots and is very determined to reach the coveted ASP World Championship Tour.
“I’m really angry, I just lost that heat because I gave him priority and he got the score and I’m super upset,” Crews stated. “Nerves just got to me I can’t believe I made a mistake like that. I really wanted to get passed that semi-final mark, I had every opportunity to do it in this event, but yes it’s been great and I’m stoked to get another great result.”
Joan Duru (FRA) 24, placing 9th in the SATA Airlines Azores Pro has taken a short lead on the European rankings ahead of Guadeloupe’s Charles Martin before the last event of the European season, the upcoming Cascais Pro, third stop of the Portuguese Waves Series.
The ASP Prime Men’s SATA Airlines Azores Islands Pro is scheduled from September 3-8, 2013 in Sao Miguel, Azores Islands. For all results, photos, video highlights, press releases and LIVE webcast, log on to www.aspeurope.com/azores.
SATA AIRLINES AZORES PRO FINAL RESULTS:
1- Tomas Hermes (BRA) 12.17
2- Adam Melling (AUS) 9.10
SATA AIRLINES AZORES PRO SEMI-FINALS RESULTS:
Heat 1: Adam Melling (AUS) 16.60 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.67
Heat 2: Tomas Hermes (BRA) 12.16 def. Mitch Crews (AUS) 11.00
SATA AIRLINES AZORES PRO QUARTER-FINALS RESULTS:
Heat 1: Kolohe Andino (USA) 16.50 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.63
Heat 2: Adam Melling (AUS) 13.10 def. C.J Hobgood (USA) 11.10
Heat 3: Tomas Hermes (BRA) 15.27 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.16
Heat 4: Mitch Crews (AUS) 12.00 def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 8.03