American Surfers are unable to escape Round 4
Stop No. 10 of 11 finished with the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro. America’s finest competitive surfers were unable to escape Round 4, as they were eliminated by the stacked field of international talent that make up the top 45 on the ASP World Tour.
With several standout ASP World Tour competitors unable to compete in the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro due to injury, many surfers had a chance to better their overall seed or increase their chances of qualification for the 2009 ASP World Tour.
C.J. Hobgood (Melbourne, FL), 29, who is currently rated fifth amongst ASP World Tour surfers and was the ASP World Champion in 2001, is the top North American competitor on tour. The Floridian won the previous event, the Billabong Pro Mundaka, and was out to claim back-to-back event victories. Unfortunately the talented goofy-footer was stopped short by Brazilian Heitor Alves (Rio de Janeiro, BRA), 26, in Round 4.
“I’m just taking it heat by heat,” Hobgood said. “I’m trying to find my way and catch the best waves. I’m really confident and I think that the last win was good for me so maybe it can happen again. This is the World Tour, every heat is so hard and you have to surf so good so let’s see what happens.”
Tim Reyes (Huntington Beach, CA), 26, entered the event looking to earn a ninth place or better to increase his chances of qualification for next year’s ASP World Tour, and accomplished his goal by defeating South Africa’s Travis Logie (Durban, ZAF), 29, in Round 3. Reyes, who is sitting in 20th overall on tour, was out to claim his first ASP World Tour victory at the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro, but was ousted from the event by Fredrick Patacchia (North Shore, HI), 26, in Round 4 as well.
"In all my heats the wind is kind of blowing up, very strong, crazy, and today in my heat the last heat of the day, the worst wind possible,” Reyes said. “Me and Travis have already competed three times this year. He beat me in Jbay, I won in Indo, and now I won here, so I’m stoked. I came here to get a 9th or a better result to keep me on tour for next year, now I will focus on winning this event, try my hardest and maybe go to Hawaii with a victory."
Ben Bourgeois (Wrightsville Beach, NC), 30, earned his best result of the year with a ninth place finish by defeating the young Australian Ben Dunn (Wallabi Point, AUS), 22, and is currently sitting in 32 overall. Bourgeois was defeated in Round 4 by eventual event finalist Jeremy Flores (Cabreton, FRA), 20, and will need a solid result in Hawaii to qualify for the 2009 ASP World Tour.
“There are some really fun waves out there, it is not easy to find them, but I got that one good left, so you have to keep busy out there to have more chances to find a good one,” Bourgeois said. “I love coming here, it’s a beautiful place, great waves, the weather is perfect and today we have really good waves so I’m stoked.”
Damien Hobgood (Satellite Beach, FL), 29, also earned a ninth place finish and sits in 27th overall, while Californians Taylor Knox (Carlsbad, CA), 37, who is ranked 20th, and Chris Ward (San Clemente, CA), 29, who is ranked 23rd , each earned 17th place finishes.
Bobby Martinez (Santa Barbara, CA), 26, and Dane Reynolds (Ventura, CA), 23, both missed the event due to injury.
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Round 3 ASP World Tour action at the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro commenced at 8am this morning. Three to four foot (one metre) waves and light offshore winds are on offer.
Bede Durbidge (AUS), 25, claimed his third ASP World Tour career win with a victory at the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro in Imbituba, Brazil. Durbidge beat France’s Jeremy Flores 17.76 to 9.86.