Round 2 of the Hang Loose is a wrap

ASP World Tour surfer Heitor Alves (BRA) was one of five Brazilian surfers finding their way out of Round 2 and into Round 3 of the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro today.

Heitor Alves.  Copyright: ASP Kirstin / Covered ImagesAlves surfed an inspired heat to send South Africa’s Ricky Basnett home with his tenth 33rd place finish in 10 events. Alves’ 15.83 heat total was the day’s highest.

“It was a good heat,” Alves said. “Ricky is a great surfer, he is always good in the lefts and the rights so I just tried to complete radical maneuvers to get the high scores.”

Alves, an ASP World Tour rookie, currently sits 29th on the ASP ratings. Only the Top 25 surfers on the ASP World Tour requalify at year’s end. Behind World No. 5 Adriano de Souza (BRA), Alves is the highest rated Brazilian and the most likely to requalify if he continues to surf like he did today.

“I’m relaxed, if I get a good result it will be perfect , but if not it’s OK, I will compete on WQS next year,” Alves said. “I learned a lot this year competing with the best surfers in the world and in perfect waves.”

California’s Timmy Reyes (USA) also surfed well – netting the event’s highest counting wave score thus far – a 9.17 out of 10.00.

“It was a hard start,” Reyes said of his heat. “It is really windy, blowing really hard and changing all the time. I found a left that was really hard to ride and I got a couple turns, but it wasn’t a high score. Then I started to get rights and found a consistent wave, made my turns and a heard the score – a 9.17.”

Reyes currently sits within the qualification cut-off at World No. 22, but making heats will go a long way in helping him maintain that position.

“It’s been a hard year, I’ve made some mistakes,” Reyes said. “This contest is very important for me to keep my spot on tour, so I hope to make it through some more heats.”

Jordy Smith (ZAF) actually scored the highest single wave score in Round 1, but lost both ofhis scores and ultimately the heat for making priority mistakes. He surfed well again today to beat former ASP World Tour alternate Pedro Henrique (BRA) 15.33 to 14.33 in one of the most exciting bouts of the round.

“I’m very happy,” Smith said. “I lost my Round 1 heat by making stupid mistakes so now I’m happy to get through to Round 3 and not get a 33rd.”

Also bouncing back was California’s Chris Ward (USA). Ward missed his Round 1 of the event due to a Visa mix-up, but came out firing today to easily defeat his opponent Gustavo Fernandes (BRA).

“It’s pretty messy out there,” Ward said. “I was glad to find two lined-up waves because a lot of them were dying out and you have to get speed and be lucky to find them. That 8.53 wave I got was so perfect, I just did my turns and got the score.”

C.J. Hobgood (USA) made his heat this morning, and today’s subsequent elimination of Adrian Buchan (AUS) and wildcard Bruno Santos (BRA), paired with the absence of nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) and Bruce Irons (HAW), makes him the only surfer still competing in the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro who has won an ASP World Tour event this year. Hobgood won the last event on tour in Mundaka, Spain.

“I’m just taking it heat by heat,” Hobgood said when asked about posting back-to-back victories. “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.”

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Heitor Alves.  Copyright: ASP Kirstin / Covered Images
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