Top Seeds Dominate Round 3 of Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro
Challenging three-to-four foot (1.5 metre) waves pulsed through the main site at Praia Vila today as the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro completed Round 3 of competition, narrowing the remaining field down to the final 16 surfers.
Stop No. 4 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro saw the ASP’s top seeds take command during Round 3, with seven of the current ASP Top 10 advancing through to Round 4. Adriano de Souza (BRA), 22, former ASP World Junior Champion (2004) and current ASP World No. 5, was in sensational form this morning, navigating the pulsing lefthanders with ease to net the highest heat total of the day, a 16.20 out of a possible 20. “The surf is still pretty difficult but there are good lefts coming through and I was able to find two high-scoring ones,” De Souza said. “Greg (Emslie) is such a dangerous competitor and is capable of getting really good scores. I knew I would have to surf at my highest level. My equipment feels good and I am feeling much more confident after getting through that last round.” With the advancement into Round 4 of the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro, De Souza has already netted his best finish in six seasons of competing in Brazil (first as a wildcard, then as an ASP World Tour competitor). With today’s eliminations of countrymen Heitor Alves (BRA), 27, and Neco Padaratz (BRA), the young natural-footer is the sole remaining Brazilian left in competition. De Souza will face Jeremy Flores (FRA), 21, in Round 4 when competition resumes. Kelly Slater (USA), 37, reigning nine-time ASP World Champion, continued to experiment with equipment in his Round 3 victory over Ben Dunn (AUS), 23, today. Having stretched the boundaries on competitive surfboards for the last several months, including his Round 2 victory on a self-shaped, asymmetrical quad-fin, the Floridian’s equipment has been a central topic of much-heated debate within the surfing world. “I seem to be riding a new board every time I go for a surf,” Slater said. “This one I just rode was an epoxy swallow-tail and seemed to go really well in these conditions. I’ve spent the lay days hanging with some friends here in Brazil and having a few fun surfs around town. I’ve pretty much just been cruising and testing out some equipment.” After suffering three, uncharacteristic equal 17th place finishes thus far in 2009 (his worst competitive run since becoming an ASP World Tour competitor), Slater now finds himself with a current ASP World No. 25 rating and a mountain of challenges between him and an unprecedented 10th ASP World Title this season. Slater will face current ASP World No. 8 Tom Whitaker (AUS), 29, in Round 4 when Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro competition resumes. When Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro competition recommences, first up will be defending Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro winner Bede Durbidge (AUS), 26, up against another past winner in Brazil (2005) Damien Hobgood (USA), 29, in Heat 1 of Round 4. Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7am for a possible 7:30am start to the (potentially) final day of the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro.
Following three consecutive lay days, the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro is back on with Round 3 hitting the water at 8am in clean three-to-four foot (1.5 metre) waves at the main site of Praia Vila.
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Reigning ASP Women’s World Longboard Champion Joy Monahan, 23, will defend her title at the upcoming fourth edition of the Roxy ASP Women’s World Longboard Championships (WWLC), from July 10 to 14, 2009, at La Côte des Basques in Biarritz, France.
Keanu Asing, 16, won the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Grade-4 Nike 6.0 Pier Pressure at South Huntington Beach Pier Monday over fellow finalists Dillon Perillo, 19, Evan Thompson, 17, and Chase Wilson, 18.