RIBEIRA D'ILHAS/ERICEIRA, Portugal (Wednesday, October 20, 2010) – The Quiksilver Pro Portugal and Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) sanctioned Men's Star Series event witnessed an overnight increase in swell allowing for a great day of competitive surfing at the legendary point break of Ribeira D'Ilhas. Lines in the 4-5ft range wrapped along the point producing excellent conditions for the strong international field of athletes. Early morning heats were battered by freezing off-shore winds which abated offering another warm sunny afternoon.
Marc Lacomare (Capbreton, FRA) 20, took full advantage of the clean conditions of his early morning heat by building on his scores and gain confidence as he is recovering from a recent back injury. Finishing off with an excellent series of backhand gouges to obtain an 8.57 out of 10 Lacomare has commenced his Quiksilver Pro Portugal campaign strongly.
"For sure it is good to get through that one and with the strong off-shore it is sometimes difficult out there. The first heat of an event is always tough when you look for which is your best board. I tried to find only the good waves out there and it worked for me today."
Currently leading the European Men's Series title race, Lacomare knows the importance of this event due to the fact that we are at stop nº10 of 12 of the title race. Lacomare won the 2009 ASP European Junior Champion and is focused on the Open Title in 2010.
"This is for me a very important contest because it is the end of the season with only a couple of events left. So it is important for me to try and do well here. I hurt my back and today in the water it felt a little better. I haven't surfed for two weeks so I want to try and go step by step."
Surfers competing in the Quiksilver Pro Portugal are out to claim valuable ASP World Ranking points in their endeavour to qualify for next year's elite ASP World Tour. European surfers are on stop nº 10 of 12 in their bid to claim this year's ASP European Men's Title.
Tiago Pires (Ericeira, PRT) made his long awaited debut performance in front of an expectant crowd which he did not let down. Surfing in one of the later heats before the high tide, made for trickier conditions forcing Pires to rely on his local knowledge of the break.
"It is a relief to make it through but I have made so many heats out here that I don't expect to lose this early but you never know what may happen especially in these conditions with the tricky tides today. You have to be careful out there, be very selective and patient. It worked out for me and I won with two average scores but I want to surf better."
Pires may have been comfortable with the situation however his fellow competitors were out for a full-on battle knowing they had one of the favourites in their heat. Early hasseling was obvious and led to a solution which Pires offered to the guys.
"There was a lot of jostling for position out there in the beginning of the heat and I was getting a bit upset because the guys didn't want to surf, they just wanted to grab the position on the inside. So it was a bit stressful so I put in a word and said 'Hey guys, lets surf the heat otherwise we will miss all the waves and be paddling further and further away'".
The Quiksilver Pro Portugal is offering Pires a chance to try out some of his equipment not usually used in other events. With the demonstration given today he has sent out a clear message that things are starting to come together and another huge result on home soil is possibly on the cards.
"I managed to win the heat with no big scores and I am trying out a board for these conditions. It is not one of my main boards, it is more of a backup, and I don't use it on the World tour for example. I want to give it a go because it has been working and see how it goes."
Tiago's protégé, the Quiksilver team rider and Portuguese rising star, Vasco Ribeiro managed to qualify himself for Round 2 in a close battle with Brazilian Rodrigues.
Later today, hot favourite Jeremy Flores (FRA) won his second heat of the event in front of German surfer Nic von Rupp (DEU) advancing to Round Three in a nail-biting finish. The ASP World Tour surfer, ranked n°15 in the elite tournament, Jeremy Flores is on his way to post a big performance here in Ericeira where he achieved his only professional win in 2007.
Turning a lot of heads was the performance of youngster Ian Gouveia (Recife, BRA) 17, son of former WCT surfer Fabio, with his first placing to advance also through to Round Three of competition. Building on his scores to finish with two solid rides and a combined heat total of 13.33, Gouveia looked at home in the conditions despite being on his first visit to Portugal.
"I got a couple of good ones for sure. It was a slow heat at the beginning with some sets that came through and I was lucky I got a few good ones when they came."
No stranger to major ASP Men's Star Series events, Gouveia is hoping to better his fifth placing last year in Fernando do Noroaña.
"I was really happy with the scores," stated Gouveia. "It feels so good to be here like my dad did and I'm stoked with it. I am sure they are watching at home."
Another highlight of the day was the second win of Australian surfer Josh Kerr. The aerial specialist took advantage of the long right hander and score big and powerful turns. The Tweed Heads surfer is definitely a strong contender for the inaugural edition of the Quiksilver Pro Portugal.
Last heat of the day (Heat n°8 of Round 2) saw the qualification of former ASP World Tour surfer Miky Picon (FRA) along with Brazilian surfer Jean da Silva, winner of the Estoril WQS 2 years ago.
Jose Gregorio, the Quiksilver Pro Portugal contest director, announced a 7:30am call tomorrow (local time) for a possible start at 7:45.
Follow the event live on www.quiksilverlive.com
Quiksilver Pro Portugal Round Two Results
Heat 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 14.50, Nic von Rupp (DEU) 13.50, Dede Suryana (IDN) 13.17, Romain Cloitre (FRA) 11.64
Heat 2: Ian Gouveia (BRA) 13.33, Hodei Collazo (EUK) 12.00, Chris Salisbury (AUS) 10.16, Francisco Alves (PRT) 9.33
Heat 3: Justin Mujica (PRT) 10.26, Adrien Toyon (REU) 10.10, Charlie Brown (BRA) 9.43, Frederic Robin (REU) 7.66
Heat 4: Leonardo Neves (BRA) 14.07, Abdel El Harim (MAR) 12.67, Brandon Jackson (ZAF) 12.40, Alexandre Ferreira (PRT) 8.36
Heat 5: Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 15.44, Eneko Acero (EUK) 13.23, Joao Antunes (PRT) 7.50, Demitri Ouvre (FRA) 4.26
Heat 6: Pablo Paulino (BRA) 13.73, Beto Mariano (BRA) 12.23, Romain Laulhe (FRA) 7.77, Alan Stokes (GBR) 5.13
Heat 7: Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.00, Klee Strachan (ZAF) 13.70, Marcos Fernandez (BRA) 12.60, Miguel Mouzinho (PRT) 10.53
Heat 8: Jean Da Silva (BRA) 14.33, Mickey Picon (FRA) 12.43, Noboyuki Osawa (JPN) 10.56, Marlon Lipke (DEU) 10.23
Quiksilver Pro Portugal Remaining Round One Results
Heat 15: Jean Da Silva (BRA) 12.00, Marco Fernandez (BRA) 9.33, Antonin De Soultrait (FRA) 8.23, Britton Galland (USA) 5.97
Heat 16: Micky Picon (FRA) 13.30, Miguel Mouzinho (PRT) 9.60, Patrick Beven (FRA) 9.54, Jhon Junior (BRA) 8.33
Heat 17: Marc Lacomare (FRA) 15.24, Charles Martin (GLP) 13.34, David Luis (PRT) 8.46, Ricardo Lange (DEU) 6.43
Heat 18: Frederico Morais (PRT) 10.43, David Raimundo (PRT) 9.00, Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 6.40, Thiago De Souza (BRA) 5.33
Heat 19: Masatoshi Ohno (JPN) 12.50, Ivo Cacao (PRT) 8.80, Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK) 8.26, Borja Agote (EUK) 7.23
Heat 20: Hugo Savalli (REU) 11.00, Damien Chaudoy (REU) 9.90, Bernardo Miranda (BRA) 8.84, Andre Oziol (BRB) 6.87
Heat 21: Yuri Sodre (BRA) 13.73, Txaber Trojaola (EUK) 9.54, Norman Landa (EUK) 8.80, Skylar Lawson (USA) 3.83
Heat 22: Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 12.83, Stephen Walsh (AUS) 10.83, Leonardo Belime (PRT) 8.03, Andre Teixeira (BRA) 7.17
Heat 23: Bruno Rodrigues (BRA) 13.00, Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 12.24, Joao Guedes (PRT) 11.90, Nuno Florencio (PRT) 3.40
Heat 24: Tiago Pires (PRT) 13.37, Jesse Mendes (BRA) 12.67, Tiago Camarao (BRA) 8.56, Oli Adams (GBR) 6.07
Quiksilver Pro Portugal PR:
Cathy Lallement / Agence Olivia Payerne
Mob. +33 (0) 6 14 04 17 16
Quiksilver Europe Communications:
Mob. +33 (0) 6 11 04 56 80
Quiksilver US Communications: