Take out the two insane days of surf that the WCT got during rounds two and three of the Quiksilver Pro in France, today’s conditions at Praia Do Vila on the South Central coastline of Brazil, were about the best, most consistent and contestable waves since the final day of the Billabong Pro in Teahupoo. Considering the tour has been to world-class breaks like Mundaka, J-Bay, Hossegor and Trestles they were all pretty much blowouts, apart from the odd day that showed glimpses of the perfection they are known for. Paria Do Villa wasn’t epic, but it was two to three feet overhead, extremely consistent with a light offshore that was feathering the tops of the long A-Frame rights and lefts that peeled down the beach break bank.
It is only round one, but after four days of intense rain, howling winds and not even a ripple in the ocean it felt like finals day. The crazy Brazilian crowds flocked to the beaches albeit pretty much naked. The Brazilian bikini doesn't leave much for the imagination, not that there are any complaints as the thousands of beautiful, tanned and fit bodies strutted up and down the sand. When Kelly went to surf, the ten thousand plus crowd, surged down the beach after him, screaming girls yelling, "Kelly" and macho men trying to get their photo with him. It was the most insane scene I have ever witnessed at a surfing event. The Brazilians know and love surfing, the atmosphere and passion displayed on the beach today resembled a finals match at the World Cup of Soccer. They were so intense after Slater's heat, which he absolutely dominated, he side stepped the security escorts and sprinted around the outside of the swarming crowd and up to the safety of the athlete area, much to the displeasure of his adoring fans, who rewarded his evasive maneuvers with a solemn boo.
In the water, the usual round one antics went down. Slater, Parko, and Fanning easily won their heats getting the easier route to round three. Bobby Martinez, fresh off his win in Mudaka, was not quite so lucky, being outdone by Brazilian wild card Renato Galvao and is now seeded in the round that is affectionately know as the round of 33, the losers, round, round two or “The Dirty Round". It seems that the local Brazilian factor is going to play havoc with the rest of the CT surfers. Huge local crowds offering extremely vocal support and conditions that resemble your local beach break on a descent day, not to mention that 18 of the 45 surfers at this event are Brazilian and many of them are extremely hungry to make an impact on the world scene, in a sport that they are so passionate about.
Only eight heats of round one were contested today, the call will be made at 7am local time tomorrow, but it's a guaranteed that heat 9 will be sent straight out as there is no waiting period left forcing event officials to run the contest in what ever conditions mother nature chooses to dish up.
Heat 10 will have Taj Burrow taking on Luke Stedman and wildcard Marco Polo, so logon at 7am local time for competition status!
Upcoming Hang Loose Catarina Pro Round 1 Heat Match-ups:
Heat 10: Taj Burrow (AUS), Luke Stedman (AUS), Marco Polo (BRA)
Heat 11: CJ Hobgood (USA), Raioni Monteiro (BRA), Peterson Rosa (BRA)
Heat 12: Tom Whitaker (AUS), Bernardo Miranda (BRA), Gabe Kling (USA)
Heat 13: Michael Campbell (AUS), Leonardo Neves (BRA), Mark Occhilupo (AUS)
Heat 14: Royden Bryson (ZAF), Josh Kerr (AUS), Shaun Cansdell (AUS)
Heat 15: Chris Ward (USA), Troy Brooks (AUS), Dayyan Neve (AUS)
Heat 16: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Neco Padaratz (BRA), Victor Ribas (BRA))
Hang Loose Catarina Pro Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Dean Morrison (AUS) 14.50, Heitor Alves (BRA) 12.83, Cory Lopez (USA) 8.73
Heat 2: Rodrigo Dornelles(BRA) 14.80, Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 10.23, Jihad Khodr (BRA) 6.23
Heat 3: Taylor Knox (USA) 10.80, Frederick Patacchia (HAW) 10.50, Simao Romao (BRA) 9.65
Heat 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 16.16, Fabio Gouveia (BRA) 8.23, Ricky Basnett (ZAF) 5.94
Heat 5: William Cordoso (BRA) 14.17, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.86, Greg Emslie (ZAF) 12.43
Heat 6: Renato Galvao (BRA) 15.50, Phillip Macdonald (AUS) 12.93, Bobby Martinez (USA) 12.77
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.10, Diego Rosa (BRA) 12.16, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.67
Heat 8: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.67, Guga Arruda (BRA) 12.74 Bruce Irons (HAW) 7.83,
Heat 9: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.07, Kai Otton (AUS) 11.63, Fabio Carvalho (BRA) 11.37