PRAIA DA VILA, Santa Catarina/Brazil (Wednesday, April 28, 2010) – The Billabong Pro Santa Catarina put in a marathon 20 heats of competition today as Round 3 and the opening four heats of Round 4 were completed in clean three-to-four foot (1 metre) waves at Praia da Vila.
The third stop on the 2010 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Santa Catarina plays a vital part in both the 2010 ASP World Title race as well as the requalification campaigns of the world's best surfers, and today's assault by the new guard substantially altered both courses this season.
Jadson Andre (BRA), 20, 2010 ASP World Tour rookie, was today's standout surfer, first besting veteran goofy-footer Damien Hobgood (USA), 30, in Round 3 before going on a blitzkrieg against Luke Munro (AUS), 27, in Round 4. The afternoon bout saw the young Brazilian decimate the punchy lefthanders, linking searing carves with multiple airs on every wave. Posting four waves over 8.0 (throwing away the two lowest), Andre secured the day's highest heat total of a 16.83 out of a possible 20 and advanced into the first Quarterfinal of his young career.
"Every time I would finish a wave and ride back on the ski, the whole crowd would start screaming," Andre said. "It's the best feeling in the world. The waves are really fun. I think I caught too many, but that's okay. I will go and rest tonight and hope for a big finish tomorrow."
Rated 13th in the world heading into Brazil, Andre has already improved his ASP World Tour ranking with a Quarterfinals berth, an important fact considering the mid-season cut to the Top 32.
"It's a super important event for everyone," Andre said. "Everyone wants to make the cut after Tahiti and to be at home is a good advantage for me. I'm not trying to think of the cut-off. I'm just thinking about surfing my best."
Andre will take on Polynesian powerhouse Michel Bourez (PYF), 24, in the Quarterfinals of the Billabong Pro Santa Catarina.
Bourez, in his second year on the ASP World Tour, was another to blast his way through two rounds today, taking out lethal veteran Kieren Perrow (AUS), 33, in Round 3 and perennial ASP World Title threat Joel Parkinson (AUS), 29, in Round 4.
"Everything is going well for me at the moment," Bourez said. "My girlfriend, my family, my friends, everything is good. I have a really good board at the moment and feel like I'm surfing strong. This is already a big result for me and now I am trying to keep going."
Bourez will now have his work cut out for him as he takes on in-form Brazilian rookie Andre in the Quarterfinals.
"It will be a hard heat for both of us," Bourez said. "It already matches my best result on tour and it's his (Jadson Andre) first Quarterfinal. I saw he got some 8s in his heat and he surfs out here really well so it will be a challenge, but I look forward to it."
Dane Reynolds (USA), 24, current ASP World No. 9, claimed a major scalp this afternoon, taking out last year's event Runner-Up Adriano de Souza (BRA), 23, in an action-packed heat. Although the Brazilian sensation held firm with an early lead, Reynolds turned the tide with an exceptional backhand wave, scoring an 8.33 out of a possible 10.
"That was strange because Adriano (de Souza) gave me that wave while I was under his priority and that's out of character for him," Reynolds said. "The wave had a really good line on it, but in saying that, it had a lot of little bumps in it too. I managed to release the fins on the first turn then had an okay second turn and finished well. It's weird surfing against him because he has so much support on the beach and I'm sure they all wanted me to lose. That's just the way it goes though."
Reynolds will face former ASP World Champion C.J. Hobgood (USA), 30, in the Quarterfinals of the Billabong Pro Santa Catarina.
Owen Wright (AUS), 20, 2010 ASP World Tour rookie, caused an upset of his own today, eliminating regular top performer in Brazil, Bede Durbidge (AUS), 27, in Round 3 of competition. The win marks the first time the much-lauded goofy-footer has broken into Round 4 this season and despite nursing a knee injury, Wright will look to make an impression at Imbituba.
"I'm rapt to make it into the fourth round," Wright said. "Starting the year with two 16ths is tough, and my knee didn't feel 100% before the comp so I wasn't even sure if I would compete. It's felt good though, but still not where I want it to be. Bede (Durbidge) is an amazing surfer and every year he competes here, he gets the best waves. Fortunately, I was able to get in a rhythm out there and there wasn't anything left for him."
Wright will take on Jeremy Flores (FRA), 22, in Round 4 of competition.
Mick Fanning (AUS), 28, reigning two-time ASP World Champion, experienced a relatively mediocre start in Brazil, but hit his straps today with an emphatic Round 3 win over Neco Padaratz (BRA), 33. The Australian lacerated the running righthanders and appears to be building momentum as the event draws to a close.
"Neco (Padaratz) is a tough opponent when he's here at home," Fanning said. "He knows the wave really well and puts everything into his surfing. He also has lots of support on the beach. I felt like I put together a better heat in that one. I felt good on the righthander and I had a good left until I misplaced my foot. I'm feeling good and looking forward to a big finish whenever we run again."
When competition resumes, up first will be reigning two-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS), 28, and Taylor Knox (USA), 38, in Heat 5 of Round 4.
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow at 7am to assess conditions for a possible 7:30am start.
Highlights from the Billabong Pro Santa Catarina will be available via http://www.aspworldtour.com/santacatarina
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
BILLABONG SANTA CATARINA PRO ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Luke Munro (AUS) 13.04 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 10.84
Heat 2: Jadson Andre (BRA) 15.26 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 9.23
Heat 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.50 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 10.17
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.77 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.17
Heat 5: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.73 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 5.20
Heat 6: Dane Reynolds (USA) 14.66 def. Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 10.00
Heat 7: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 12.83 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 11.33
Heat 8: Travis Logie (ZAF) 13.60 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.00
Heat 9: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.50 def. Neco Padaratz (BRA) 11.04
Heat 10: Taylor Knox (USA) 13.00 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 11.73
Heat 11: Owen Wright (AUS) 13.77 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 9.27
Heat 12: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.50 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 7.83
Heat 13: Kelly Slater (USA) 12.60 def. Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 6.83
Heat 14: Chris Davidson (AUS) 12.37 def. Daniel Ross (AUS) 12.17
Heat 15: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.00 def. Ben Dunn (AUS) 9.83
Heat 16: Roy Powers (HAW) 14.17 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 9.66
BILLABONG SANTA CATARINA PRO ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Jadson Andre (BRA) 16.83 def. Luke Munro (AUS) 10.83
Heat 2: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.50. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 7.43
Heat 3: Dane Reynolds (USA) 15.16 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.67
Heat 4: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.84 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 9.80
BILLABONG SANTA CATARINA PRO REMAINING ROUND 4 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 6: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Chris Davidson (AUS)
Heat 8: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Roy Powers (HAW