October 29, 2003 (Joaquina, Florianopolis, Brasil) The {{{Nova}}} Schin FestivalWCT Brasil again went mobile today, relocating to nearby Caldeirao beach. Remaining round one heats of the US$250,000 ASP World Championship Tournament (WCT) were completed, before the first three heats from the ‘losers’ second round unfolded. Remaining heats were then postponed as storm clouds moved in and drenched the thousands who had also made the journey to watch.Onshore winds and stormy 3-4 ft (1.3m) surf was again on offer at the main site of Joaquina this morning, but after evaluating the surrounding area, organizers opted for Caldeirao – further south at the tip of Florianopolis Island. Good 4-6 ft (1.3-2m) peak conditions greeted competitors.Reigning world champ Andy Irons (Kauai, Haw) today survived a close ‘losers’ round match-up against local wildcard Fabricio Machado. The Kauaian fell a number of times and selected some poor rides, before finally locking in the low scoring heat’s best ride for a 6.0 near its end. His opponent only required an equally small score during the final 2-minutes, but was unable to catch a thing. Despite the win, Irons was still visibly disappointed with his performance.”I don’t know what’s happened, the good luck from last year has turned bad this year,” began Irons, after the nerve-racking heat. “That was a really close one and I’m just glad he didn’t catch a wave at the end, since he only needed a little bit. The waves were good, kind of like Duranbah (Aus) and really wedgey. I just hope I can get some rhythm going. I’ve felt kind of shaky lately, so I want to get back on a good roll.”It’s the only board I have left,” he explained, of the equipment he rode which seems to be giving him problems. “I brought three boards here, but broke one and buckled the other already. All three were new and I haven’t liked the feel of them. They have the same dimensions as I usually ride, but have just felt weird in Brazil. I’m going to try and borrow a board for my next heat.”It’s all good and makes for good press,” he added, of the ratings leadswinging last week in Spain. “Just seeing my name next to Kelly Slater’s name in surfing is kind of like being compared to Michael Jordan in basketball, so I think it’s a compliment. It’s a good race and hopefully it goes down to the last contest (in Hawaii).”Californian Taylor Knox also emerged victorious after a tight battle with reigning two-time national Brazilian champ Leonardo Neves. The lead swung toward the end, but Knox was able to secure a round three berth and keep his Nova Schin Festival WCT Brasil campaign alive.”I guess I waited around a lot while he got a couple on the inside,” said Knox. “I’d been watching it earlier and thought I knew where it was breaking. At the end I was getting frustrated, especially when he took the lead, but I made sure I caught another ride.”Cory Lopez (FL, USA) earlier overcame the daunting prospect of facing two Brazilians in front of a patriotic audience. Against local Florianopolis surfing hero Flavio Padaratz and fellow countryman Danilo Costa, the Floridian could hear the crowd’s vocal support of his opponents, but used this as added fuel to charge into round three. Older brother Shea also progressed the following match.”There’s a lot of people here and the Brazilians are really into it, like a soccer atmosphere,” began Lopez. “They’re really into their sports, and I had two Brazilians in my heat, and I could hear the crowd kind of booing me after one wave (laughs). But you take that negative energy and use it against them. I knew it was going to be tough, especially against Flavio, as he knows all the spots around here really well. I just got lucky to find the better waves.”Chris Davidson (Narrabeen) posted a big win over 1999 world champ MarkOcchilupo (Gold Coast) and fellow Australian Darren O’Rafferty (PortMacquarie) in the second last heat of round one. Occy unleashed some big turns on both his forehand and backhand, but ‘Davo’ found a great backhand barrel to score an 8.0, and then his final 7.1 pushed him through.”Pretty stoked about beating Occ,” said Davidson. “We had a bit of a grudge match, so it feels good to get him. I saw the section on that left and wasn’t going to pull in, but then it opened up and I had a go, and then did a little turn afterward and got an eight.”I love coming to Brazil,” he added, having won a major 6-Star WQS here lastyear. “I just want to do well here again and hopefully keep moving up theratings. I’m doing well on the WQS, but I want to qualify for next year’stour though the WCT for once.”

Another decision will be made at 8am tomorrow morning at Joaquina.Nova Schin Festival WCT Brasil Round One Heats (1st>Rnd3; 2nd&3rd>Rnd2)H12: Cory Lopez (Brz) 13.93; Flavio Padaratz (Brz) 12.0; Danilo Costa (Brz)7.7
H13: Shea Lopez (Brz) 15.43; Luke Stedman (Aus) 13.33; Shane Powell (Aus)10.4
H14: Luke Hitchings (Aus) 14.83; Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.2; Armando Daltro(Brz) 5.54
H15: Chris Davidson (Aus) 15.1; Mark Occhilupo (Aus) 14.53; DarrenO’Rafferty (Aus) 11.96
H16: Lee Winkler (Aus) 11.03; Phil MacDonald (Aus) 10.24; Beau Emerton (Aus)9.6
Round Two (1st>Rnd3; 2nd=33rd receives US$3,000)
{{{H1}}}: Andy Irons (Haw) 10.67 def. Fabricio Machado (Brz) 9.17
{{{H2}}}: Mick Lowe (Aus) 14.16 def. Diego Rosa (Brz) 10.5
{{{H3}}}: Taylor Knox (USA) def. Leonardo Neves (Brz)