ARPOADOR BEACH, Rio de Janeiro / Brazil (Thursday, October 20, 2011) - After two consecutive Lay Days, light onshore winds and waves in the 3-5 foot (1-1.5 meter) range were on hand at Arpoador Beach in Rio de Janeiro for the start of the ASP World 6-Star Quiksilver Brazil Open of Surfing presented by Arnette. 144 athletes from 19 different countries are competing for the U$145,000 in prize money with the event winner taking home U$20,000 and 3,500 points going towards their ASP World Ranking.
The highlight of the day was produced by ASP South America Pro Junior champion, Filipe Toledo (BRA) who scored a 7.67 (out of a possible 10) on a backside rotating aerial. Toledo's score was only surpassed by Bino Lopes' (BRA) 7.77 in his heat against Igor Morais (BRA) who had the highest heat-wave total of the event so far with a 14.50 (out of a possible 20).
“It seemed like the crowd wanted to see some airs,” said Toledo. “I threw a frontside air that didn't come out too well, but after that I launched a good backside air which got me through to the next round. I'd really like to do well in this contest even though my focus is on the Pro Junior next week (Arnette ASP World Junior will be held at the same venue, Arpoador Beach, from October 24th to November 2nd)”.
The first international surfer to qualify into the next round was Marco Giorgi (URU) with Caue Wood (BRA) advancing as well after a hard-fought battle for second place over Caetano Vargas (BRA) and Joaquin Del Castillo (PER).
“We were pleading with the organizers to hold off the event on Tuesday and Wednesday,” said Giorgi. “Thankfully they listened to reason and had faith in the weather forecast. The swell direction isn't the best for Arpoador, but conditions are improving and I think we're going to have great waves for the rest of the contest.”
Coming off a Runner-Up finish in last week's ASP World 6-Star SuperSurf Internacional in Ubatuba-Sao Paulo, Tanner Gudauskas (USA) was able to qualify in second place behind 18 year-old Ian Crane (USA).
“That was a fun heat,” said Crane. “The waves are much better than yesterday (Wednesday). They're still not ideal but I was able to find some good ones. Winning a heat over a guy like Tanner (Gudauskas) was fantastic! This is my first time to Brazil and I really like it. I was in Ubatuba last week and now Rio de Janeiro. I'm really enjoying the city and its beauty.”
The Quiksilver Brazil Open of Surfing presented by Arnette is brought to you by Adding Sports with the supervision of the Surfing Federation of Rio de Janeiro (FESERJ) and sponsored by Arnette, Oi, Quiksilver and the State of Rio de Janeiro through the Secretary of Sports and Leisure. The event is part of the ASP South America Circuit as ASP World 6-Star event is also supported by Oi Futuro, Oi FM, Urgh, DC, Roxy, the City of Rio de Janeiro, Favela Surf Club and Arpoador Surf Club. The event is broadcast live through www.brasilopenofsurfing.com.br