SAQUAREMA, Rio de Janeiro / Brazil (Thursday, May, 24, 2012) - Competition on Thursday at the 2012 Quiksilver Saquarema Prime presented by Coca-Cola saw Brazilian powerhouse, Willian Cardoso set all scoring records on the waves in the 2-3 foot range (1 meter) on the long lefts at the Itauna Beach pointbreak, in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Judges scored a 9.7 on a wave Cardoso threw a series of quick, fully-committed top-to-bottom turns and carves along with an additional 8.33 ride to obtain the highest heat wave total of the event with an 18.03 out of a possible 20 points.
“Saquarema's the best,” said Cardoso. “Event organizers even thought about holding off the event for the day, but the sets just kept coming in and I'm glad they didn't decide to stop it (Round of 24). My first heat of the day had really full waves, but later on they had a better wall and I was able to catch two good ones. I'm stoked to have gotten the best scores so far and I hope to go even further in the event.”
18-year old Kolohe Andino (USA), continued his outstanding performance at the Quiksilver Saquarema Prime by showing off his skilled repertoire of modern surfing and advanced directly into the Round of 16 by scoring a heat total of 17.33, which included a 9.0 on his best wave.
“The waves have really gotten a lot smaller, but they still break pretty perfectly,” said Andino. “There were more rights breaking today (Thursday) and I'm glad to get into the Round of 16. I hope to at least get into the Quarters to get a good result and increase my ranking.”
Another competitor to qualify directly into the Round of 16 was surfer, Matt Wilkinson. The eccentric Australian is ranked below the first 22 surfers of the ASP World Tour to qualify for the 2013 Dream Tour and hopes to maintain his elite status by staying within the top 10 surfers of the One World Ranking.
“Yeah, I've had a really bad start this year and I haven't gotten any good results, but it's a long year,” declared Wilkinson. “I've been able to get some good points this event by getting into the Round of 16 and the next events on the World Tour (Fiji and Tahiti) are places that really suit my style of surfing and hope to get some good results and not have that much pressure on me to stay in the Top 34 next year.”
Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) was able to stage an upset as he sent one of the event favorites, Gabriel Medina (BRA) into the elimination round. Later in the afternoon, Medina won his heat using his patented frontside air-reverses against Puerto Rican Brian Toth, and will have a rematch against Gonzalez in the Round of 16 of the Quiksilver Saquarema Prime.
“I never thought that I was going to win that heat,” exclaimed Gonzalez. “I spent the whole time in 2nd and I tried catching some smaller ones that actually opened up a wall for some good turns. That strategy ended up working because on my last wave I got the scores I needed. I'm stoked because it's tough to face two surfers as good as Gabriel (Medina) and Willian (Cardoso) and beat them in Brazil.”
The forecast for the 2012 Quiksilver Saquarema Prime presented by Coca-Cola shows a decreasing swell and will be on hold tomorrow (Friday) and will see the Round of 16 on Saturday, followed by the crowning of the champion on Sunday.
The Quiksilver Saquarema Prime presented by Coca-Cola is brought together by Adding Sports and sponsored by Coca-Cola and Quiksilver, along with the support of the State of Rio de Janeiro through the Secretary of Sports and Leisure, the City of Saquarema, CCR Via Lagos, 900 Graus, the Saquarema Surfing Association and the Rio de Janeiro Surfing Federation. The Quiksilver Saquarema Prime is an ASP South America sanctioned event and the official media partners are ESPN Brasil, Fluir Magazine and the Waves/Terra website.
LIVE BROADCAST: A live broadcast of the event can be watched by accessing the ASP South America website at: http://www.ziulscores.com.edgesuite.net/aspsth/saquarema12/
When not in the air, Kolohe took a more traditional approach to wave riding. Photo: Daniel Smorigo
The always stylish Wilko displacing Brazilian waters. Photo: Daniel Smorigo
Willian Cardosa cracking it backside in route to a 9.7. Photo: Daniel Smorigo