SAQUAREMA, Rio de Janeiro / Brazil (Saturday, May, 26, 2012) - The Quarter-Finalists have been decided at the ASP Quiksilver Saquarema Prime presented by Coca-Cola. Another spectacular day of competition was held with sunny skies and waves in the 3-5 foot range (1-1.5 meters) at the Itauna Beach point break in Saquarema, Brazil. The event winner will be crowned tomorrow (Sunday) where U$ 40,000 dollars and 6,500 ASP World Ranking points will be distributed amongst the competitors.
Making it into the Quarter-Finals and out to make a repeat performance was the 2011 Quiksilver Saquarema Prime event winner, Kai Otton (AUS). Facing Otton will be young, Hawaiian surfer, Sebastien Zietz.
“My heat against Perth Standlick (AUS) was tense,” said Kai Otton. “I had already faced him and won in this event, so I think he had some revenge in mind. What's incredible is that there were great waves breaking here yesterday (Friday) but competition was called off. But today, conditions are even better, with larger sets and things are classic again. The two waves I caught today were the best I've gotten this whole week. I hope tomorrow (Sunday) has good waves as well and I hope I can win again.”
The day's highest scoring single wave of a 9.57 (out of 10) was obtained by Kolohe Andino (USA), in the competition's only legitimate tuberide so far, in his heat against Jean da Silva (BRA).
“The sets were taking a really long time to come in, so I couldn't believe it when that barrel popped up,” said Kolohe Andino. “My board helped me out, I set my rail in there and I was able to make it out. It was amazing! This contest has been so much fun, great waves, a perfect day and I hope it stays the same for tomorrow.”
High drama unfolded for the event's Top Seeded surfer, Gabriel Medina (BRA) in his heat against the Canary Island's Jonathan Gonzalez. Breaking his board in the middle of the heat, Medina lost a hefty amount of time by having to swim back to shore, switch boards, and then paddle back out, before launching two massive frontside airs to continue in competition.
“That was intense,” said Gabriel Medina. “I had a hard time in that heat, but I'm still in the hunt for the title. I brought my whole family along with me and they've been helping me out a lot. Tomorrow (Sunday) I'm up against Matt (Wilkinson), and that's going to be great. He's a surfer that can throw some modern maneuvers too, so I can't wait to face him. I'm really frothing, but I guess I have to wait until tomorrow.”
Another standout performer throughout the event that has qualified into the Quarter-Finals is Brazilian surfer, Alex Ribeiro. Scoring a 9-point ride at the lefthand point break of Itauna Beach, Ribeiro threw a series of turns to defeat Romain Cloitre (FRA) in their head-to-head battle.
“Thankfully, I was able to catch that left and I was able to let loose,” said Alex Ribeiro. “That score calmed me down and after that I just tried to use my strategy to finish off the heat. I'm stoked to make it into the Quarters and get a chance to surf this amazing wave here in Itauna. Actually, I thought my board was a little too small out there because the swell was supposed to drop, but there were incredible waves during that heat.”
The final day of competition is set for an 8:30 am start (local time). Heat 1 of the Quarter-Finals will see Sebastien Zietz (HAW) against Kai Otton (AUS) followed by Kolohe Andino (USA) against Alex Ribeiro (BRA).
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: http://www.quiksilver.com.br/primesaquarema12/
QUARTER-FINALS OF THE QUIKSILVER SAQUAREMA PRIME – 5th place – U$ 6,500 and 3,320 points:
HEAT 1: Kai Otton (AUS) vs Sebastien Zietz (HAW)
HEAT 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
HEAT 3: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs Gabriel Medina (BRA)
HEAT 4: Nathan Yeomans (USA) vs Keanu Asing (HAW)
ROUND OF 16 – 9th place– U$ 5,000 and 2,400 points:
HEAT 1: Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 11.10 x 10.94 Hizunome Bettero (BRA)
HEAT 2: Kai Otton (AUS) 16.27 x 8.50 Perth Standlick (AUS)
HEAT 3: Kolohe Andino (USA) 16.74 x 8.90 Jean da Silva (BRA)
HEAT 4: Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 15.07 x 11.16 Romain Cloitre (FRA)
HEAT 5: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 8.96 x 8.33 Willian Cardoso (BRA)
HEAT 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.10 x 11.66 Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY)
HEAT 7: Keanu Asing (HAW) 12.67 x 12.63 Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)
HEAT 8: Nathan Yeomans (USA) 13.10 x 9.67 Filipe Toledo (BRA)