Competition on Saturday began in pristine conditions in front of a teeming crowd at the Quiksilver Saquarema Prime under sunny skies, warm weather and waves in the 4-6 foot range (1.5-2 meters). With greatly improving conditions throughout the week, the light winds provided long barrels and a canvas for heavy carves and committed hacks on the open faces at the lefthand pointbreak of Itauna Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Gabriel Medina (BRA), was the day’s in-form surfer as he earned the highest heat-wave total of the day by scoring an 18.80 (out of a possible 20 points) in his victory against Glenn Hall (IRL) in the morning, and then followed by scoring an 18.47 in his heat against Kiron Jabour (HAW) in the afternoon.
“The waves are great, my board feels good and with perfect conditions like these, I just try to get quality waves and surf them to the best of my ability,” said Gabriel Medina. “Today (Saturday) was wonderful, I had two great heats and I hope things stay the same for tomorrow.”
In a tight battle, local surfer Raoni Monteiro (BRA), took out the defending event winner, Matt Wilkinson (AUS), by a score of 17.46 to 17.20 in what was the most exciting heat of the day.
“This is my house!” claimed the victorious Raoni Monteiro after qualifying into the Quarter-Finals. “Yesterday I hurt my back picking up my daughter and I couldn’t even walk around last night. I hope to be well enough to make it to the Finals tomorrow.”
With their performances at the Quiksilver Saquarema Prime, Mitchel Coleborn (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA) and Marc Lacomare (FRA) have guaranteed a berth into the Quarter-Finals and more importantly, have reached the top 10 in the ASP World Ranking for the WCT 2014.
“That was such an important heat for me and it was probably the tensest in my entire life,” declared a relieved Jadson Andre after defeating Bernardo Miranda (BRA) in the Round of 16, 13.44 to 10.54 respectively. “I was already nervous before the heat because the tide started to come in. There weren’t a lot of waves during our heat and I kept messing up but ended up getting a good one during the last couple of minutes. I really want to win another event and try to qualify back onto the WCT.”
Marc Lacomare (FRA), commented on his close victory over fellow compatriot, Jeremy Flores (FRA), 12.47 to 12.17. “It was so difficult and worst of all was having to face my friend Jeremy (Flores). In the last 15 minutes of the heat the sets started to take a long time to come in. I started to stress out because of the lack of waves, but thankfully everything worked out in the end. I’m going to rest up now and will try to do my best tomorrow (Sunday).”