Niterói (RJ) Brazil – 17th June 2017
On its third day of competition, Itacoatiara Pro defined the finalists of the Female and Pro Junior divisions on Saturday (17th). Left to fight for the title between the girls, Nicole Calheiros (Brazil) and Ayaka Suzuki (Japan), and in the Pro Junior division (18 years), is Igor de Almeida (Brazil), Luan Tavares (Brazil), Cristobal Fernandez Chile) and Nelson Flores (Chile). With small waves for Sunday (18th) and Monday (19th), the contest will resume on Tuesday (20th), with predictions of optimal conditions for the remainder of the event. With a prize purse of USD$30,000.00, this event is one of the biggest prize purses of the circuit with 5,000 points towards the ranking. The Brazilian stage of the APB World Tour celebrates its sixth edition with a waiting period from June 15th to 25th.
With a sunny Saturday, a temperature of 20 degrees and no wind, heats began early in the morning with the boys of Pro Junior hitting the water. The last four heats of round 1 were held, before the women entered the Itacoatiara Sea. In the women’s category, which had a time of 25 minutes for each heat, 13 athletes started the battle and soon in Round 1, five competitors were on the way home leaving 8 left to compete.
In the first heat, Nicole Calheiros (Brazil) gave no chance for the opponents and led from start to finish, passing in first, with Paloma Freyggan (Chile) in second position. In the second heat, Paola Simão (Brazil), Teresa Almeida (Portugal) and Dalete Mousinho (Brazil) played a wave-by-wave match until the final minutes, which ended with the Portuguese first and Paola second. In the third heat of the girls, the Japanese Ayaka Susuki dictated the rhythm of the competition, leaving Brazilian Taty Menezes and Mariana Motta finishing second and third respectively. And in the fourth heat, Brazilians Maria Helena Tostes and Patrícia Setubal, secured a place in the next round after overcoming the Chilean Yanira Silva.
From the quarterfinals on, the event officials swapped the divisions, so that the athletes had a longer time of recovery. After the quarters, the highlight of the event in the first semi-final of Pro Junior, Igor de Almeida made an epic tube, followed by a big air-rollo and scored a 9.0, totalling 14.25 in total.
“It was very exciting to reach the final after hitting rock-bottom for two years in a row and today God sent a good wave and I managed to perform good maneouver to reach the final,” said Almeida.
Igor de Almeida will now have the company of the Brazilian Luan Tavares and the Chileans Cristobal Fernandez and Nelson Flores in the great final of the Pro Junior division.
In the semi-finals of the women, Nicole Calheiros overcame Chilean Paloma Freyggan and was the first athlete to secure a place in the grand final of the event.
“Until the last moment I did not know if I would compete because of my son who had an accident and I was very unfocused on the championship, but I have a special affection for Itacoatiara Pro and for me it was a surprise to see the decreased swell, which for Itacoatiara is always solid and heavy. I’m in a final, I’m super happy, it’s been a while since I have competed in the World Cup and now i have to have total focus for the big final, ” she celebrated.
In the other women’s semi-final, Japan’s Ayaka Suzuki overcame local Maria Helena Tostes and qualified for another Itacoatiara Pro final. In 2016, Suzuki already announced that she plans to win the 2017 edition of the tournament .
In the contest for third place, the Brazilian Maria Helena Tostes took the win over the Chilean Paloma Freyggan.
“It is with great happiness to have conquered this third place, I have trained a lot for it and always trying to better myself,” said Maria Helena Tostes happily.
Event to resume next Tuesday
With no wave forecast for Sunday (18th) and Monday (19th), the technical direction of the event chose to have two lay days without competition and is expected to resume next Tuesday (20th), when the next 2m swell arrives.
“We will have five solid days of great training, and we will be able to choose exactly the best days of competition for the best in the world. There is no rain forecast, the prospect is very good. To turn the championship into a milestone within the history of that event and the world circuit as well, “said Chico Garritano, Head Judge of the APB World Tour.
Itacoatiara Pro past Champions:
2012 – Dave Winchester (Australia)
2013 – Amaury Lavernhe (Reunion Island)
2014 – Jared Houston (South Africa)
2015 – Amaury Lavernhe (Reunion Island) and Tanner McDaniel (Hawaii – Pro Junior)
2016 – Alex Uranga (Basque Country), Isabela Sousa (Brazil- Women’s) and Diego Gomes (Brazil – Pro Junior)
World Ranking after two stages:
- Jared Houston (South Africa) – 4000
- Garth McGregor (Australia) – 3840
- Jeff Hubbard (Hawaii) – 3440
- Alex Uranga (Basque Country) – 3400
- Mike Stewart (Hawaii) – 3360
- Dave Hubbard (Hawaii) – 2720
- Amaury Lavernhe (Reunion Island) – 2440
- Paul Blaz (Australia) – 2400
- Patrick Orr (Hawaii) – 2320
- Tanner McDaniel (Hawaii) – 2240