Sintra Pro Day 3 Press Release – Sammy Morretino launches and shows he is a real threat.
Competition kicked off early today at Praia Grande for the 22nd Annual Sintra Pro in smaller, yet consistent swell. The previous day saw competition in the 2nd round of the Men’s Pro not quite completed, with Heat 8 being put on hold due to heavy fog descending upon the coast.
Heat 8 comprised of France’s Maxime Castillo, Portugal’s Antonio Cardoso and Ricardo Rosmaninho and Morocco’s Brahim Iddouch battling it out for progression through to Round 4 and avoiding the Round 3 elimination round. After a closely fought heat, it was the Moroccan Brahim Iddouch who finished on top, narrowly beating Portugal’s Ricardo Rosmaninho to skip the elimination round.
With the Men’s Pro Round 2 officially completed, it was time for the elimination round of the dropknee division to enter the water.
The opening heat saw Venezuela’s David Valladares take the win with Hawaii’s Pohakukauea Kekaualua finishing just ahead of France’s Sebastian Lacombe and Italy’s Nico Solazzi. Heat 2 saw a late charge from this year’s Pipe Dropknee Champion Miles Kauhaahaa securing his place in a Round 3 matchup with multiple world dropknee champion and rival for this year’s title, Dave Hubbard. Joining Miles in Round 3 will be Pancho Galdos of Peru who finished 2nd. Edgardo Gomez of Puerto Rico and Luis Pereira of Portugal advanced through from Heat 3, which was a low-scoring affair. Heat 4 though was where one of the best moves of the entire event (both dropknee and prone) went down, with Hawaii’s Sammy Morretino executing a near perfect dropknee air to send the crowd on the beach wild.
After already having posted a few decent scores early on in the heat, Sammy Morretino gave himself the freedom to go a bit bolder in his approach to the waves. Taking off on one of the slightly smaller rides that had a longer wall to work with, Morretino built up speed and concentrated his energies on the end section that formed up nicely as he travelled along the face. As he connected with the lip Morretino grabbed his rail and held it as he sailed through the air, landing with a thud in the flats and managing to hold it long enough for the judges to know it was a completed move. The crowd went wild. Amaury Lavernhe of France progressed through with Morretino after finding some great waves and nearly coming out of a long backside dropknee barrel.
The first round of the women’s pro event took the water after the dropknee action, with riders in Heat 1 having trouble with the currents that Praia Grande is famous for creating. The entire heat nearly passed by without a wave ridden until Natsuki Yokote of Japan decided to turn and take an inside wave to start her campaign. The other riders followed suit before long both Danicelly Vallejos of Chile and Traci Effinger of Hawaii were also on the score board. In the end, it was Yokote and Effinger who would progress.
Heat 2 was a walk through, so competition moved on to Heat 3, with Valentina Diaz of Chile finding a few better rides and cleaner sections to progress along with Madalena Padrela of Portugal. Heat 4 was another low scoring heat with Mariana Rosa and Carina Carvalho of Portugal both progressing. We now look forward to the start of Round 2 of the Women’s event, which will feature a few of the greats of the sport.
Men’s competition then re-entered the water, with Round 3 elimination heats.
Heat 1 saw French/Basque rider Maxime Ausina take complete control, launching a solid flip and backing it up with a lower scoring rollo to progress, with Nelson Flores from Chile joining him. This saw the end of Venezuelan Arnaldo Vieira’s campaign.
Heat 2 was a high-flying affair, with Brazil’s Roberto launched a couple of clean inverts to dominate most of the heat until Diego Cabrera of the Canary Islands charged back into first place to take the heat and progress also. Local legend and previous champion of the event Manuel Centeno of Portugal reached the end of his campaign.
Heat 3 Saw last year’s champion and standout during the Chilean leg of the tour Alan Munoz of Chile back in form and progressing along with Miguel Coelho of Portugal. Daniel Quintana of the Canary Islands would have to refocus his efforts towards the Viana Pro.
Heat 4 Saw high flying dropknee hero Sammy Morretino from Hawaii continue his blisteringly good form to progress along with Miguel Adao. This saw Australia’s Lewy Finnegan eliminated from the competition.
Heat 5 saw Andre Bernardo of Portugal find some very rare tube-time to take the win and progress along with the ever versatile Moroccan Anas Haddar ahead of Portuguese favourite Dino Carmo.
Heat 6 was Brazilian Gabriel Braga’s moment to shine, progressing along with Miguel Rodriguez of Peru, ending the campaign of Nicolas Rosner of Germany.
Maxime Castillo of France found form in his Heat 7 matchup with Dave Hubbard of Hawaii and Portugal’s Goncalo Pinheiro. Castillo found the larger waves and launched to finish with the highest heat score total so far of the event with 17.1. Dave Hubbard was also in better form, progressing with a total of 13.7.
Heat 8 saw an upset, with high ranking Portuguese rider Antonio Cardoso eliminated from competition after Kevin Orihuela of the Canary Islands and Ricardo Rosmaninho of Portugal put in some great performances.
Following the completion of the Men’s Round it was time for the Pro Juniors to enter the schedule. With the fog not playing as much of a role on this day, there was more time available for organizers to run a few more heats, so it was decided that after the opening round of the Juniors would be followed by the quarter finals.
The quarter finals of the Pro Juniors were full of exceptional riding and a dramatic upset.
The incredible riding was that of Ethan Capdeville, and if the name looks familiar, that is because he is one of two sons of the legendary French bodyboarder Nicolas Capdeville, who is also a previous champion at the Sintra Pro.
After Bruno Martin of Spain and Tomas Rosado of Portugal had progressed ahead of Lionel Medina of the Canary Islands and Diogo Gromicho of Portugal, it was time to see current ratings leader Nelson Flores of Chile face off against Ethan Capdeville and Eddy Mangenot of France and Pedro Veigas of Portugal. With such a strong lead on the rankings and good form in every event he competes in, it was expected that Flores would progress through this heat along with Capdeville, who is known to be a threat in any conditions. Capdeville exceeded expectations, with strong combination moves on the outside peak, followed by combinations towards the end sections. The Frenchman was in control from start to finish and surfed like a potential future French world champion. The upset result was completed with the performance of Mangenot, who also found some strong combination rides and launched off some of the larger sections in the heat.
Immediately following the elimination of Flores it was time to see if another rider high up in the ratings would be able to capitalise and advance through. Christobal Fernandez of Easter Island (Chile) has been in each final of the Pro Junior series this year, and he came painfully close to winning in Brazil before some last minute heroics from Flores stole victory from his grasp. After seeing the result of his main rival in the previous heat, a window had been opened for Fernandez to gain some ground.
In a heat stacked with Portuguese riders, it didn’t take long for Fernandez to prove that he could rise to the occasion when it presented itself, with the young rider finding some large sections and launching rollos and flips to take the win. Portugal’s Joel Rodrigues would progress also.
The final heat of the day was another low scoring affair that saw the other son of Nicolas Capdeville, Noah, eliminated, but with fellow Frenchman Yon Aimar and Chile’s Joaquim Soto finding their way into the semi-finals.
Action continues tomorrow at the Sintra Pro 2017, with competition starting at around 8:30am. Tune in to the live webcast for all the action!
Men R3 Results:
Women R1 Results:
DK R2 Results:
Upcoming Rounds at the Sintra Portugal Pro: