October 30, 2003 (Joaquina, Florianopolis, Brasil) Brazilian wildcards todaydominated the Nova Schin Festival WCT Brasil at the main site of Joaquina.Remaining round two heats of the US$250,000 ASP World ChampionshipTournament (WCT) were completed, with major upsets giving the thousands ofspectators plenty to get excited about. With the entire Island ofFlorianopolis suffering a power blackout, all school children and mostworkers had the day off and came to enjoy the surfing action on thebeautiful sunny day.
Clean 3-4 ft (1.3m) waves were on offer at the main site of Joaquina, withpeak conditions allowing competitors to choose between right andlefthanders.
Dean Morrison (Gold Coast, Aus) was the day's first casualty, losing toevent Trials winner Tanio Barreto. Last night Morrison and roommate MickFanning's hotel room caught alight after a candle fire caused the evacuationof theirs and surrounding rooms, but his misfortune continued this morning.The current ratings #9 rode a surfboard still baked in black soot and wasunable to secure any high scoring rides, being forced to accept his second33rd place result this season.
Barreto, meanwhile, used local knowledge to slightly edge out his opponent.The 24-year-old moved to Florianopolis seven years ago and acknowledged theadvantage this played. He'll next face reigning world champ Andy Irons(Kauai, Haw) in round three.
"It's so good to beat him," began Barreto. "I live here and surf these waveseveryday, so I'm very happy. I know Dean is a great surfer, but I'm stayingat my house and am so relaxed, with all my friends here. I can't believe it,but next heat I have Andy Irons, so I need to just stay relaxed (laughs)."
Current ratings #10, #15, #16 and #17 – Danny Wills (Byron Bay, Aus), DamienHobgood (FL, USA), 1999 world champion Mark Occhilupo (Gold Coast, Aus) andPhil MacDonald (Aus), respectively – were also eliminated from the NovaSchin Festival WCT Brasil by event wildcards.
'Occy' clinched his maiden crown in Brazil for years ago, but was stopped byformer WCT surfer Marcelo Nunes this morning. The Brazilian opened hisaccount with a good lefthander and boosted a big forehand aerial for an 8.83and commanding lead, and ultimately left his Australian opponent requiringanother ride worth 7.5-points.
"I'm so happy because I've surfed against Occy a couple of times before andlost," said Nunes. "This is my first win against him. I'm trying so hard tore-qualify for next year's WCT, but this is a very big contest for me.
"I learned on the WCT it's very important to start the heat with a goodwave," he added, of his opening ride. "I was very happy to get that wave andwin."Shane Powell (Avoca, Aus) collected the best scores of the day to eliminatelocal hero and event license holder Flavio Padaratz. The Australian openedwith an 8.83 lefthander, and then sealed victory with another 7.83 ride.Despite losing, Padaratz was still swarmed by adoring fans as he made hisway up the beach.
"To come up against any of the local Brazilian guys is hard cause of all thecrowd support," reasoned Powell. "Luckily we were a long way out and Icouldn't really hear them all (laughs). In these conditions anyone is toughthough, as there aren't many good waves in a heat. I was lucky to get twogood rides, as I needed a result and when I heard my scores I was prettystoked."
Kalani Robb (Haw) also posted big scores to eliminate Luke Stedman (Avalon,Aus). The Hawaiian trailed for most the heat, but then came back with a 7.1and an 8 towards the end for his round three spot against BrazilianGuilherme Herdy. The current #25 won his only WCT title in Rio back in 2000.
"I couldn't hear what I needed out there, but I just surfed as well as Icould on the waves I got and hoped for the best," explained Robb. "I reallylove being here in Brazil. The crowd is so supportive and I look forward tocoming here because of it."
Tom Whitaker (Bronte) ccontinued the trend of lower seeds eliminating thoserated higher by accounting for fellow Australian Nathan Hedge (Narrabeen).The current #45 won the low scoring heat, and will now face Kieren Perrow inround three.
"It's so hard out there and comes down to whoever gets a lucky wave and doesa turn," explained Whitaker, surrounded by young autograph hunters. "Brazilis really fun, and there's thousands of people on the beach, so I'm justenjoying being here."
Another decision will be made tomorrow morning at 7am (local time), withorganizers gearing up for a possible move to nearby Praia Mole.
Nova Schin Festival WCT Brasil Remaining Round Two Heats (1st>Rnd3; 2nd=33rdreceives US$3,000)
H4: Tanio Barreto (Brz) 10.67 def. Dean Morrison (Aus) 10.23
H5: Odirlei Coutinho (Brz) 13.84 def. Daniel Wills (Aus) 9.0
H6: Renan Rocha (Brz) 12.67 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 7.17
H7: Marcelo Nunes (Brz) 14.16 def. Mark Occhilupo (Aus) 13.17
H8: Rodrigo Dornelles (Brz) 13.66 def. Phil MacDonald (Aus) 11.14
H9: Tom Whitaker (Aus) 10.8 def. Nathan Hedge (Aus) 9.56
H11: Paulo Moura (Brz) 11.83 def. Danilo Costa (Brz) 9.77
H12: Kalani Robb (Haw) 15.1 def. Luke Stedman (Aus) 12.1
H13: Victor Ribas (Brz) 14.83 def. Darren O'Rafferty (Aus) 12.73
H14: Beau Emerton (Aus) 11.67 def. Mick Campbell (Aus) 10.03
H15: Peterson Rosa (Brz) 15.17 def. Armando Daltro (Brz) 13.33
H16: Shane Powell (Aus) 16.66 def. Flavio Padaratz (Brz) 12.16
H10: Richie Lovett (Aus) 14.6 def. Fabio Gouveia (Brz) 13.06
Upcoming Round Three (1st>Rnd4; 2nd=17th receives US$4,000)
H1: Mick Fanning (Aus) vs. Rodrigo Dornelles (Brz)
H2: Jake Paterson (Aus) vs. Shane Powell (Aus)
H3: Richie Lovett (Aus) vs. Neco Padaratz (Brz)
H4: Joel Parkinson (Aus) vs. Marcelo Nunes (Brz)
H5: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Luke Hitchings (Aus)
H6: Luke Egan (Aus) vs. Beau Emerton (Aus)
H7: Victor Ribas (Brz) vs. Trent Munro (Aus)
H8: Andy Irons (Haw) vs. Tanio Barreto (Brz)
H9: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Odirlei Coutinho (Brz)
H10: Kalani Robb (Haw) vs. Guilherme Herdy (Brz)
H11: Michael Lowe (Aus) vs. Toby Martin (Aus)
H12: Cory Lopez (USA) vs. Lee Winkler (Aus)
H13: Taj Burrow (Aus) vs. Renan Rocha (Brz)
H14: Paulo Moura (Brz) vs. Peterson Rosa (Brz)
H15: Kieren Perrow (Aus) vs. Tom Whittaker (Aus)
H16: Shea Lopez (USA) vs. Chris Davidson (Aus)