Brazilian Simao Romao Claims Rio Surf Pro Internatioal Pres. by Oakley

ASP Men's WQS 6 Star event
ASP Women’s WQS 4 Star event
ASP South America Surf Series 2008
Praia do Arpoador, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
October 06 – 12, 2008

Simao Romao

Simao Romao. Photo courtesy ASP South America/Aleko Stergiou

October 12, 2008 : – – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Brazilian Simao Romao, 22 years old, leads the party on the crowded Arpoador beach during the last day of Oakley presents Rio Surf Pro International. He started the day breaking the score record of the first WQS in the Arpoador history. The local from Arpoador dismissed two campaigners before beating the experienced South African Greg Emslie, 31 years old, in the great final.

Greg won the WQS at Barra da Tijuca, back in 1997. The swing of ASP South American goes on at Praia Brava, Itajai, Santa Catarina (south of Brazil) from Tuesday to Sunday with 2.500 points 6 stars and will be over the week after in Ubatuba, north shore of Sao Paulo. Simao took the U$15.000 prize and jumped from 45th to 18th position in the rating that classifies the best 15 for the top 42 in the ASP World Tour. Simao fulfilled a dream with this victory coming true.

"I had a dream two years ago. It was about an important competition here and I would win it, would climb the rock and remained there beating my chest.  So I did it all just like in my dream, that event was a dream and I would like to thank all the locals, my friends, my family and my sponsors who supported me all the way. That victory goes especially to my dad (Paulo) because today is his birthday", cheered Romao.

"That dream was weird and it is amazing that it came true. The heat was hot, there were almost no waves and I knew I had to surf my best to beat Greg (Emslie) who is a WCT level surfer. Unfortunately there were no waves to surf as I wanted to but I made everything possible to win. I didn't think it was possible, I had very tough matches, especially against Willian Cardoso in the semifinal, but when I overcame him I just kept the dream alive", told the first WQS Champion in the Arpoador's history. Before today Simao had won only the WQS in Costao do Santinho (2007).

The vice champion Greg Emslie would like to repeat the victory he had here 11 years ago, but even in second place he was happy with the result that launches him from17th to ninth place in the WQS Rating, in the classification zone for the Dream Tour. The South African won the 1997 WQS event at Barra da Tijuca, but in the Arpoador final he was beaten by local Simao Romao. Greg, 31 years old, had overcame two younger surfers, Hawaiian Dustin Barca, 26, in the quarter finals and 22 years old Michel Bourez from Tahiti in the semifinal.

"I really wanted to win but unfortunately there were almost no waves in the final. Simao got the best one and deserved the victory", recognized Greg Emslie, happy with the second place in the Rio Surf Pro International. "It was good to be in another final in Brazil, as I said before, I get lucky here and the result gives me more confidence to go after my place in the ASP World Tour. I am now in the classification zone and will try keeping it this way till the end of the season." said Emslie.

While the South African was only confronting international surfers until the final of the Rio Surf Pro International this decisive Sunday, local Simao Romao surfed only against Brazilians. He established a new and definite record of 17 points riding the first heat of the day against Bernardo Miranda and after got a scare in one of the best matches of the week. It was a wave by wave dispute till the last second. The final result, 13.43 X 13.33,  proves this.

"It´s pretty hard to swallow the result. I thought I had made it with my last wave, but the judges have the last word", complained William Cardoso, who went from 52th to 40th position in the WQS. "It was good to start well this Brazilian season but it could have been better. Let´s forget about this one and carry on for the next event at Praia Brava where I will compete at home this time."

The Tahitian, Michel Bourez shared the third place on the podium with William and also went up in the ranking, from 14th to eighth. "It was a big result for me, these points put me in a better place in the rating, I would have wanted more. I know I had all the chances to make it to the final but I didn't find the best waves. Now I am out of danger zone and going to Canaries Islands a bit calmer. Once there I want to try good results to guarantee more points on this run for the ASP World Tour".

Changes in the G-15 – Michel Bourez was already in this group of 15 that góes to the Dream Tour and the only one to make it into the list during Oakley presents Rio Surf Pro International were the South African, Greg Emslie and the North American, Gabe Kling. Both took Pablo Paulino's place, who had stopped at the third round in Arpoador and Portuguese Thiago Pires who did not come to Brazil.

The Oakley presents Rio Surf Pro International was realized with the Oakley sponsorship, Ministério do Turismo, da Secretaria de Esportes, Turismo e Lazer do Estado do Rio de Janeiro e Metro Rio, organize by Adding Produções e Eventos. The event is homologated in the Association of Surfing Professionals - ASP South America, as 37th event of WQS and fifth of the South-America Circuit.

Champion: Simao Romao (BRA) – scores 6.50 e 4.83 – US$ 15.000 and 2.500 points
Second place: Greg Emslie (ZAF) – scores 5.60 e 5.00 – US$ 7.400 and 2.188 points

SEMIFINALS - 3th place - US$ 4.500 and 1.875 points:
1.a: Simao Romao (BRA) 13.43 x 13.33 Willian Cardoso (BRA)
2.a: Greg Emslie (ZAF) 12.77 x 9.83 Michel Bourez (PYF)

QUARTERFINALS- 5.o lugar - US$ 2.600 e 1.625 pontos:
1.a: Simao Romao (BRA) 17.00 x 10.50 Bernardo Miranda (BRA)
2.a: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 13.60 x 13.10 Marlon Lipke (DEU)
3.a: Greg Emslie (ZAF) 16.67 x 13.66 Dustin Barca (HAW)
4.a: Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.20 x 10.00 Gabe Kling (USA)

WQS 2008 RATING - 37 stops:
01: Nathaniel Curran (USA) - 13.200 points
02: Chris Davidson (AUS) - 12.525
03: Tim Boal (FRA) - 11.888
04: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) - 11.438
05: Josh Kerr (AUS) - 11.325
06: Marlon Lipke (DEU) - 10.950
07: David Weare (ZAF) - 10.675
08: Michel Bourez (PYF) - 10.600
09: Greg Emslie (ZAF) - 10.588
10: Yadin Nicol (AUS) - 10.500
11: Drew Courtney (AUS) - 10.475
12: Hizunome Bettero (BRA) - 10.375
13: Jihad Khodr (BRA) - 10.263
13: Pedro Henrique (BRA) - 10.263
15: Gabe Kling (USA) - 10.088
16: Raoni Monteiro (BRA) - 9.775
17: Tiago Pires (PRT) - 9.663
18: Simao Romao (BRA) - 9.600
18: Pablo Paulino (BRA) - 9.600