FIGUEIRA da FOZ, Portugal (Saturday, September 18, 2010) – Heitor Alves (BRA) 27, was unstoppable en route to claim the Lusiaves Figueira Pro taking out Yadin Nicol (AUS) 24, in the 35-minute final which he dominated from start to finish. Claiming his second consecutive win in less than a fortnight Alves who was ranked 22 leading into this event solidifies his position as the highest ranked non World Tour athlete on the ASP World Rankings.
Event officials decided to set up a mobile site south of the main event at Praia do Cabedelo to take advantage of the remaining swell on offer. Once it was clear that conditions would be worse tomorrow the green light was given to run through to the final. Early morning heats were held in clean glassy conditions followed by the strong afternoon sea breeze which made conditions tough for the finals.
"Thank you God for giving me this result here today and my last result," began an emotional Alves after his dominating performance. Starting off strongly and building on his total Alves had his opponent in a combination situation by the midway stage of the final.
"I am so happy about this contest and the people who have come down to the beach to support this contest I say 'Thank you very much.'"
"Yadin Nicol is so hard and he is ripping right now," continued Alves. "He can do big airs and turns he is so good but in the final there were not too many waves with the strong winds but in the end it was a great final with good scores. Congratulations to Yadin for this result."
Demonstrating his small wave expertise, Alves has been able to get the results on a very tough ASP European leg of events which have experienced various days of tricky conditions. Well positioned on the rankings Alves remains calm and relaxed in his usual fashion.
"I am still looking for another result because it is hard on the WQS tour and I don't think about the points or the ranking. I try just to relax and get the best results I can and good vibrations."
Yadin Nicol (AUS) was unable to halt the rampaging Brazilian and missed having more consistent conditions for the final. Surfing brilliantly throughout the event and making some very stacked heats to progress Nicol can feel positive with the overall result and take on the final part of the season with renewed confidence.
"He (Alves) surfs so well in small waves and I had a feeling it might happen and I was hoping that it wouldn't but I am really happy with the way I surfed the whole event so I can take that on to the next one. It is a bit disappointing to end it in waves like that but Heitor is just so good in that stuff so full credit to him."
Coming from Round One to the runner-up position Nicol has proved his ability to go all the way and make some consistent solid results on the ASP Men's Star-Series.
"I wasn't going to do this event initially but in the previous events I figured some stuff out that was starting to work for me and I had a good feeling about this one. I put my entry in late and I've made the final from the first round so it is my best result for sure so I'm happy but bummed at the same time. You can't take anything away from Heitor because he is such a good bloke"
Tanner Gadauskas (USA) 22, was without doubt the form surfer throughout the entire event until he came unstuck against Yadin Nicol in the second semi-final. With the three highest combined heat totals of the contest including today's 17.84 out of 20 in Round Five early this morning. Coming so close to reaching his goal Gudauskas was obviously disappointed that the conditions had changed so much and he was not allowed to display the standard of surfing he had been dealing out during his previous heats.
"It has been a fun event and just that last heat was a tough one. I just wanted to surf and I didn't get too many opportunities to do more than one hit out there so I am a little twisted about that. Good on Yadin, he found two good waves on that one so to lose I don't feel that bad."
Gudauskas has been a great ambassador for the sport here at the Lusiaves Figueira Pro and is sure to remain in the minds of all who witnessed his surfing this week.
"I love surfing at beach breaks like this and I wish there had of been just one more heat so it is a bitter sweet feeling right now."
Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 30, achieved his best ever career result in a 6-Star event finishing equal third along with Gudauskas. Facing Heitor Alves, one of the toughest competitors on tour in semi nº1, Gonzalez had a solid beginning and looked in a position to pressure the Brazilian. At the midway mark, small tactical errors allowed Alves a chance to get back into the game and eventually Gonzalez was unable to hold back the charging Brazilian.
"I am very pleased with a third place finish and against Heitor in these types of waves it is very hard to beat him. I tried to start off with a good score but in the end I didn't use my priority very well and I should have waited a little more for the sets."
"I think I should have waited longer because in the middle of the heat I lost priority and then Heitor began to sit on me a little," explained Gonzalez. "I am not used to such tough man-on-man heats so you notice the experience that the guys have."
Gonzalez surfed during the week to the standard that we all know he is capable of and was a favourite amongst surfers for finally getting into some kind of rhythm and advance to the final day of competition. Well liked on tour and always an explosive surfer in the water, Gonzalez now looks ahead to the remaining ASP European sanctioned events which head to the Canary Islands late next month.
"This result will help me in a number of ways. Firstly in the rankings with the 9th and 17th I have and now a third place. Also it has given me more confidence for the upcoming events in Ericeira and the Canary Islands. Now I am more motivated heading into these contests."
With this result Gonzalez jumps up a spot on the ASP European ranking into 4th position with only three events of 12 remaining in the series.
"The contest has been very good with some very good organisation and I definitely leave with excellent memories from here. The waves have been unreal and let's hope next year is the same."
The Lusiaves Figueira Pro has finished on a high note and with its option of mobility and the quality of waves in the area the event has a promising future for 2011.
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Lusiaves Figueira Pro Final Result
Heitor Alves (BRA) 15.10 Def. Yadin Nicol (AUS) 9.50
Lusiaves Figueira Pro Semi-Final Results
Heat 1: Heitor Alves (BRA) 14.07 Def. Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 13.50
Heat 2: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 10.83 Def. Tanner Gadauskas (USA) 8.66
Lusiaves Figueira Pro Quarterfinal Results
Heat 1: Heitor Alves (BRA) 14.30 Def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 10.33
Heat 2: Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 13.07 Def. Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 10.70
Heat 3: Tanner Gadauskas (USA) 12.60 Def. Tim Boal (FRA) 12.43
Heat 4: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 10.40 Def. Leonardo Neves (BRA) 8.03
Lusiaves Figueira Pro Round Five Results
Heat 1: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 12.93 Def. Austin Ware (USA) 12.30
Heat 2: Heitor Alves (BRA) 12.67 Def. Richard Christie (NZL) 10.96
Heat 3: Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 11.07 Def. Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) 9.83
Heat 4: Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 9.83 Def. Marc Lacomare (FRA) 6.70
Heat 5: Tanner Gadauskas (USA) 17.84 Def. Royden Bryson (ZAF) 9.00
Heat 6: Tim Boal (FRA) 14.90 Def. Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 11.40
Heat 7: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 14.57 Def. Jano Belo (BRA) 10.90
Heat 8: Leonardo Neves (BRA) 13.66 Def. Glen Hall (IRL) 9.60