Deivid Silva (BRA), 20, has won his first Qualifying Series event over Stu Kennedy (AUS), 25, by a score of 16.07 to 14.40 in the Final at the Red Nose Pro Florianopolis SC presented by Costao do Santinho Resort. With his victory today, Silva earned U$25,000 in prize money and 6,000 points, which vaults him from 51st to 28th on the WSL Qualifying Series rankings.
Kennedy captured an early lead and looked to place pressure on Silva by staying active, surfing a total of eleven waves. Silva, on the other hand, remained poised, waited for the best sets in the heat and only surfed two waves, scoring a 7.90 after 15 minutes had expired and an 8.17 in the dying minutes of the contest.
"I'm so happy that I was able to win this contest. It's what I most wanted and I don't think I've ever had a better day in my life," exclaimed Silva. "I needed to stay calm because I knew I had to get the best waves because Stu Kennedy had been ripping the entire event. He got two high 8.00's in the Semis, so I knew I had to surf my best. I'd like to thank God and my sponsor Red Nose. The contest was unbelievable and I'm super stoked."
This is the second Red Nose event that Silva has won. The first was a Pro Junior contest held in Baía Formosa, Brazil, where he defeated current Championship Tour surfer, Italo Ferreira (BRA). His title guaranteed his sponsorship and has since been crowned a two-time WSL South America Pro Junior Champion (2014 and 2015).
"I think the Red Nose brand has given me luck," continued Silva, who is looking to qualify onto the CT this year. "My goal was to win this contest and I'm happy I was able to accomplish it. Now I'm going to the next QS 6000 in Itacaré where I hope to do well and then arrive for the QS 10,000 in Maresias with a chance to improve my ranking."
Kennedy had been a standout surfer throughout the event, taking down top athletes before succumbing to Silva in the Final.
"You always feel a little disappointed when you get so close to winning an event," said Kennedy. "But Deivid (Silva) was very patient during the entire heat, while I tried to keep busy and apply pressure on him. It ended up not working because he got the waves. It's been a long day, I surfed four heats, so I'm pretty proud of myself. I definitely needed the money and the points. So I'm still happy with the result."
With his result today, Kennedy jumped into 10th place on the QS rankings, taking over the position that was held by Joan Duru (FRA).
"Well there's still a lot of work to do," Kennedy said. "You never know what can happen in those next few events. I hope I can do well in the next one (Itacaré) and then get a 5th or better in Maresias or hopefully win one."
Silva, the event winner, defeated Coffin by a score of 16.80 to 13.93 in Heat 1 of the Semifinals. With a solid result, Coffin jumped from 30th to 17th in the standings.
"It feels great. I don't think I ever made it past more than one heat in a contest in Brazil, so to get a 3rd is killer. I was stoked to be here, the waves were fun, but tough, so it was great to get a good result. It's always tough to get a good result against the Brazilians on their home turf. I was stoked to beat Krystian (Kymerson) in the Quarters, but Deivid (Silva) was on fire. The first two days the waves were pumping. It was the best I've ever seen it in Brazil since I've been coming. Everyone was surfing great. It's always nice to be competing on the last day. A Quarters or better is considered a successful mission. It would have been nice to make it to the Finals but it's cool. There's another contest in 3 days."
Coffin provided his thoughts in regards to his situation on the QS rankings.
"I don't really think about my position. There were people saying that they qualified months ago, but there are still a bunch of contests left. Just look at Dusty (Payne) last year that went from like 100th to qualifying. But I'm stoked to be in the position I'm in heading into Hawaii."
Fellow Californian, Gudauskas, had an astounding performance over Heitor Alves (BRA) in Round 5 at Praia do Santinho and scored an 18.03, the highest heat total of the entire Red Nose Pro event. Gudauskas leapt from 31st to 16th on the rankings.
"My heat was fun, but a little bit slow," said Gudauskas. "I made some errors and gave Stu (Kennedy) his two best waves. I'm a little disappointed but it's a good start to the Brazilian-leg for me. I'm just going to stay inspired and hope that I'll keep making heats. I'm going to stay hungry and focused and just be psyched to go surfing and surf well in heats. Before coming I knew it would be a long month, so I just wanted to stay in the moment. I'm happy with a 3rd, but I really wanted to make it to the Finals. It's all good, on to the next one."
Following the Red Nose Pro at Praia do Santinho, the next event of the Brazilian-leg will be the QS 6000 Mahalo Surf Eco Festival at Praia da Tiririca from October 27th to November 1st. The final contest will be the QS 10,000 held at Maresias, on the coast of Sao Paulo, from November 2-8.