With Championship Tour qualification on the line, Brazilian surfer Jesse Mendes gave it his all at the Billabong Pro Cascais. He arrived in Portugal at No. 44 on the Qualifying Series rankings -- far from achieving his dreams of making the Championship Tour. But by contest's end, he'd jumped dozens of spots, and will go on to the next events within throwing distance of a spot there in 2017.
His next goal? Keeping his composure in Hawaii, where another round of massive battles for coveted CT spots will unfold in the season's final, intense sprint to the finish.