The tropical setting at Praia da Tiririca on the southern coast of Bahia provided punchy waves and plenty of scoring opportunities to start the WSL Men's QS 1,500 South to South presents Itacaré Surf & Sound Festival. The packed crowd on the beach was given a full serving of action as competition plowed through twenty heats on Thursday.
In the first heat of the day, the pint-sized powerhouse Deivid Silva (BRA) scored an 8.50 and an 8.00 to advance directly into Round 2 with a 16.50 total. Silva followed later on in the day with an 8.00 and an 8.90 by demonstrating explosive surfing to earn the highest total of the day with a 16.90, moving into Round 3.
"I'm really excited to be in Itacaré again and it feels even better to have gotten high scores in my first two heats," said an ecstatic Silva. "The waves are great and Itacaré always serves up good conditions. I'm so happy that this event is back on the calendar because there needs to be more events run in Brazil. It's always a blast competing here in Bahia and I hope to continue doing well tomorrow."
As the temperature increased during the afternoon, so did the wind. While some athletes chose to stick to their rail-game, others chose to embrace the conditions by taking flight to manufacture high scores in the air.
In Heat 9 of Round 2, Junior Lagosta (BRA) went full speed on a hefty right and threw a huge inverted double-grab air-reverse that brought everyone to their feet. The judges awarded him with the highest single wave score of the day, a 9.00.
"Just being in this event is a victory for me," said Lagosta. "The waves here are very similar to where I surf every day (Maracaípe), and that left me more confidence to do something like the air I did. A lot of the waves started closing out after one or two turns, so I felt like going to the air was a better alternative. I'm stoked that I landed it and it was the highest score of the day."
As competition continues tomorrow, after wrapping up the final four heats in Round 2, the top seeds will hit the water in Round 3 at the QS 1,500 South to South presents Itacaré Surf & Sound Festival. Headlining the event is WSL Championship Tour surfer Jadson André (BRA) who is in town to show his support for the WSL South America Regional Tour contest.
In addition to André, Alejo Muniz (BRA), Raoni Monteiro (BRA), Jihad Khodr (BRA) and Alex Ribeiro (BRA) are other athletes competing in Bahia that have spent time on the big stage of the Championship Tour. Each heat the athletes make at Praia da Tiririca is a step closer to retaining their spot on the elite tour.
Friday morning will begin with an all-Brazilian line-up in Heat 13 of Round 2 with Alan Donato, Gustavo Borges, João Baptista Junior and Douglas Silva commencing the day's activities.