In a closely fought Final, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), 24, defeated Keanu Asing (HAW), 20, by a score of 11.17 to 11.07 to win the ASP 2014 Quiksilver Saquarema Prime presented by Powerade. With his victory, Dantas earns US$40,000 and 6,500 points toward his ASP Qualifying Series ranking.
"Saquarema is the best. We surfed great waves all week long and I'm so happy to have won this event, especially since it's run by Quiksilver, which is my sponsor," stated Dantas. "It's a shame that the Final didn't have more waves, which made things tense. Neither of us had a high-score; so either of us could have won. I got nervous because Keanu (Asing) caught a few at the end, but luckily he didn't get the score and I ended up with the title."
Despite coming up short in the Final, Asing had been the in-form surfer throughout the event alongside Adriano de Souza (BRA). The young Hawaiian impressed judges throughout the event by throwing huge, drawn-out carves and committed turns. With his runner-up finish at the Quiksilver Saquarema Prime, Asing will take home US$ 20,000 and 5,200 points ASP Qualifying Series Ranking.
"I couldn't imagine surfing against a better friend," Asing said of Dantas. "I've known him for a long time and he deserved the victory. I'm happy with my result and it's a great start to reach my goal of making it onto the WCT. I'm leaving here feeling more confident and ready for the next event in Los Cabos."
Conditions at Itauna Beach on the final day of the Quiksilver Saquarema Prime tested the athletes' strength and stamina beginning with the Quarterfinals. Waves in the 4-6 foot range (1.5-2 metres), strong currents and onshore winds would have made for even more challenging conditions for the athletes if it were not for the jet ski assists. Regardless of the conditions, fans packed the beach to watch their favorite athletes battle it out for the title of the first ASP Prime event of 2014.
In the Semifinals, De Souza was able to score an 8.07 and a 6.60 on his best rides, but was unable to surpass Asing's total of a 9.80 and a 7.50 to make it into the Finals.
"I tried my best, but Keanu deserved making it into the Final because he surfed so well throughout the event," said De Souza. "Unfortunately, I felt kind of lost out there and he took advantage of my mistakes. But overall, I feel great to have performed here in Saquarema, which is a historical place for Brazilian surfing."
With the conclusion of the ASP 2014 Quiksilver Saquarema Prime presented by Powerade, a major shift occurred in the ASP Qualifying Series rankings with several surfers moving up in the standings. Only the top ten ranked surfers at the end of the year will qualify for the 2015 Samsung Galaxy World Championship Tour. A list of the updated rankings can be seen at www.aspworldtour.com.
The 2014 ASP Quiksilver Saquarema Prime presented by Powerade is brought to you by the Brazilian Association of Surfing Professionals (ABRASP) and sponsored by the State of Rio de Janeiro, the City of Saquarema, Powerade, Quiksilver, Peugeot and Barra GR Hygiene and Cleaning and is supported by CCR Via Lagos, the Rio de Janeiro Surf Federation (FESERJ) and the Saquarema Surf Association (ASS). The event is promoted by the ASP South America as the first 2014 ASP World Prime event and offers U$ 250,000 in prize money and 6,500 points towards the ASP Qualifying Series ranking.