Stellar conditions made way for incredible barrels throughout the 2014 Maui and Sons Arica World Star Tour contest in Arica, Chile, leading up to a highly contested Final. Ultimately, Jesse Mendes (BRA) took the title for the 3-Star ASP Qualification Series (QS) event. Despite a dropping swell, Mendes was able to overcome Marco Giorgi (URY) on the treacherous reef break known as El Gringo, with a Final score of 8.50 to 7.75.
With his victory, Mendes earned US$8,000 in prize money, 750 ASP Qualifying Series points, and an additional 1,000 ASP South America ranking points.
"I'm so stoked that I won this contest, which is one of the best and most difficult events in the world," exclaimed Mendes, who arrived in Chile directly after competing at the US Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach. "I've been feeling confident since my first heat today. It seemed like the waves always came my way and I was lucky enough to get the best barrels in my heats. It was such a blast to go up against Marco and now I'm going directly to France for the European leg of the QS and I hope to get more good results there."
Up until the Final, Giorgi had been outstanding in his performances throughout competition. He was the only athlete to receive two perfect 10-point scores from the judges, by unexpectedly weaving his way through deep barrels.
During the Quarterfinals, Giorgi posted the first 10.00 and the event's highest heat total -- a near-perfect 19.50 -- over Paul Cesar Distingui (FRA). In his Semifinals heat, Giorgi notched his second 10-point ride in a hard-fought victory over Paulo Moura (BRA), ousting the Brazilian 14.25 to 14.15.
"I'm happy that I made the Final, but of course I would have liked to have won. The waves just didn't come my way," said Giorgi. "I felt really confident after I got that second 10 in the Semis, but it just didn't follow through to the Finals. But that's OK. Now I'm off to Europe to focus on the events there."
Danny Fuller (HAW) finished equal third alongside Moura. Both earned US$2,300 and 422 ASP ranking points.