Oceano Santa Catarina Pro14

Women's Oceano Santa Catarina Pro Semifinalists Emerge

After two consecutive lay days caused by strong southerly winds, the ASP Qualification Series (QS) Women's 5-Star Oceano Santa Catarina Pro resumed with sunny skies and waves in the 2-to-3-foot range (1 meter) at Praia da Joaquina, Brazil. After a strong start to the event by the Hawaiian surfers, only Coco Ho (HAW) qualified for the Semifinals.

"It was really hard not being able to surf for the last two days with the all of the wind at Joaquina," stated Ho, after defeating Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) by a score of 12.83 to 11.77 in the Quarterfinals. "Getting a good result here is so important because it's the last event that distributes a significant amount of points. It's been a while since I've gotten a good result and I was a little nervous to start off the heat. It's been a strange year for me, so I'm very happy to make it to the Semifinals."

Coco Ho at the 2014 Oceano Santa Catarina Pro. Coco Ho guaranteed herself a spot on the 2015 elite Tour having made the Semifinals at the Oceano Santa Catarina Pro. - WSL

Ho previously won a QS contest in Florianopolis at nearby Praia Mole and, with her qualification into the Semifinals today, she's guaranteed her spot on the 2015 World Championship Tour (WCT). However, she will have to face a strong contingent of Australian surfers who showed their command of the beachbreak at Joaquina.

Leading the charge was Philippa Anderson (AUS), who will face Ho in Heat 1 of the Semifinals.

"It was tough finding the right waves to surf and we spent a lot of time in the heat not knowing who had priority," commented Anderson, who was victorious in her Quarterfinal heat over Alessa Quizon (HAW) by a score of 11.17 to 7.40. "I tried to keep busy by catching a lot of waves, but after a while I couldn't find any good ones. But I kept trying and I finally got one that opened up and gave me a good score. I'm stoked because this is my best result so far this year."

Keely Andrew at the Oceano Santa Catarina Pro. Keely Andrew had the highest heat total of the day. - WSL

Keely Andrew (AUS) obtained the highest heat total of the day in her victory over the lone surfer from Barbados, Chelsea Tuach, by a score of 14.84 to 5.86. However, Andrew had no idea of the outcome until she reached the sand.

"I didn't know what was happening because we couldn't hear anything in the water because of the onshore wind," commented Andrew. "I thought that Chelsea (Tuach) was in the lead and I thought that I needed a high score, but actually it was the other way around. I'm so much more relaxed now that I've made it to the Semis and I'm going to stick around and watch the men's event."

The remaining surfer that reached the Semifinals was Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), who took out fellow WCT competitor Pauline Ado (FRA) by a score of 14.10 to 8.74, respectively.

Nikki Van Dijk at the 2014 Oceano Santa Catarina Pro. Nikki Van Dijk ousted fellow WCT competitor Pauline Ado to reach the Semifinals. - WSL

"When the waves are small like they are today, you can't always wait for a good one to come," claimed Van Dijk. "You have to stay busy and throw some maneuvers that will grab the judges' attention. Pauline (Ado) has been surfing really well, so I knew that it was going to be a tough heat. I'm feeling great and this is my first time here to Florianopolis and I really want to see more of the island. It's a magical place that is very beautiful."

The major upset of the day occurred when QS rankings leader Silvana Lima (BRA) was eliminated in Round 2 along with Nathalie Martins (BRA). Despite her early elimination, Lima will be returning to the WCT next year after her heat victory yesterday.

Watch the action live at www.oceanopro.com.