The ASP 6-Star Oceano Santa Catarina Pro powered through 24 heats as Qualification Series (QS) surfers vied for crucial ratings points.
Clean conditions and light offshore winds in conjunction with the low tide made for many opportunities for progression, and rapid turns, forceful carves and numerous aerials highlighted the day of competition. However, as the forecast predicted, a strong increase in winds from the N/NE made wave-selection crucial in each heat.
Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), who has already qualified for the 2015 World Championship Tour (WCT), continued his stellar execution by winning his heat over Gonzalo Zubizarreta (ESP), Kiron Jabour (HAW) and Perth Standlick (AUS) in Heat 1 of the Round of 48.
"I got a good right at the end to get me into first, but it's not easy finding the right ones out there," stated Dantas. "I feel very focused for this event, my boards feel good and it's great to be competing in Florianopolis. Since I've already qualified for the WCT, I want to become QS champ this year. So I'm just taking it heat by heat and event by event until I reach my goal."
Unlike Dantas, Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) is way behind in the rankings and is looking for a strong result to boost his position on the QS. However, in the water Hendrickson looked extremely comfortable on the waves at Praia da Joaquina as he defeated former WCT surfer Nathan Hedge (AUS) and Raphael Seixas (BRA) in Heat 2 of Round of 48.
"Yeah, it's tricky. I'm from a place with a lot of wind, so I kind of grew up dealing with it," said Hendrickson. "Going on these rights is tough enough, but the wind is so strong that it's slowing me down. Either way, I'm just stoked to get through. I brought some small wave boards and I'm mentally and physically ready. I'm stoked and I'm ready to do this and take it all the way hopefully."
The QS rankings is looking at a big post-event shuffle, with top seeds being eliminated at the Oceano Santa Catarina Pro. Keanu Asing (HAW), Jesse Mendes (BRA), Willian Cardoso (BRA) and Charles Martin (GLP) were in the qualification range, but were sent home after Round 3 eliminations.Tomas Hermes (BRA), Brent Dorrington (AUS), Maxime Huscenot (FRA), Carlos Munoz (CRI), Torrey Meister (HAW) and Italo Ferreira (BRA) all advanced and will receive at least 625 points toward their QS rank.
"I'm happy I making my heats, but there's still a long way to go before qualifying for the WCT," said Ferreira, who now holds the final position in the group of 10 surfers that will qualify for the 2015 Dream Tour. "I just want to surf well and win heats because the results will come. I caught some good rights and boosted some airs, so I feel good."
Dorrington spoke about his strategy to distance himself from the other competitors after his victory in Heat 5 in the Round of 48.Davey Cathels(AUS). Watch all the action LIVE.