Praia de Santa Bárbara, Sao Miguel - Azores Islands (Friday, September 6, 2013) - The SATA Airlines Azores Pro completed two more rounds of competition today in a shifting lineup with 4-5Ft sets. Quarter-finalists were decided with the completion of the round of 16 which saw the elimination of the last european in the event, France's Joan Duru.
Tomas Hermes (BRA) 26, had a nail-biter of a heat, looking for an average score all the way until the very last minute of the 30mn exchange, which he eventually found to advance ahead of WCT surfer and fellow Brazilian Miguel Pupo. Moving into the quarters of the SATA Airlines Azores Pro, Hermes is guaranteed to net the best result of his 2013 season.
"I'm feeling great, so stoked to move onto the next round," Hermes commented. "Miguel is a great guy and it was a tough heat. I'm feeling confident, I don't what happened I've lost in the first round of all the events so far so I'm stoked here."
C.J Hobgood (USA) 34, found a nice and clean inside lefthander and performed three tight turns in the power section of the wave to net an excellent 8.77 out of 10 that gave him the heat lead. With not many opportunities in the moving lineup, Hobgood played the patience game and tried to keep his opponent off the best waves.
"I'm stoked, I feel like I've actually put a heat together from start to finish," Hobgood stated. "I knew Ryan could get a 9 if he took it to the air, so my job at the end of the heat I felt was just to give him the least amount of opportunities possible and hold priority. I'm stoked to come back here and make a few heats, I'm happy !"
Alejo Muniz (BRA) 23, victim of a violent reception yesterday on an aerial manoeuver, rested his knee and ankle to come back today with a strap on it. The stylish Brazilian once again scored excellent waves and managed to perform under pain to advance into the quarter-finals ahead of good friend Willian Cardoso (BRA).
"It's always bad to surf against a friend and I knew he needed that result too," Muniz said. "But I think that was my qualification heat so I went for it and gave it everything even with the pain on my knee. I'll go home and relax and see how it feels tomorrow. I knew today cause the waves are bigger it's a little easier cause you can just let the board go, you don't need to force the turns like when it's small."
Mitch Crews (AUS) 23, currently sitting in 25th position on the World Rankings, rounded up today's action with a dominating performance over fellow Australian Nathan Hedge. Crews, already in great position towards qualifying for the 2014 World Championship Tour, will add a minimum of 3320 ranking points to his season tally and take one step closer to a maiden Elite Top34 accession.
"Seeing that the heat before was really slow, I was determined to get two quick ones off the start just so I could have something to build off," Crews said. "I couldn't really though cause it was an 8 and a 7, so I just sat there for most of the heat ! I'm over the moon to get another big result it's just great, from here on in I'm just surfing.."
Next call tomorrow will be held at 9am for a possible final day of competition at the ASP Prime SATA Airlines Azores Pro.
The ASP Prime Men's SATA Airlines Azores Islands Pro is scheduled from September 3-8, 2013 in Sao Miguel, Azores Islands. For all results, photos, video highlights, press releases and LIVE webcast, log on to aspeurope.com/azores.
SATA Airlines Azores Pro presented by Sumol 2013 is organized by DAAZ Events and Atlantic Action Sports Association, with the support of the following event partners: SATA Airlines, Azores Tourism, Ribeira Grande City Hall, Sumol, MOCHE, MEO, Vip Executive AÃ§ores Hotel, FUEL TV, RFM, RTP, Jornal i, Surf Total, Surf Portugal, ONFIRE, Beachcam and Puro Feeling.