Action on Day 3 of the ASP 4-Star Mahalo Surf Eco Festival presented by Skol intensified as the top seeds entered the competition for the Round of 64. Performances in the water displayed clutch execution, big-time maneuvers and several come-from-behind victories.
Hot off of his ASP 6-Star victory at the Oceano Santa Catarina Pro in Florianopolis, Michael Rodrigues (BRA) continued to show an uncanny knack for finding the right waves and pulling off exciting finishes. He earned the highest single-wave score of the day with an 8.50.
"I'm surfing under no pressure to get good results," Rodrigues said. "I came here just for fun and to stay in the rhythm of competitions because I'm going to enter in the Prime in Maresias. I'm happy that the conditions improved today. I've been coming to Praia da Tiririca for a few years now, so I feel like I know this wave pretty well. I really like Bahia, so just being in the water feels great."
Having roots in Brazil, Kiron Jabour (HAW) looked right at home in Itacare and continued to show off his high-velocity surfing.
"I was stoked because conditions were great during my heat," Jabour said. "The wind stopped and the water got really glassy, so everything went right for me. It's my first time here in Itacare and I'm impressed with the town. It's beautiful and everything is still preserved. The houses, the streets, the beaches and all the nature."
Bino Lopes (BRA) is the only local surfer who has ever won the Mahalo Surf Eco Festival. With his precision surfing, Lopes claimed the victory in his Round 3 heat over Erick Moraes (BRA) and Adrien Toyon (FRA). Yago Dora (BRA), who is part of the latest generation of Brazilian aerialists, qualified in second place.
"Thankfully I got that good wave (an 8.00) to start the heat off, then after that I just used my strategy to get the win," said Lopes. "I feel totally at home here in Itacare. I've been competing here since I was a little kid and I've had some good results, so that gives me a lot of confidence. It felt great to begin with a victory and I'm going to give it my best to win this event again."
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