Competition kicked off on Monday as the Trials Event was concluded at the Oi HD Sao Paulo Open of Surfing presented by Banco do Brasil at Praia de Maresias, Brazil. Samuel Pupo (BRA), 15, younger brother of CT surfer Miguel Pupo (BRA) and Caetano Vargas (BRA) were able to top the field of local surfers and were placed into the main event of the final WSL QS 10,000 event of the year in South America.
Pupo will face current WSL World Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA), in addition to Mitch Crews (AUS) and Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR), who was defeated by Medina at the 2013 World Junior Championships held at Praia da Joaquina, in Florianopolis. On the other hand, Vargas will be matched up against No. 3 on the Championship Tour, Adriano de Souza (BRA) and QS athletes Tanner Gudauskas (USA) and Aritz Aranburu (ESP).
"I'm really happy that I won the trials, but I'm not thinking about who I'm going to compete against and I'm just going to go out there and have fun," said Samuel Pupo. "I got really nervous because my leash broke during my heat, but I just tried to stay calm and I got the win. I just turned 15 last week and to be able to compete at this event has been the best present ever. So I don't care who'll be in my heat. I know that I'm going to give it my all."
With a solid forecast coming in the next few days, Event Organizers opted to postpone the start of the 96-man field of surfers until Tuesday. All seven of the Brazilian athletes currently on the CT will participate at the Oi HD Sao Paulo Open of Surfing, in addition to an exciting list of CT surfers looking to requalify and the latest crop of QS surfers looking to make it onto the elite division in 2016.
Filipe Toledo (BRA) has already won three CT events in 2015 (Gold Coast, Rio and Portugal) and is looking to defend his event title of the QS 10,000 contest in Maresias. Toledo will hit the water in Heat 24 of Round 1 and will face another Brazilian, Messias Felix (BRA) and two Portuguese surfers, Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) and Frederico Morais (PRT) that have greatly affected the World Title Race at the last CT event at Supertubos.
"I always try to have fun and don't let the pressure affect me. That's why I came here looking for another win. But without a doubt, what I want most here, is to have fun," said Toledo, who has moved into No. 2 on the Championship Tour rankings. "Maresias is a special place for me. Last year's win was sensational and I hope I can do it again. That way I can go to Hawaii feeling confident and do my best to win the World Title. I'm going to surf here just like I would at any other comp. I know it'll be tough, but I'm going to have plenty of support with my friends and family around. I'm going to try to take advantage of my time here and not worry about the title talk and just focus on winning."
A call is set for 7:30 am local time for a possible start to the Oi HD Sao Paulo Open of Surfing presented by Banco do Brasil at Praia de Maresias. Heat 1 of Round 1 will see Noah Schweizer (USA), Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY), Soli Bailey (AUS) and Victor Bernardo (BRA) begin competition.