Deivid Silva (BRA) was unstoppable on Sunday as he defeated Marco Fernandez (BRA) by a score of 17.77 to 14.40 to win the 2017 WSL Men's QS 1,500 South to South presents Itacaré Surf & Sound Festival at Praia da Tiririca in Bahia, Brazil. Silva was in top-form throughout the competition and saved his best performance for last by scoring a 9.60 and an 8.17 in the Final by executing vertical attacks on the windswept waves in the 3-ft. range (1 meter).
Silva wasn't even supposed to be at the event, but opted to go on a last-minute decision. Having registered for the event as a late entry, Silva was not able to use his Qualifying Series ranking seeding and was placed in Heat of Round 1 instead of directly into Round 3 with the other top seeds. But the combination of his speed, precise airs and powerful carves carried him from the first heat of the event to the last and most important one for the victory.
"It feels so great to win this event," Silva declared. "This gives me more motivation to never give up my goal of making it onto the CT. I'd like to thank my parents and my wife who are here with me. Now my focus will be on the remaining QS events in Maresias and Hawaii."
The punchy waves at Praia da Tiririca worked in Silva's favor as he was able to show his full range of surfing during the event.
"The waves were really good all contest long and I had some great heats," continued Silva. "I wasn't thinking about coming here, but my dad insisted, so I have to give him credit for this victory."
Marcos Fernandez was the only surfer from Bahia that made it to the Quarterfinals. Despite having the full support of the crowd at Praia da Tiririca, Fernandez was unable to triumph over Silva's explosive performance.
"I came close to winning again, this was still a very good result for me since I haven't been doing too well in contests this year," said Fernandez. "We had a good heat and I knew whoever caught the best waves would win. I'm stoked that I made the Final and from here I'm going straight to Maresias. I hope there will be more QS contests in Bahia and in Brazil next year."
In what could easily have passed as a Final, Deivid Silva faced Alejo Muniz (BRA) in Heat 1 of the Semifinals. Muniz had been impressing the judges with his fast and clean rail-to-rail surfing, but could not come up with an answer as he was defeated by Silva by a score of 16.04 to 13.60 respectively.
"I knew that heat was going to be difficult," said Muniz. "He got an 8.0 with priority and a 7.0 while I had priority. At the end, I caught a good one for an 8.0 too, but conditions got worse and it made things very difficult to find a good wave. I would have liked to have gotten another chance, but that's how it goes sometimes. 3rd place is still a good result and even though I didn't make it to the Final, I felt like I did my best surfing of the year here in Itacaré, so that's a big confidence booster."
In Heat 2 of the Semifinals, Fernandez was matched up against Krystian Kymerson (BRA), who had been on a tear all event long getting high-scores in every heat with his impeccable aerial talent. However, Fernandez got off to a strong start by blowing apart two righthanders at the beginning of the heat for a 15.94 total (7.77+8.17). Kymerson fought back but could not obtain anything beyond mid-range scores, bowing out of the event with a 9.34 total.
"It's been a tough year for me, so getting a 3rd place here means a lot to me," said an emotional Kymerson. "Congrats to Marco (Fernandez), he surfed really well and I only found a few good ones at the end, but it was too late. Him and Deivid deserved to be in the Final. Now I'll be concentrating on Maresias, which will be a very important contest for me too. Hopefully I can get a good result there too."
With his result today, Kymerson jumped from 8th to 2nd place on the WSL South America Ranking. The continental title will be determined next week in Maresias at the final event of the year before heading to Hawaii. Thiago Camarão (BRA) currently leads the rankings, but there are an additional 14 athletes that are mathematically capable of becoming the 2017 WSL South America Regional Champion. The winner from each WSL Region will gain automatic entry into all QS 10,000 and QS 6,000 events in 2018.