With the eliminations of wildcard Henrique Pyrrait , former World Junior Champion Vasco Ribeiro and local pro Tomas Fernandes, the EDP Billabong Pro Ericeira hasn't been kind to the Portuguese crew so far.
But one man withstood the test of performing on home soil better than anyone. Frederico ‘Kikas' Morais was in-form today as he just advanced into Round 3 in Ericeira. While the vibe was electric all morning as fans watched surfers take on double-overhead sets, the beach really came to life at 12 o'clock sharp.
Soccer match-like chants actually covered PA announcements as local fans supported their favorite surfer in the event to the sound of "Go-go-go KIKAS". Morais delivered with a first wave caught way out the back for a 7.67 and the lead early on.
"It was a really good start for him," confirmed Richard Marsh, his coach. "He really wanted to sit a bit further out the point than everyone else had been, he felt like his local knowledge was going to get him in the spot. That was his risk, I gave him 10 minutes to pull a 7+ off and he got it in the first 3 minutes so I'm stoked."
The powerful regular-footer quickly backed that score up and continued to build to eventually take out his first heat in Ericeira with a solid 14.47 combined total to advance into Round 3.
"It's going to be a really tough comp, everyone is surfing really well," Morais said afterwards. "The ultimate goal is always to win, especially here but any big points will go a long way in my re-qualification and to be solid for the next three events. Either way I'm just super happy to be here competing at home with the support of the Portuguese crowds."
Morais' track record on home soil is second to none, with massive results in Cascais over the years, as well as Santa Cruz. This year is no different. He won the QS3,000 Pro Santa Cruz a few months back and comes right off a big win at the QS6,000 Azores Airlines Pro.
Follow all the action in Portugal LIVE from September 23-29, 2019 right here!