The final day of the Oi Pro Junior Series and Oi Longboard Pro turned out to be a head-to-head clash between Brazil and Peru. In the Pro Junior Final, Sol Aguirre (PER) and Raul Rios (PER) defeated Tainá Hinckel (BRA) and Eduardo Motta (BRA) respectively, while in the Longboard competition, Chloe Calmon (BRA) got the better of Maria Fernanda Reyes (PER) and local surfer Carlos Bahia (BRA) had an emotional victory over Piccolo Clemente (PER).
In a rematch of the Oi Longboard Pro Final in Rio de Janeiro, Calmon and Reyes went blow for blow in the small, but consistent 1-2 foot waves in Maresias. Reyes needed to win the heat to claim her maiden regional title, but Calmon would not be denied; winning the first WSL South America Longboard Championship of her career.
With her victory, Calmon will now head to Taiwan in December looking for a long sought-after Women's World Longboard Championship Title. In 2019, Calmon has won two-out-of-three Longboard Tour events, leaving her ahead of her primary opponent, 2018 Champion Honolua Blomfield (HAW).
"It feels amazing to have won two contests in Brazil this year. It's so special to see the whole longboarding community here and I think this is exactly the kind of support we needed," said Calmon, the newly crowned regional champion. "Everyone is finishing the season with a sense of accomplishment and looking forward to next year. It's my first South American Title, so to win in my hometown of Rio de Janeiro and then win here in Maresias has been unbelievable. It just makes me feel even more motivated to do well in Taiwan and end the year with a successful finish."
In the Men's Final, local surfer and crowd favorite Carlos Bahia (BRA) was matched up against the most decorated South American longboarder of all time, Piccolo Clemente (PER).
If you've ever been to Maresias, Bahia's huge smile and charismatic personality in the lineup is a constant presence. However, it took a focused demeanor to overcome the 2-time World Champion and 4-time South American Champion from Peru. Clemente began with a solid 7.25 score, but Bahia countered with an excellent 8.50 ride. The Peruvian added a 7.75 to take the advantage, but in the dying minutes, the local Brazilian caught a final wave for a 6.95 to claim the win by a score of 15.45 to 15.00.
Surrounded by his friends and family, emotions swept throughout the cheering crowd as a tearful Bahia was chaired up the beach to his post-heat interview.
"First off, I'd like to thank all of the local crowd, my family, wife, daughter and my father because this is where everything started and this is where I've learnt all I know," Bahia said in a heart-felt tribute. "It's been two years that I haven't been able to compete on the Longboard Tour, but it's my experience at the elite level that I needed to win against this international field here at home. Winning an event like this in Maresias has always been a dream of mine and I always say that you should never stop believing in your dreams."
On his way to the event victory, Bahia was able to take down two legendary World Champions in Clemente and celebrated longboarder Phil Razjman (BRA).
"To beat two World Champions at home is such an honor and is an unforgettable experience. Without a doubt, this will go down as one of my biggest all-time victories," Bahia concluded.
Upon completion of the Longboarding division, action switched to the highly-anticipated Pro Junior finale. First up was a clash of champions as the newly crowned 2019 WSL South America Pro Junior Champion, Tainá Hinckel (BRA) came up against the 2017 & 2018 winner, Sol Aguirre (PER).
Hinckel began with a solid 8.50 on her opening ride, putting the Peruvian in a corner. However, as a lull in the swell lingered throughout the Final, Hinckel was only able to manufacture a backup score of a 3.25. On the other hand, Aguirre kept busy and put together two mid-range score of a 6.00 and a 5.90 to take top honors.
"After losing so many Pro Junior events, it feels like a relief to get this win," stated Aguirre. "I've always kept my head up and continued to train hard. I just wanted to surf well and get good scores in my heats. So getting this win here in Brazil feels great. "I know that things happen for a reason and sometimes losing gives you that extra motivation to never give up."
The last Pro Junior event of the season now moves to Máncora, Peru - hometown of both event winners Aguirre and Rios.
"Having the last event in Máncora couldn't be better," continued Aguirre. "Getting first place here has given me more confidence and I'm feeling more relaxed now to qualify for the World Pro Junior Championship in Taiwan."
Following Aguirre's victory, the Men's division hit the water to finish off the contest. Whoever won the heat between Eduardo Motta and Raul Rios would take control of the rankings lead. Rios attacked first with scores of a 7.00 and a 5.75, while Motta earned a 6.75 after successfully landing an air-reverse. But Rios then added an excellent 8.50 on impeccable forehand surfing to solidify his win in Brazil.
"It feels really good to win because I've been putting in so much hard work. This is my second Final this year and I really wanted to get a victory," said the latest member of the talented group of surfers coming out of Peru. "I've been very focused and it feels great to come out on top of such an incredible field of surfers at this event."
Leaving Maresias in 1st place in the rankings has guaranteed Rios' participation at the World Junior Championships in Taiwan.
"I'm stoked that I'm first in the rankings because everyone's goal is to get a chance to compete in Taiwan," continued Rios. "I'm going to maintain my focus on winning the Title. The next event is in Máncora at my local spot. It's my hometown and a wave I know well, so hopefully I can win the event there too."
The 2019 WSL South America Men's Junior Title is still anybody's game as the rankings have bottle-necked at the top. Rios jumped from 5th to 1st place. Daniel Templar (BRA) slid down to 2nd and Lucas Vicente (BRA) is now in 3rd place establishing the current Top-3 surfers that will qualify for Taiwan.
However, there are an additional five surfers that can mathematically take the title with Eduardo Motta (BRA), Mateus Sena (BRA), Daniel Adisaka (BRA), Fernando Junior (BRA) and Leo Casal (BRA) all in contention.