After opening yesterday with a short, 4-heat day of surfing, action was revved up a notch as the event's top seeds hit the line-up for Day 2 of the Oi Hang Loose Pro presented by Elétron Energy QS 5000.
CT superstar Filipe Toledo (BRA) kicked off his 2020 campaign by displaying his elite-level explosiveness by scoring a 15-point total in the 4 - 6 foot waves (1.5 - 2 meters) at Cacimba do Padre in Fernando de Noronha, Brazil.
"It's always good to start off an event with a solid performance because it just gives your confidence a major boost," noted Toledo. "It's great to be here in Noronha recharging my batteries. It just feels awesome, my boards feel great and I just want to enjoy my time here."
The athletes had to deal with tricky conditions throughout the day with unfavorable winds and significant tidal influences, making wave selection crucial in every heat.
"The waves were really difficult in my heat. But even when it isn't perfect here, there are still good waves," remarked Toledo who scored an 8.33 on his best ride. "You just need to be patient and hit the right sections when they appear. You've got to know how to read the wave here and I can't wait to get back in the water."
Looking to make his way back to the Championship Tour (CT) via the QS this year is the Panda, Willian Cardoso (BRA), who used his heavy back-footed approach to blast each section unmercifully for a 14.13 total and a victory in Heat 6 of the Round 96.
"The waves at Cacimba do Padre are always challenging, even when it's perfect," said Cardoso. "Conditions change super quickly, so you've got to be ready for anything and I feel like I used that mentality to my advantage. My initial strategy was to stay close to the point, but the waves were all out of whack, so I paddled over to the opposite side where I ended up finding those two good ones where I could let loose."
Other surfers who advanced today and are looking to use the Oi Hang Loose Pro to hop back on the CT are Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Jesse Mendes (BRA), Heitor Alves (BRA) and Joan Duru (FRA), who took first place in Heat 4 of the Round of 96 over Bino Lopes (BRA), Mateus Sena (BRA) and Junior Lagosta (BRA). Lagosta advanced in second place behind the Frenchman.
"No barrels, but some good lefts coming off the rocks," said Duru. "It's hard to find the good ones, so you really need to choose well. I'm stoked to be back here. I've gotten some good results here back in the day. I want to get off to a good start this year and build up a rhythm to get good results to get back to the CT."
However, the highest scores of the day came from lesser-known Madson Costa (BRA), who found the diamonds in the rough, scoring a 7.00 and an 8.67 on the best barrels for a 15.67 total.
"I tried to get busy as soon as the heat started because there were a lot of closeouts at the time," Costa said. "When I got priority, I paddled farther inside and caught that first barrel. Later on, I was lucky enough to be in the right spot and caught that even better barrel that just kept throwing section after section. I competed here last year and feel like the more time you put in to the wave, the more it gives back. I just feel blessed and I want to thank all my family and friends back home at Praia da Pipa."
The hugest upset came in the last heat of the day when former event winner Miguel Pupo (BRA) was eliminated from the competition after being defeated by Heitor Alves and Geovane Ferreira (BRA) in Heat 12 of the Round of 96.
Tomorrow's action will begin with Jadson André (BRA), who won the Oi Hang Loose Pro last year and kicked off a stellar campaign on the Qualifying Series (QS) in 2019 to guarantee his place on the 2020 Championship Tour. Jadson will face up against Enzo Cavallini (FRA), Kian Martin (SWE) and Cauã Costa (BRA) after the 7:00 am call on Thursday.