- WSL / Aleko Stergiou

When the sun went down in Brazil the action heated up as 2019 World Champion Italo Ferreira and Silvana Lima ushered in the return of pro surfing in South America.

Of course it was Italo who rose to the top of the Men's field. Over the last six months, he's been the guy dropping the hottest edits, surfing with the most energy, day in and day out, riding his jet ski in his pool and frothing out on Andy Irons.

Surfing under the lights, the Final took to the water after at an undisclosed stretch of sand, and it reminded us all why we love competitive surfing so much.

Italo Ferreira Wins Pro Men's Event At Onda do Bem
The Jeep Leader and 2019 World Champ takes out the third event of the WSL Countdown Series.

Italo and Yago Dora's battle when down to the absolute wire. Yago drew first blood, then followed up his opening ride with the high score of the final, an 8.33 for a stylish, smooth left up the beach.

But with glowing LED lights on his rail, Italo dropped hammers. He pretty much won the final on two massive, high-risk, torqued out turns on two different waves. Wearing the yellow jersey, he miraculously pulled off the win by a mere hundredth of a point. After winning the Super Air Heat earlier in the event, it was very much a replay of Italo's performance on the Gold Coast in 2019, where he took out the Red Bull Airborne and the Quik Pro.

Meanwhile, the Women's Super Heat was highlighted by a the contrasting styles of longboard legend Chloe Calmon and competitive firebrand Silvana Lima. Silvana is one of the best to ever play the game, and with her rails lit up in red, she got started early and never looked back. Carving her way to the win, she added another prize to her already vast trophy collection.

Silvana Lima Wins Pro Women's Event At Onda do Bem
The CT veteran takes out the Pro Women's Event at the third event of the WSL Countdown Series.

The Men's first semi saw an all-time match-up featuring two Brazilian World Champions in Italo and Adriano De Souza. Rounding out the heat was Miguel Pupo and Lucas Vicente. Proving that old men can't drive at night, De Souza didn't even ride a wave until there was less than three minutes left in the heat. Italo and Miguel rolled through the heat without much effort.

Semi number two was dominated by Dora and Miguel Pupo.

"I was focused, relaxed, and spent this time off accentuating my skills and perfecting my abilities," said Dora in a translated interview.

In a true sign of the unusual times we're living in, every surfer had their own rest area to ensure social distancing. There was a DJ on the beach but there was nobody on the sand to dance.

All The Airs: Onda do Bem
Watch as the Brazilian Storm Airs It Out at Onda do Bem!

The Super Air Heat showcased competitors being whipped into wedges via a jet ski. If you've been paying any attention to his Instagram feed, you know Italo's been training for this moment for months. He took the win with a 6.67 for an explosive punt.

The party started with a men's and women's celebrity surf-off. Actor and model Paulo Zulu won the men's division and footballer Erica Prado brought the heat to take the women's final.

Under the lights, under unusual circumstances, the Onda do Bem had all the hallmarks of a great surf contest. While the waves weren't all-time, the surfing was world-class. The Final was a battle to the end. And if there's any question about the state of the Brazilian Storm, it should be put to rest as Italo and company looked sharp as ever. Just imagine what they'd do if they could actually see the waves they were riding!

"We should do this every weekend!" noted commentator Chris Cote.

Friday night under the lights, why not?

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