The Corona Open Montañita Surf City presented by Hyundai New Tucson 2022 concluded on Sunday with excellent conditions at Montañita, in the Province of Santa Elena, Ecuador. The last day of the competition was riddled with highlights in each heat beginning in the Quarterfinals. The Finals were won by two surfers who will compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Japan. Silvana Lima (BRA) defeated Summer Macedo (HAW) with a high-score of a 9-point ride and then Lucca Mesinas (PER) beat Edgard Groggia (BRA) with a 9.50 on the last wave he surfed. Next Wednesday, June 23rd, the QS1000 Corona Open Salinas Surf City presented by Hyundai New Tucson begins in Salinas, Ecuador.
"It was an amazing event and I always told Mimi (Dominic Barona), that one day I wanted to compete here at her home break because these waves are incredible. I'm happy this day finally came and it means a Iot to be taking this win back to Brazil," said Silvana Lima. "This is the second time I've had a Final with Summer (Macedo). The other was in Bahia, Brazil, where I also won and it's funny because here, I felt like I was at home. Mimi is a great friend, we're like sisters, so I'm really happy with this victory I'm ready for another next week."
Silvana proved to be in top form, providing great performances throughout the three heats she surfed on Sunday. The first was against the Brazilian up-and-comer, Tainá Hinckel (BRA). The youngster from Santa Catarina made things difficult, but Lima's veteran experience took charge and solidified her victory with an 8.25 on her last wave. She followed by taking on her good friend and two-time WSL Latin America Champion Dominic Barona (ECU) in a preview of an Olympic face-off.
OLYMPIC SEMIFINAL - The hometown hero Barona defeated Josefina Ane (ARG) with a 16-point total (8.50 + 7.50), discarding a 7.00 by using her impressive vertical backside attack at Montañita's righthand pointbreak. Conditions turned up a notch during the "Olympic Semifinal" against Silvana Lima. However, the highest score the Ecuadorian surfing representative at the Olympic Games managed was a 7.25, while the Brazilian destroyed a wave with two explosive frontside hacks that resulted in a 9.00.
"It was amazing for me to surf with Silvana. She's like a sister and one of my best friends, but we always try to do our best in the water. I didn't complete some turns, the tide came in and the waves didn't have that vertical wall, but I'm still happy", said Dominic Barona, the most influential athlete in Ecuadorian surfing. "I couldn't be happier with all my friends and family showing so much support, so I just want to say thanks to everyone. I injured myself earlier and didn't even think I would be able to compete in this event, so to make it to the Semifinals, it was really amazing. Now it's time to readjust and get ready for the next one."
Dominic remains on the bubble to enter the top five in the WSL Latin America rankings that will qualify to compete in the World Surf League Challenger Series events. She would have made it into the top five if she had won the Corona Open Montañita Surf City. Despite that, she moved up in the rankings with a third-place finish and can confirm her classification in the next event in Salinas.
WOMEN'S FINAL - Conditions deteriorated during the Women's Final. Summer Macedo had already taken down two Brazilians, Julia Duarte (BRA) in the quarterfinals and Nairê Marquez (BRA) in the semifinals, respectively with dominant performances, high scores and excellent wave selection. In the Final she started strong with vertical frontside carves earning a 7.50 on her first wave. Silvana was unable to complete her first few rides until she got a 5.00, but Summer responded immediately with 4.25 to stay ahead.
A long lull hit the lineup and Silvana only caught a good wave with 3 minutes to go. It began with a long bottom turn before sending a huge hack into the wave's critical section and followed with a stylish roundhouse, a floater and another big turn before finalizing with her clenched fists in the air. Anticipation built up before the score was read out at a 9.00; sealing her victory by a score of 14.00 to 11.75.
CHALLENGER SERIES QUALIFICATION - With her victory, Silvana jumped from fifth to second on the WSL Latin America ranking, practically guaranteeing her spot on the Challenger Series. The top-rated athlete continues with Daniella Rosas (PER) in the lead, with Sol Aguirre (PER) in third place, Josefina Ane (ARG) in fourth and in fifth place Anali Gomez (PER), who did not compete in Ecuador. Gomez currently sits with 1,500 points followed by Dominic Barona with 1,350 in sixth place.
MEN'S FINALS - The winner of the Men's division of the Corona Open Montañita Surf City presented by Hyundai New Tucson was Lucca Mesinas (PER), who is affiliated with the WSL North America region and did not accumulate any points on the WSL Latin America regional ranking. Edgard Groggia (BRA) needed a victory to enter into the top-ten athletes that qualify for the Challenger Series, but he came close to the classification zone with a runner-up finish in the first of two QS1000 events in Ecuador.
The two Finalists displayed incredible surfing on Sunday in incredible conditions at Montañita. Lucca Mesinas (PER) began his title campaign by defeating Samuel Pupo (BRA) with two 7.00 scores. The Semifinal against Marcos Correa (BRA) was a veritable clash, with both executing incredible maneuvers and earning excellent scores. The Peruvian won with the highest score of the event, 17.15 points with 8.65 and 8.50 waves, against a 15.90 total for the Brazilian.
In the Final, Lucca Mesinas started off well with a score of a 7.00 on his first wave and Groggia also surfed a good wave earning him a 6.25. The Brazilian then began taking off on wave after wave, while the Peruvian was more selective. Groggia then surfed a wave that resulted in a 7.50, while Lucca responded with incredible surfing on the most critical sections of a huge righthander, combining one maneuver after another with power and flow to receive a 9.50, the highest score of the entire event.
"I'm very happy to win this contest with so many good surfers in it, but I felt like I competed while staying calm and managed to catch good waves in the heats," said Lucca Mesinas, who lives in northern Peru and always goes to Montañita to train on the predominant rights. "All the heats were very difficult, especially against Brazilians who surf very well and I was pretty exhausted before the Final. But I stayed focused on catching the right waves. I want to send a shoutout to all the people in Peru for showing their support and now I'm ready to head over to Salinas and get another good result there."
BEATING THE LOCALS - Despite losing in the Final, Edgard Groggia was happy to be runner-up in his first WSL Qualifying Series Final. He showed his full range by winning incredible heats on Sunday against Montañita's two best local surfers. The first was against Alex Suárez (ECU) in the Quarterfinals after starting off well with an 8.75 followed by a 6.60 to win by 15.35 to 14.50 points.
The Semifinal was another tough heat, with Jonathan Zambrano (ECU) jumping ahead with an 8.00 on his first wave. Groggia also started well with a 7.25 and took the lead with another 7.50 on a very well surfed wave. The Ecuadorian got a good one at the end, needing a 6.75 to make it to the Final, but came up short with a 6.50. Groggia advanced to the Final by a small advantage of 14.75 to 14.50.
"I'm happy with my performance in all of the heats I surfed here and in the Final I also surfed well. It wasn't the result I expected, I wanted the victory, but Lucca (Mesinas) surfed well too, so I'm happy with my performance", said Edgard Groggia. "Now we're going to Salinas and I hope to get another good result there to qualify for the Challenger Series. I gave my best here, literally gave my blood, so I'm happy and ready for the next one."
The Corona Open Montañita Surf City presented by Hyundai New Tucson 2022 in Montañita was streamed live on www.worldsurfleague.com and www.wsllatinamerica.com and the World Surf League app.