Despite a small decrease in swell, Day 2 of the LayBack Pro presented by Billabong saw plenty of action with punchy waves in the 2-3 foot range at Praia Mole, in Florianópolis, Brazil. The Women's QS1000 took to the water and completed the initial Round of 32 with Daniella Rosas (PER) surpassing all scores with an 8.33 on her best ride and a 14.33 total in the first heat of the day.

Layback Pro presented by Billabong Layback Pro presented by Billabong - WSL / Marcio David

In spite of the moderate onshore winds and tricky conditions, Rosas got off to a good start with a 5.00 and a 6.00 before dropping the hammer to earn an excellent 8.33 score from the judges, surpassing the 8.00 high-score on Wednesday from her compatriot, Miguel Tudela (PER). Both Rosas and Tudela represented Peru during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics surfing competition.

"Today's conditions are a little bit tricky, but I was able to find two good waves to advance in first place in my heat," observed Rosas. "I'm really stoked because Marina Rezende (Florianópolis local surfer) also advanced with me. I've known her for a long time and I'm really happy to be back in Brazil competing again, even though this is my first time here in Floripa. It's always a blast to get to know the country a little bit more."

Daniella Rosas - Layback Pro Daniella Rosas (PER) earned the day's highest scores Thursday at the LayBack Pro pres. by Billabong. - WSL / Marcio David

Up next was an all-Brazilian heat led by the two-time WSL Latin America Pro Junior Champion, Tainá Hinckel (BRA), who won the titles in 2016 and 2019. The local from Guarda do Embaú advanced easily in first along with one of the best surfers of the latest generation of Brazilian talent, Isabelle Nalu (BRA), on her maiden WSL Qualifying Series event.

"It's always good to compete, especially in Florianopolis, where I competed in my first QS event at Joaquina. It feels great to be here at Praia Mole and even better to win my first heat of the contest," said Hinckel. "This period without events due to the pandemic really changed up my rhythm, so it feels good to be back in competition mode and feeling that adrenaline rush once again. Conditions weren't that great, but I'm glad that I got that first one under my belt and now I'm feeling even more confident."

Taina Hinckel - Layback Pro Tainá Hinckel (BRA) felt at home at Praia Mole. - WSL / Marcio David

However, two of the biggest upsets of the day occurred when veteran surfer Silvana Lima (BRA) was ousted in Heat 5 of the Round of 32 behind Monik Santos (BRA) and Karol Ribeiro (BRA), as well as when the 2020 Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist in skate park, Sky Brown (GBR) was eliminated after receiving an interference call in Heat 8, won by Sol Aguirre (PER) and Julia Santos (BRA).

"It's been so much fun here in Brazil. I've been doing a lot of surfing and skating, there are so many skate parks here, it's amazing," declared Brown. "This was the first real surf contest that I've ever competed in, so even though I got an interference in my heat, I had a lot of fun and I thought it was a great experience. I'm super happy that I came down to Florianópolis."

Sky Brown - Layback Pro Sky Brown (GBR) competing in her first ever WSL Qualifying Series event. - WSL / Marcio David

Although Brown had an early exit in the competition, she's been a frequent visitor to the mini-ramp set up behind the event site, along with her younger brother Ocean Brown, and other world-class skateboarders such as Pedro Barros (BRA), Isadora Pacheco (BRA), Yndiara Asp (BRA) and the entire Layback Crew.

Pedro Barros - Layback Pro Olympian Pedro Barros (BRA) during a skate session between surfs. - WSL / James Thisted

Following the Women, the Round of 96 in the Men's division took center stage with Mateus Herdy (BRA) continuing his torrid streak of impressive performances following his Semifinal appearance at the Championship Tour event in Mexico and the Challenger Series event in France. Herdy took first place, advancing alongside Samuel Igo (BRA) into the Round of 64.

"It's been around five years since the last time I competed here in Florianópolis. It was in 2016 at the contest at Joaquina in my first event as a professional," recalled Herdy. "It's way too long of a stretch without events here. It's great for the surf community and I feel we should have at least one event here per year. Regardless of points and everything, it's great to see athletes from all over Brazil and South America competing here, it's so amazing. And to see that LayBack is sponsoring the event, and see them following their dream to pull this off, it just makes even more special. I feel lucky to be a part of their team, which is more like a family," concluded Herdy.

Mateus Herdy - Layback Pro Mateus Herdy (BRA) takes to the air at the LayBack Pro pres. by Billabong. - WSL / Marcio David

Herdy will now be matched up in a heavy Heat 1 of the Round of 64 against stylish CT surfer Miguel Pupo (BRA), Wesley Leite (BRA) and the defending 2019 World Junior Champion Lucas Vicente (BRA). Friday will also see the event's top seeds hit the water including Adriano de Souza (BRA), Yago Dora (BRA), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Jadson André (BRA), Ian Gouveia (BRA), Thiago Camarão (BRA) and a host of others.

A call is set for 8:00 am local time for continuation of the LayBack Pro presented by Billabong. For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com

The LayBack Pro presented by Billabong is brought to you by the Santa Catarina Surf Federation (FECASURF) and the Agência Esporte Arte (AEA) and is a WSL Qualifying Series licensed by WSL Latin America. The event is sponsored by Corona and GND Incorporadora with support from the City of Florianópolis, through the Department of Culture, Sports and Leisure, the Municipal Sports Foundation, Hotel Selina Floripa, the Praia Mole Surf Association (ASPM) and the surf news/forecast website Waves. The event is being streamed live on WorldSurfLeague.com and the free WSL app.

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