- WSL / Marcio David

Another full day of action took place at the LayBack Pro presented by Prefeitura de Florianópolis at Praia Mole, on Santa Catarina Island, Brazil. On Thursday, the Round of 24 was completed at the Women's QS 1000, while the Round of 96 wrapped up at the Men's QS 1000. On Friday, the event's top seeds will hit the water at 8:00 am local time and can be watched live at WorldSurfLeague.com.

The 2015 WSL World Champion, Adriano de Souza (BRA), continued his torrid pace with another dominant performance in the 2-3 foot waves at Praia Mole over another group of up-and-coming Brazilians. De Souza led from start to finish in Heat 9 of the Round of 96 with a 13.67 total earned on two mid-range scores of a 6.67 and a 7.00. The young, explosive surfer Douglas Silva (BRA) advanced in 2nd place with a 10.43 total and saw Patrick Plachi (BRA) and Willian Feiden (BRA) bowing out from the competition.

"It was a lot easier this time around because I started off the heat with two good scores. After that it was just a matter of controlling the heat until the buzzer sounded," stated De Souza. "Yesterday was the complete opposite and I only got my high-score on my last wave in the last few minutes. For the fans it's more exciting, but it was nerve-racking for me. It's cool to be competing against all these young surfers, but the next round is filled with former CT surfers and it'll only get more difficult, but at the same time, I have more experience competing against them," finished off De Souza.

Adriano de Souza Adriano de Souza (BRA) looked spry winning another heat at Praia Mole - WSL / Marcio David

On the flip side, Douglas Silva sees De Souza as one of his idols and having the opportunity to compete against the former World Champion was a dream come true.

"It's truly an honor for me to compete against Adriano. I remember in 2015, before he won the title, I met him in Trestles and he was so professional and such a humble guy at the same time, it really made a mark on me," observed Silva. "To this day I'm still a huge fan, so it was super special competing against him in a heat. I think it's something that I'll never forget and advancing alongside him makes it even more special."

Douglas Silva Douglas Silva (BRA) advanced alongside his hero, Adriano de Souza - WSL / Marcio David

After De Souza set the event record with a 14.84 heat score, Heitor Mueller (BRA) increased the high water mark with a 15.50 in the last heat of the day. De Souza still holds the record for a single-wave score of an 8.17, but with the top seeds on tap Friday, no score is safe.

The Round of 96 was not favorable to the international group of surfers with Leandro Usuna (ARG), Roberto Araki (CHL) and Ian Gentil (HAW) being eliminated in the initial heats. However, Tomas Lopes Moreno (ARG) broke the streak by advancing alongside Messias Felix (BRA) and taking out Adriano Maclel (BRA) and former CT standout Raoni Monteiro (BRA) in Heat 3.

"Raoni and Messias are super strong surfers. I did a trip to the Philippines with Raoni and few years ago to a QS event and he ended up winning. He's a good friend of mine, but I knew he wouldn't give an inch in the heat," said Moreno. "I was focused on getting two good waves, but conditions were tough. The lefts ended up being my keepers, but I'm just happy that I'm moving on in the competition."

Tomas Lopez Moreno Tomas Lopez Moreno (ARG) at Praia Mole - WSL / Marcio David

Day 2 of the LayBack Pro presented by Prefeitura de Florianópolis also saw the Round of 24 completed at the Women's QS 1000. Isabelle Nalu (BRA) took control of Heat 1, but the highest scored of the Round belonged to Juliana Santos (BRA) who earned a 13.33 heat score in Heat 2.

"It feels great to get a good start to the contest," declared Santos. "I got some good scores and a solid total, so it was a nice first step for me. I felt like I surfed well and got some good turns in, plus my board feels great, so I'm really happy. The forecast is looking good so I'm looking forward to the next few days of the event."

Juliana Rodrigues Juliana Santos (BRA) earned the day's highest scores on opening day of the Women's QS 1000 at Praia Mole - WSL / Marcio David

Santos will now be matched up against some fierce competition in the Round of 16 featuring Arena Rodriguez Vargas (PER) and Laura Raupp (BRA), the defending event winner of the LayBack Pro. Both currently sit 3rd and 4th the WSL South America rankings and are in search of qualifying spots for the 2022 Challenger Series. In addition, Friday will see the current rankings leader, Sophia Medina (BRA) in the first heat of the day against Isabela Saldanha (BRA), Yanca Costa (BRA) and Gabriely Vasque (BRA).

Isabelle Nalu Isabelle Nalu (BRA) at Praia Mole - WSL / Marcio David

The LayBack Pro presented by Prefeitura de Florianópolis presents is brought to you by the Santa Catarina Surf Federation (FECASURF), Agência Esporte & Arte (AEA) as co-organizer and is licensed by WSL Latin America as part of the WSL Qualifying Series. The event is sponsored by Metha Energia, with support from BOLD, SIBON Charters, Goedert Group, Hotel Selina, The Search House, the Florianopolis Municipal Sports Foundation and the City of Florianópolis, through the Department of Culture, Sports and Leisure, in addition to the Praia Mole Surf Association (ASPM) and website Waves. The broadcast is produced by FIRMA and can be watched LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com.

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