- WSL / Daniel Smorigo

Finals Day brought sunny skies, warm weather and light offshore winds with waves in the 2-3 foot range at Praia da Ferrugem, where Tainá Hinckel (BRA) defeated Isabelle Nalu (BRA) and Santiago Muniz (ARG) was victorious over Messias Felix (BRA) at the World Surf League (WSL) Men's and Women's QS 1000 Circuito Banco do Brasil de Surfe in Garopaba, Brazil. Winners of the three-event Circuito Banco do Brasil de Surfe series will be guaranteed Wildcard entries into the Corona Saquarema Pro presented by Banco do Brasil in November 2022.

Santiago, Taina, Isabelle and Messias (from left) Event finalists Santiago Muniz (ARG), Tainá Hinckel (BRA), Isabelle Nalu (BRA) and Messias Felix (BRA) on the winner's podium at the Circuito Banco do Brasil de Surfe - WSL / Daniel Smorigo

In the Women's division, it was the maiden Finals appearance for both Santa Catarina surfers Hinckel and Nalu. Representing the latest generation of women's athletes in Brazil, 18-year-old Hinckel and 15-year-old Nalu put on a show for the packed home crowd at Praia da Ferrugem.

Nalu got off to a quick start with mid-range scores for an 11.43 lead. But Hinckel countered with back-to-back lefts that peeled down the line for a 7.33 and 7.17 from the judges. As a lull hit the line-up, the two adversaries continued to hunt for opportunities, but Hinckel found another set wave and bashed it for an additional 7.67 to lock in her first career victory on the WSL Qualifying Series.

"I'm so happy now that I've won my first QS. I've had good results before, but this is my first win and I'm so stoked," said Hinckel. "This beach has a special place in my heart. I've won different events here, so I'm glad I got a chance to let loose and do some good surfing. I feel like I was finding the best waves in all my heats and I was just having so much fun in the water, laughing and doing what I love to do. I want to thank my family, for always believing in me and now we're on to the next one because there's still a long road ahead," concluded an exuberant Hinckel.

Taina Hinckel Event winner Tainá Hinckel (BRA) at Praia da Ferrugem. - WSL / Daniel Smorigo

15-year-old Nalu had been one of the crowd favorites throughout the week, making her first-ever Final on the Qualifying Series. Daughter of Brazilian big-wave legend, Everaldo "Pato" Texeira (BRA), Nalu has been making a name for herself on the WSL South America circuit.

"I'm stoked that I made my first QS Final. This has always been a dream of mine, especially here in Garopaba. It was a new generation Finals for us," said Nalu. "Congrats to Tainá, who surfed great all week long. I'm going to keep training and do my best because my goal is to get into the Top-4 on the QS and make it onto the Challenger Series."

Isabelle Nalu Runner-up Isabelle Nalu (BRA) in her first Finals appearance at the Circuito Banco do Brasil de Surfe in Garopaba. - WSL / Daniel Smorigo

In the Men's division, Santiago Muniz (ARG) won his first-ever contest on the WSL Qualifying Series. Muniz has been on a rampage, making three consecutive Semifinal appearances. In the Final against an in-form Messias Felix (BRA), both athletes earned scoring rides by executing large outside turns on set waves before finishing off with explosive maneuvers on the inside section. Muniz ended with the upper hand, winning by a score of 13.17 to 10.90.

"I'd like to thank God for this opportunity, sending me those two waves that gave me a chance to surf my best," stated Muniz. "I'm really happy for getting this victory here because I've been coming down here since I was a grom, so it was a special win, for sure. But tomorrow we're off to another one, so let's keep it going," finished Muniz.

Santiago Muniz Santiago Muniz (ARG) blasting an air at the Circuito Banco do Brasil de Surfe in Garopaba. - WSL / Daniel Smorigo

With his win today, the Argentinian has jumped into the WSL South America 2022/23 regional rankings lead, overtaking his older brother, Alejo Muniz (BRA), who won the event in Argentina last week.

"I feel so happy for my brother too," continued Muniz. "He won in Argentina and was surfing crazy. We almost made the Final together, so I can only be thankful for everything that's been happening," concluded Muniz.

Messias Felix (BRA), who now resides in nearby Praia do Rosa, was also chaired up the beach by his local support crew.

"I have a bunch of friends here and it's a great feeling to have so much support, especially after being through so many ups and downs in my career. The Final against Santi was great, I ended up waiting too long for the set waves and I think I could have used the inside more to my advantage. But congrats to Santiago for the win and it feels great to be back on the podium," stated Felix.

Messias Felix Messias Felix (BRA) at the Circuito Banco do Brasil de Surfe in Garopaba. - WSL / Daniel Smorigo

The Circuito Banco do Brasil de Surfe is a three-part event series. After the inaugural event in Garopaba, the next stop is at Stella Maris, Bahia, from May 12 - 15, followed by a final stop in Ubatuba, São Paulo from August 25 -28. The circuit rankings leader upon conclusion of the series will be guaranteed a Wildcard spot into the Corona Saquarema Pro presented by Banco do Brasil in November 2022.

In addition to all the action in the ocean, several activations provided by Banco do Brasil have been set up along the beach at Ferrugem that include free surf lessons, yoga, beach tennis, artwork, a kid's area, native vegetation plantation and local shops that are run by Banco do Brasil clients. For more information, please got to WorldSurfLeague.com

Santiago Muniz and Taina Hinckel Event winners Santiago Muniz (ARG) and Tainá Hinckel (BRA) at the Circuito Banco do Brasil de Surfe. - WSL / Daniel Smorigo
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