The event's top seeds hit the water on Friday at the World Surf League (WSL) Men's and Women's QS 1000 Circuito Banco do Brasil de Surfe at Praia de Stella Maris in Bahia, Brazil. High scores were awarded throughout the day, but no one surpassed the records established by Tainá Hinckel (BRA) and Alan Jhones (BRA). A call is set for 8:00 a.m. (GMT-3) for continuation of the competition on Saturday which can be watched live on the WSL Brasil profile on TikTok, as well as on WorldSurfLeague.com and the WSL app.
The action began with the current WSL South America rankings leader Tainá Hinckel (BRA), who earned an 8.33 and a 7.17 on her two best rides for a 15.50 total on the clean 2-3 foot waves in the tropical waters of Praia de Stella Maris.
"It feels great being back here in Bahia, I'm stoked I found those two good waves. I felt like I surfed well and happy that I advanced," said Hinckel. "I really like coming here and I always have fun, the water is warm and I just want to do my job, surf well and make it through heats. I'm here with my Dad, who is also having a blast, it feels like summer, plenty of coconut water, so it's been a great trip all around."
The 19-year-old Hinckel already has two WSL South America Pro Junior Titles under her belt and just won her first Qualifying Series (QS) event at the first stop of the Circuito Banco do Brasil de Surfe held in Garopaba, Santa Catarina. In addition to leading the regional rankings, Hinckel is also leading the Circuito Banco do Brasil de Surfe series rankings, which will guarantee a spot on the Challenger Series event held in Brazil in November.
"Without a doubt, getting a chance to compete on the Challenger Series is one of my goals this year," continued Hinckel. "Last year, I wasn't able to achieve this goal, but that's ok, it's all part of the process. This year I feel like I'm super focused and I've been training hard, but I just want to surf well in my heats, do my best and the results will come with that," finished off Hinckel.
Veteran surfer Silvana Lima (BRA), who is a BB Asset Management athlete, also began the day with a victory and advanced alongside Julia Santos (BRA), eliminating Catalina Mercere (BRA) and Deyse Costa (BRA).
"I'm happy to be back in Bahia, the waves are really fun and Stella Maris never lets us down," said Lima. "Even though it's kind of small, the waves still pack a punch and I'm happy that I made it through to the Quarterfinals. This surf series that's being produced by Banco do Brasil is incredible. It's great that the young girls are getting a chance to surf on the QS. There aren't a lot of events in Bahia, so this is a great opportunity for them," completed Lima.
In the men's division, Alan Jhones (BRA) was on rampage, throwing frontside airs and powerful hacks to earn a 9.00 on his best ride and a 7.67 backup score for a 16.67 heat total, setting the highest single wave and heat total scores of the Circuito Banco do Brasil de Surfe series.
"I've always wanted to get a good result here in Bahia, which is a place that is very similar to my hometown of Baía Formosa," said Jhones, referring to the same home break of the 2019 WSL World Champion Italo Ferreira. "I feel super comfortable here, I came here determined and everything has been falling into place. I have a new sponsor, I'm feeling good and it seems like I'm in a good groove."
The Circuito Banco do Brasil de Surfe is brought to you by Banco do Brasil and BB Asset Management and has the support of the City of Salvador and Radio Salvador FM. The event is broadcast live on TikTok, WorldSurfLeague.com and the WSL App.