- WSL / Luiz Blanco

Due to an unfavorable forecast, Finals Day has been anticipated for tomorrow at the World Surf League (WSL) Men's and Women's QS 1000 LayBack Pro Rio at the environmental sanctuary known as Prainha, in Rio de Janeiro. Saturday will begin with the Men's Quarterfinals at 8:00 a.m. (GMT-3), followed by the Women's Semifinals and will culminate with the awards ceremony in the early afternoon. Watch all the action LIVE at WorldSurfLeague.com

The Women's division is stacked with some of the best regional surfers in South America. Summer Macedo (BRA) will face Yasmin Neves (BRA), while Tainá Hinckel (BRA) will be up against Peruvian Daniella Rosas (PER), who won the LayBack Pro earlier in the year in Florianópolis. Rosas had the highest scores of the day, taking out veteran surfer Silvana Lima (BRA) in Heat 2 of the Quarterfinals.

"Conditions have changed a lot this afternoon and it was kind of hard to find the best waves. Luckily, I found two good ones in my heat and I'm super happy to make it to Finals Day," said Rosas. "For me, Silvana is one of the best surfers from Brazil, if not the best. She surfs so well, she has a full repertoire of maneuvers and is always a savvy competitor, so to face her is always a challenge."

Daniella Rosas Daniella Rosas (PER) had an outstanding performance on Day 3 of the LayBack Pro at Prainha in Rio de Janeiro. - WSL / Luiz Blanco

Her opponent in the Semifinals will be Tainá Hinckel, who has been on a tear this season. Hinckel is coming off a win at the Circuito Banco do Brasil de Surfe held in Garopaba and currently sits in 4th place on the regional rankings, which guarantees a spot onto the 2023 Challenger Series.

"This is my first time competing at Prainha, but it's a place I really enjoy surfing. It's beautiful here and Rio is one of my favorite places to visit, so I'm happy that I made it to Finals Day," said Hinckel. "My dad (Carlos Kxote) told me he already won a contest here, so it would be amazing to do the same."

Taina Hinckel Tainá Hinckel (BRA) at the LayBack Pro at Prainha in Rio de Janeiro. - WSL / Luiz Blanco

In the Men's division, the top two surfers predicted to win the LayBack Pro Rio are Ryan Kainalo (BRA) and João Chianca (BRA). Kainalo is part of the latest generation of high-flying Brazilians and also sits well within qualification of the 2023 Challenger Series in 4th place on the rankings. On Friday, Kainalo earned a 9.00 on a sick air and added a solid back up score for a 16.33 heat total.

"It felt really great to start the day with a good heat win. I got some good scores and it felt really good to stick that air," said Kainalo. "Conditions are really different today, it had been more consistent, but there are still some good ones out there and I'm glad that I advanced."

Ryan Kainalo Ryan Kainalo (BRA) at the LayBack Pro at Prainha in Rio de Janeiro. - WSL / Luiz Blanco

However, it was the surfer from Saquarema, João Chianca (BRA), who took top honors on the day, setting the scoring record at the LayBack Pro Rio with a 17.47 heat total, earning an 8.87 and an 8.60 on his best rides on two lefthanders.

"During my girlfriend's heat (Summer Macedo - BRA), I told her to trust me and surf the lefts near the point," said Chianca. "I took my own advice and paddled straight over there because the second the contest started, I said that I needed to believe more in my decisions. I ended up surfing well, my strategy worked out and I'm stoked to make it to Finals Day."

Joao Chianca João Chianca (BRA) took the day's top honors at the Men's QS 1000 LayBack Pro Rio at Prainha in Rio de Janeiro. - WSL / Luiz Blanco

In addition to all the action in the water, the LayBack Pro has a wide array of activities scheduled for the event window including Jiu-Jitsu sessions, skateboard demos, a local beach market and a variety of educational and environmental preservation activations throughout the week at Prainha.

The LayBack Pro Rio is produced by Agência Esporte & Arte (AEA) and is sanctioned by WSL Latin America to run this stage of the WSL Qualifying Series. The event is approved by the FESERJ (Rio de Janeiro State Surfing Federation), and is presented by Bar 399 and sponsored by the City of Rio de Janeiro, Corona and Metha Energia; with additional support from ASAP (Association of Surfers and Friends of Prainha), BOLD Snacks, Orla Rio, Monster Energy, RIOZEN Toyota and Waves.com.br. The event is broadcast by FIRMA and can be seen on all WorldSurfLeague.com platforms.

Layback Pro Rio The event site and beach market at the LayBack Pro at Prainha in Rio de Janeiro. - WSL / Luiz Blanco
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