- WSL / Daniel Smorigo

The Men's QS 5000 Hang Loose Pro Contest pres. by Eletron Energy, the second-to-last stop of the World Surf League (WSL) South America Qualifying Series 2022/23 season, got off to a quick start at Cacimba do Padre, on the remote archipelago of Fernando de Noronha. Only four heats of the opening round took place on Tuesday, but a solid forecast with waves in the 6 - 10 foot range are on tap for the remainder of the event window, which is set for February 28 - March 5.

Former Championship Tour (CT) athletes did well in the initial heats, featuring veteran tuberider Paulo Moura (BRA), who squeezed out of some barrels to advance in second place behind Madson Costa (BRA), with both moving into the Round of 64.

Paulo Moura Paulo Moura - WSL / Daniel Smorigo

"It feels great to get to a good start at a contest, especially one that is so prestigious as the Hang Loose Pro here in Noronha," said Moura. "Even though the waves aren't spectacular, it's still good to get some barrels and advance, especially since the forecast looks so good, so hopefully we'll have a good show on our hands this week." Other veteran surfers that have spent time on the CT and advanced out of the opening rounds were Bernardo Pigmeu (BRA), who was part of the CT in 2007, as well as a more recent participant, Peterson Crisanto (BRA), who competed on the CT in 2021, and made a last-minute flight to take one of the final spots of the heat draw at the Hang Loose Pro.

"Thankfully everything worked out in the end. I wasn't even going to compete at this event, but I got the green light right at the last moment, arrived this morning and came straight to the event site," said Crisanto. "So now I'm pretty exhausted after the long flights, lay overs and going straight into the competition. But making it through to the next round makes it all worthwhile, so now I can rest up and get ready for tomorrow."

Peterson Crisanto Peterson Crisanto (BRA) made a last-minute flight and advanced into the Round of 64 at the Hang Loose Pro Contest Event Site. - WSL / Daniel Smorigo

Despite the subpar conditions for Fernando de Noronha on Tuesday, a solid swell is scheduled to arrive overnight and is creating a buzz amongst the competitors. Several other former CT athletes are in the Round of 64 bracket and include Deivid Silva (BRA) and Ian Gouveia (BRA), who is substituting Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) who was not able to make his flight.

The 2022/23 WSL South America Regional Championship Title is still up for grabs. Current rankings leader Miguel Tudela (PER) has a commanding lead, but recently injured his knee and was unable to compete in Noronha. Depending on Gouveia's results, the title decision will be made at the final QS stop which is scheduled for next week in Florianópolis, Brazil. Only the top 8 surfers of the regional ranking will qualify for the 2023 WSL Challenger Series, the only pathway to the elite Championship Tour.

A call is set for 8:00 AM (GMT-2) on Wednesday for the opening heats of the Round of 64. Heat 1 will feature Deivid Silva (BRA) facing up against Alan Jhones (BRA), Tomas Lopez Moreno (ARG) and Paulo Moura (BRA). For more information, visit WorldSurfLeague.com

Hang Loose Pro Contest The Event Site at the Hang Loose Pro Contest in Fernando de Noronha, Brazil - WSL / Daniel Smorigo

The Hang Loose Pro Contest presented by Eletron Energy in Fernando de Noronha is sponsored by Hang Loose, Eletron Energy, the State of Pernambuco and is supported by Waves.com.

COMPLETED ROUND OF 72: HEAT 1: 1-Paulo Moura (BRA), 2-Madson Costa (BRA), 3-Santiago Medeiro (URU), 4-Gustavo Henrique (BRA)
HEAT 2: 1-Bernardo Pigmeu (BRA), 2-Francisco Junior (BRA), 3-Luan Carvalho (BRA), 4-Pedro Amorim (BRA)
HEAT 3: 1-Luan Ferreyra (BRA), 2-Vinicius Parra (BRA), 3-Ayrton Mikael (BRA), 4-Halley Batista (BRA)
HEAT 4: 1-Peterson Crisanto (BRA), 2-Caio Souza (BRA), 3-Bruno Bussolo (BRA), 4-Brainer Silva (BRA)

UPCOMING ROUND OF 64: HEAT 1: Deivid Silva (BRA), Alan Jhones (BRA), Tomas Lopez Moreno (ARG), Paulo Moura (BRA)
HEAT 2: Igor Moraes (BRA), Francisco Bellorin (VEN), Israel Junior (BRA), Samuel Joquinha (BRA)
HEAT 3: Rafael Teixeira (BRA), Gabriel Arturo Vargas (PER), Uriel Sposaro (BRA), Bernardo Pigmeu (BRA)
HEAT 4: Ryan Kainalo (BRA), Douglas Silva (BRA), Mateus Sena (BRA), Adailton Santos (BRA)
HEAT 5: Santiago Muniz (ARG), Franco Radziunas (ARG), Diego Aguiar (BRA), Luan Ferreyra (BRA)
HEAT 6: Weslley Dantas (BRA), Valentin Neves (BRA), Marco Giorgi (URU), Cauet Frazão (BRA)
HEAT 7: Eduardo Motta (BRA), Caio Costa (BRA), Cauã Costa (BRA), Peterson Crisanto (BRA)
HEAT 8: Heitor Mueller (BRA), Gabriel Klaussner (BRA), Takeshi Oyama (BRA), José Binz (BRA)
HEAT 9: Lucas Silveira (BRA), Manuel Selman (CHL), Alonso Correa (PER), Madson Costa (BRA)
HEAT 10: Vitor Ferreira (BRA), Gabriel André (BRA), Kaue Germano (BRA), Kayan Medeiros (BRA)
HEAT 11: Ian Gouveia (BRA), Eric Bahia (BRA), Sebastian Olarte (URU), Francisco Junior (BRA)
HEAT 12: Nacho Gundesen (ARG), Leandro Usuna (ARG), Guilherme Carvalho (BRA), Patrick Tamberg (BRA)
HEAT 13: Matheus Navarro (BRA), Leo Casal (BRA), Pedro Neves (BRA), Vinicius Parra (BRA)
HEAT 14: Samuel Igo (BRA), Krystian Kymerson (BRA), Cauã Gonçalves (BRA), José Francisco (BRA)
HEAT 15: Luel Felipe (BRA), Rodrigo Saldanha (BRA), Philippe Neves (BRA), Caio Souza (BRA)
HEAT 16: Guillermo Satt (CHL), Lucas Vicente (BRA), Luan Hanada (BRA), Ivo Gothardo (BRA)

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