- WSL / Daniel Smorigo

The Quarterfinalists have been determined at the World Surf League (WSL) Men's QS 5000 Hang Loose Pro Contest pres. by Eletron Energy. The consistent swell with solid waves in the 6 to 10 foot range resulted in high scores, heavy wipeouts and some incredible come-from-behind performances from the athletes competing in Fernando de Noronha, Brazil.

Despite not offering the usual barreling waves at Cacimba do Padre, massive walls and insane close out sections tested the fortitude of the athletes on Saturday. Lucas Silveira (BRA), who has a history of sending it when waves are maxing out, displayed a stellar performance in Heat 3 of the Round of 16. Silveira executed flawless carves on the huge lefthanders he caught, earning a 7.83 and a 7.67 from the judges on his two best waves for a 15.50 total, the highest of the day.

"That heat was a lot of fun, the waves are really big and it's rare to have conditions like this for a contest," said Silveira. "Not even in Hawaii do you always get that chance, so I've just been trying to take advantage of this opportunity because these are the types of waves I like to surf. And it seems like it might get even bigger tomorrow, so I'm stoked for this historic run of swell."

Lucas Silveira Lucas Silveira (BRA) on one of the best waves of the day at the Hang Loose Pro Contest. - WSL / Daniel Smorigo

In the following heat, Leo Casal (BRA) also took advantage of the overhead conditions to display some of the most powerful maneuvers of the event. Both of his highest scoring waves were off of only one maneuver, but his commitment in critical sections earned him the highest single wave score of the day for an 8.17. Casal backed that up with a 7.10 for a 15.17 total.

"I feel like that was the best heat of my life. I was just so stoked out there, the waves were incredible and my adrenaline is going crazy," said Casal. "The waves are breaking way farther out than they normally do. There's this crazy big roll in and then once it hits the reef the wave just doubles up and you can get the barrel of your life, or completely annihilated."

Leo Casal The lineup at Cacimba do Padre for the Hang Loose Pro Contest. - WSL / Daniel Smorigo

Miguel Tudela Claims Regional Title

After winning five of the five Qualifying Series events he entered into, Miguel Tudela (PER) had a commanding lead in the regional rankings. However, Tudela entered 2023 with a knee injury and has been sidelined from competition.

Despite his lead, Ian Gouveia (BRA) had the chance to overtake Tudela if he should win both the Hang Loose Pro QS 5000 and the last event of the WSL South America 2022/23 season, the QS 3000 LayBack Pro in Florianópolis, Brazil.

With Gouveia's elimination today, Tudela has officially guaranteed his regional title and will now lead the South American charge for the 2023 WSL Challenger Series. Only the top 8 surfers of the regional rankings will make the cut for the Challenger Series, the only pathway to the WSL Championship Tour and a chance at the World Title via the Rip Curl WSL Finals.

Finals Day Set for Sunday

A call is set for 8:00 AM (GMT-2) for continuation of the Hang Loose Pro Contest pres. by Eletron Energy. Heat of the Quarterfinals will see the young Peruvian Gabriel Arturo Vargas (PER) facing up against Marco Giorgi (URY). Heat 2 will see Gabriel Klaussner (BRA) against veteran surfer Paulo Moura (BRA). The following heat will feature Lucas Silveira (BRA) against the fiery Leandro Usuna (ARG) and the final Quarterfinal heat will see Luel Felipe (BRA) against Leo Casal (BRA).

Hang Loose Pro Contest 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.

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