- WSL / Daniel Smorigo

On Sunday, Lucas Silveira (BRA) defeated veteran surfer Paulo Moura (BRA) to win the World Surf League (WSL) Men's QS 5000 Hang Loose Pro Contest pres. by Eletron Energy in pumping conditions at Cacimba do Padre in Fernando de Noronha, Brazil. With his victory, Silveira jumped into 3rd on the WSL South America regional rankings and is one step closer to qualification on to the 2023 WSL Challenger Series.

Lucas Silveira Event winner Lucas Silveira (BRA) at the Hang Loose Pro Contest. - WSL / Daniel Smorigo

"It feels really special to win such an iconic event," said Silveira. "Before coming here, I tried to watch as many videos as I could of past editions, just trying to get a sense of the waves and this week ended up being one of the contests with the biggest swells ever. I knew Paulo (Moura) could've gotten a 10 at any time in the Final, so I'm super happy that everything worked out and I won the event." Silveira, who is currently without a major sponsor, elaborated on his mindset before arriving in Fernando de Noronha.

"It was all very emotional because the gym where I work out has a 3rd place trophy of Ricardinho (Ricardo dos Santos, in memoriam) and after each workout I would keep looking at the trophy and imagining what the 1st place one would look like. It leaves me speechless to win one of the most important events in Brazil," concluded Silveira.

Lucas Silveira Lucas Silveira (BRA) with his 1st place trophy at the Hang Loose Pro Contest. - WSL / Daniel Smorigo

Moura, who first competed at the Hang Loose Pro over twenty years ago, has been a mainstay at the event, missing only two editions out of the sixteen competitions held at Cacimba do Padre.

"I'm really happy, but a little disappointed at the same time because to make the Final in Noronha has always been a dream of mine," said Moura. "I was trying to find a barrel to come from behind, but he got solid scores and chose the best waves in the heat. I felt like I caught some of the best barrels of the event and even though I didn't win, I dedicate this result to my family and the entire community here in Noronha that have always made me feel at home."

Despite pumping conditions throughout the week, conditions deteriorated during the Final, with tides and currents affecting the lineup. Regardless of the conditions, Silveira confirmed his victory with solid backhand surfing on the punchy lefthanders of Cacimba do Padre by a final score of 9.83 to 3.23 respectively.

Paulo Moura Event runner-up Paulo Moura (BRA) at the Hang Loose Pro Contest in Fernando de Noronha, Brazil. - WSL / Daniel Smorigo


The QS 5000 Hang Loose Pro Contest was the second-to-last event of the 2022/23 WSL South America season. The final event is scheduled to begin on March 8 in Florianópolis, Brazil for the Men's and Women's QS 3000 LayBack Pro. Upon conclusion, the top 8 Men and 4 Women in the regional rankings will qualify for the 2023 Challenger Series, the only pathway to the WSL Championship Tour.With the 5,000 ranking points on offer in Noronha, a serious shake up took place. Leo Casal (BRA) who finished equal 3rd jumped from 29th to 13th. Marco Giorgi (URY) who also had a Semifinal result went from 60th to 19th on the ranking. However, the only athlete that claimed a spot in the top 8 was Silveira, who skyrocketed from 32nd to 3rd and has practically guaranteed a spot on the Challenger Series.

The other seven athletes currently in the top 8 are: Miguel Tudela (PER) in 1st, Ian Gouveia (BRA) in 2nd, Rafael Teixeira (BRA) in 4th, Guillermo Satt (CHL) sits in 5th, Ryan Kainalo (BRA) is in 6th, José Gundesen (ARG) is in 7th and Weslley Dantas (BRA) rounds out the list in 8th.

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