- WSL / Marcio David

The World Surf League (WSL) QS 3000 LayBack Pro pres. by Billabong, the final event of the 2022/23 WSL South America season began today in rippable 2-3 foot waves at Praia Mole, in Florianopolis, Brazil. Cauã Costa (BRA) performed brilliantly, earning the highest scores of the day, including an 8.17 (out of a possible 10 points) and a 15.17 heat total.

Costa combined skillful aerial maneuvers on his forehand on the rights at Praia Mole and added powerful backhand snaps on the lefts to set the highwater mark for scoring at the QS 3000 on Wednesday.

Caua Costa Cauã Costa (BRA) used aerial tactics to earn the day's highest scores at the LayBack Pro in Florianopolis, Brazil. - WSL / Marcio David

"The waves are a lot fun today at Mole, it's really rippable and thankfully I was able to find a bunch of good ones in my heat and advance," said Costa. "With the wind blowing from the northeast, it's perfect to do airs on the rights, so there were plenty of ramps in the lineup."

Costa however will have an uphill battle in the next round where he will face former Championship Tour (CT) surfer Deivid Silva (BRA) as well as Lucas Silveira (BRA), who is coming off a spectacular win at the QS 5000 in Fernando de Noronha last week.

Caua Costa Cauã Costa (BRA) looked sharp at Praia Mole for the LayBack Pro QS 3000 in Florianopolis, Brazil. - WSL / Marcio David


The LayBack Pro will determine the final list of athletes that will qualify for the 2023 WSL Challenger Series for the WSL South America region. For the Men, the top 7 ranked athletes, plus one WSL Wildcard, will compete for a chance to make it onto the CT in 2024.

Mateus Herdy (BRA) was named the regional Wildcard recipient. The other three athletes that have guaranteed a spot mathematically are: Miguel Tudela (PER), Ian Gouveia (BRA) and Lucas Silveira (BRA). Only four spots remain for the Men.

Several other qualification hopefuls advanced on Wednesday including Ryan Kainalo (BRA) who currently sits in 6th on the rankings.

Ryan Kainalo Ryan Kainalo (BRA) is seeking for Challenger Series qualification at the LayBack Pro QS 3000 in Florianopolis, Brazil. - WSL / Marcio David

"I feel very focused and not really think about points, rankings and other things. My goal is to do my job in the water and the results will come from that," said Kainalo. "In Noronha, all I could think about was the rankings and making it onto the Challenger Series and I ended up having a bad result. So I'm switching up my mentality here. Plus the waves at Mole suit my style, you can be really progressive, so I'm confident I can do well here."

The Women's QS 3000 was called OFF for the day and can potentially run tomorrow following completion of the Men's Round of 64. In Heat 1 for the women, Daniella Rosas (PER) will face up against Brazilians Julia Duarte (BRA) and Kemily Sampaio (BRA).

A call set for an 8:00 AM (GMT-3) start time on Thursday. There is sure to be additional shake-ups in the rankings throughout the event window which runs from March 8 - 12. For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com

The LayBack Pro presented by Billabong is sponsored by the City of Florianopolis, Oakberry and Corona, with the support of NEW ERA, Evoke, The Search House, BVIP Bank, Sehat, Hotel Selina, Nova Era Fera, the Praia Mole Surf Association (ASPM) and media partnership with waves.com.br

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