PUNTA ROCA, La Libertad/El Salvador (Sunday, July 14, 2013) - Peterson Crisanto (BRA), 21, has won the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 6-Star Reef Pro El Salvador over Josh Kerr (AUS), 28, in dominant fashion, earning his first major victory in clean four-to-six foot waves at the world-class righthand pointbreak of Punta Roca.
Crisanto, who was a standout throughout the entirety of the Reef Pro El Salvador, returned to form on the final day of competition, dismantling the flawless walls of Punta Roca with incredible poise and variety on his forehand. Crisanto would maintain his rhythm on the Final day, besting ASP WCT veteran Fred Patacchia (HAW), 31, in the Semifinals and would go on to command the wave-starved Final against Kerr, earning an 8.60 and 7.83 for the win.
"This is my first ASP 6-Star event win," Crisanto said. "I've been training really hard and before this event I went to Mexico and trained on the right points there. I'm so stoked to get my first win. I'm shaking right now, I can't believe I won!"
The Reef Pro El Salvador represents a breakthrough result for the ASP World Junior Tour Standout and Crisanto hopes to carry the confidence earned in El Salvador towards his future ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) qualification campaign.
"I'm so proud to have won the way that I did because I had to beat guys that were on the WCT," Crisanto said. "I just focused on my surfing and my confidence now is 100 percent. I'm going to keep training and hope to get a good result in the U.S. Open."
Josh Kerr, top seed at the Reef Pro El Salvador and current ASP World No. 9, was one to watch in each round, commanding several heats on his way to the Final. Kerr would top ASP World Junior Champion Caio Ibelli (BRA), 20, and [Wade Carmichael] (/athletes/2817/wade-carmichael)(AUS), 20 on his way to the Final, but was unable to surpass Crisanto's rampage finishing runner-up.
"It's a long way to the final and it's tough to lose, but it was definitely a good event," Kerr said. "It's such a sick wave and it's too bad the waves didn't show up for the final. It slowed down so much and it was kind of pumping just before the final. It was a sick event. It's my first time to El Salvador and the place is amazing."
Wade Carmichael (AUS), 20, winner of last week's ASP 4-Star Surf Open Acapulco, continued his tear through Latin America with another big result at the Reef Pro El Salvador. The Australian nearly earned a second consecutive final appearance, but would fall short in a close heat against Josh Kerr to finish equal 3rd overall.
"My Central American trip went so well and I'm happy with it," Carmichael said. "This wave is incredible, it's just perfect and I had a great time."
Fred Patacchia (HAW), 31, was lethal on his backhand throughout the Reef Pro El Salvador, consistently earning top scores throughout the event with impeccable wave selection and incredible execution. The ASP WCT veteran was stellar once again on the Final day, but was unable to surpass Peterson Crisanto in their Semifinals clash, finishing equal 3rd.
"I gave Peterson (Crisanto) priority at the start and I probably shouldn't have," Patacchia said. "I didn't think he was going to be that picky with his waves and he was pretty smart about his wave selection and it caught me off guard. I think I gave him a little too much breathing room and he took it and ran with him. Good on him. He surfed a great heat."
Patacchia, who was absent throughout the opening ASP WCT season due to an ankle injury, is building momentum throughout the back half of the year and hopes his result at the Reef Pro El Salvador is a sign of things to come.
"It feels great to know you can still do it and it's reassurance that the ankle is getting better," Patacchia said. "I'm stoked. I haven't surfed these kinds of waves in awhile, where you're doing five, six or even more turns on one wave with only two guys out and it was fun. That's really what I came down for and I had a blast."
Highlights for the Reef Pro El Salvador can be found via http://www.beachbyte.com/aspna/elsalvador13/