GUARUJA, Brazil — Hot on the heels of the Billabong Surf ECO Festival in sunny Bahia, the second Association of Surfing Professionals World Qualifying Series 5-Star in as many weeks, the Local Motion Guarja Surf Pro began competition yesterday with good 5-to 6-feet surf at Pitangueiras Beach, Brazil.
Opening day of competition saw 12 heats of the trials with 26 surfers competing to fill eight remaining spots in the event.
Trials standout was Pedro Norberto, scoring 9.53 out of a possible 10 en route to the day’s high heat total of a 17.36 out of possible 20. Unfortunately Norberto was eliminated by Saulo Junior and Eric Miyakawa, who qualified for the main event.
“I’m so lucky to find the right waves on this heat,” Miyakawa said. “It’s kind of hard to surf these conditions but they’re not that bad. There are many guys that sit out of the competitions and can win contests, so I’m here waiting for my time.”
Brazil’s Giovani Ferranti, Andrew Serrano, Nathan Brandi from Guaruja and Jole Leandro from Ubatuba also qualified for the main event. The 16-year-old, Brandi, was only 4 years old when Guaruja hosted the ASP World Tour for the last time in 1996.
“This is my first ASP WQS and being at home is way more cool and I hope the waves are still coming to me to advance on the competition,” Bandi said. “There are many waves, but strong winds arise in my heat and I had some difficulties on that. But, the forecast is good for the week and I think it’s going to get better.”
The City Hall of Guaruja has been strongly invested in getting the ASP World Tour back to Guaruja, putting a strong security with the Military Police and the Municipal Guard watching the Pitangueiras Beach and Enseada Beach, to guarantee the tranquility of the surfers, press and everyone involved on the event, including the people that coming to watch the event.
Round 1 will be start at 8 a.m., today, and will see the heavy Brazilian contingent at the Local Motion Guaruja Surf Pro square off against internationals such as Alex Kamkoff of Venezuela, Brandon Jackson of New Zealand, Patrick Furlotti of Hawai‘i, Sterling Spencer and Chad Compton.