The ASP 6-Star SATA Airlines Azores Pro will return in September 2012, with the men's division running from 4-9 September  and welcoming a larger field of surfers than previous  years thanks to its new 6-star raiting:

"The event rating this year is 6-Star which opens the format to a maximun of 144 surfers" said Rob Gunning, ASP Europe's Tour Manager. "This increase means more opportunities for not only European surfers but also visiting International surfers to gain valuable rankings points in the second half of the season before the all important Hawaiian leg of events at year's end."

Mobile on the the beautiful island of Sao Miguel, the SATA Airlines Azores Pro will have the possibility to run on different banks along the beautiful beach of Praia do Santa Barbara depending on the conditions on offer throughout the competition.

With the women's event benefitting from its own waiting period, organizers will be able to ensure the girls contest, the final one for the year, doesn't play second fiddle to the men's:

"ASP Europe is proud to continue it’s support of the women’s tour and offer all competitors the best possible opportunities to compete and reach their goals of being on the ASP World Tour", stated Rob Gunning. "The SATA Azores Island Pro will be an extremely important event to finish off the 2012 ASP Women’s Star Tour. Spots will be up for grabs for qualification to the ASP Women’s World Tour in 2013 and with the exotic back drop of the island of Sao Miguel and its excellent waves in September the stage is set for a great event."

France's Pauline Ado who has competed regularly in the Azores added, "It's the third time we get to surf there and the black sanded beaches of Sao Miguel have an excellent potential for powerful and hollow waves like we saw last year for the Men's event... It's a superb island and we usually all get to escape a little and visit the volcanic areas and warm water sources within the island. This year it'll probably end the Qualifying series so this will be a very important event for both surfers trying to qualify for the World Tour and European surfers after the Regional Title !"