Brazil’s Italo Ferreira to face other Euro threat Maxime Huscenot when the event recommences. Credit: © ASP/Poullenot
With conditions deteriorating to a very challenging bumpy 2-to-3-foot surf for a short day of action at the Azores Prime, reigning European Junior Champion Leonardo Fioravanti continued his recent winning roll with the biggest surprise of the day, defeating Pat Gudauskas to advance into the quarters of his first-ever Prime event.
“I’m so stoked, that was such a hard heat,” the 16-year-old Italian said. “The waves weren’t that good but I told myself I had to give everything anyway. I’m on a roll at the moment, I’m just enjoying myself out there and it seems to be paying off.”
Sitting in the lineup for over half of the 30-minute exchange without surfing a wave, Fioravanti’s focus eventually allowed him to seize the only two opportunities to come his way. Catching a final wave on the buzzer, the high-flying regular-footer put it all on the line to take the win.
“I told myself I was going to have to be patient, Pat’s such a good surfer I really needed to be on the best two waves of the heat,” Fioravanti added. “I waited super long for the first one, and that last wave felt like it would never come, but thankfully I got it right before the horn.”
Unfortuntaely Portuguese local hero Vasco Ribeiro didn’t enjoy the same luck, falling to Brazil’s explosive Tomas Hermes.
“Conditions have changed everyday, we’ve had big, medium and small waves, clean and sometimes not so, on the QS you have to be able to adapt and surf it all,” Hermes commented. “I’m prepared and feeling great so I’ll take it heat by heat and see how far this takes me.”
Currently sitting in 11th position on the QS rankings, Hermes finds himself in an ideal position for his world tour campaign, hoping to go back-to-back in the Azores after his victory here last year.
But other Euros still to compete in the remaining Round 5 heats include Maxime Huscenot and Joan Duru, who’ll no doubt be looking to capitalise on their home turf advantage.
UPCOMING SATA AZORES PRO QUARTERFINAL MATCHUPS:
QF 1: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) vs. Jesse Mendes (BRA)
QF 2: Ricardo Christie (NZL) vs. Tomas Hermes (BRA)
QF 3: TBD
QF 4: TBD
REMAINING SATA AZORES PRO ROUND 5 MATCHUPS:
Heat 5: Maxime Huscenot (FRA) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)
Heat 6: Joan Duru (FRA) vs. Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Heat 7: Yadin Nicol (AUS) vs. Beyrick De Vries (ZAF)
Heat 8: Brett Simpson (USA) vs. Michael Dunphy (USA)
SATA AZORES PRO ROUND 5 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 11.57 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 10.57
Heat 2: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 13.90 def. Jack Freestone (AUS) 11.43
Heat 3: Ricardo Christie (NZL) 14.00 def. Matt Banting (AUS) 12.73
Heat 4: Tomas Hermes (BRA) 11.43 def. Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 6.10
SATA AZORES PRO ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 13.17 def. Frederico Morais (PRT) 9.90
Heat 2: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 13.00 vs. Nathan Hedge (AUS) 8.63
Heat 3: Matt Banting (AUS) 15.16 def. Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 10.40
Heat 4: Tomas Hermes (BRA) 14.23 def. Santiago Muniz (ARG) 13.27
Heat 5: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 11.50 def. Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 9.17
Heat 6: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 14.17 def. Mitchel Coleborn (AUS) 9.90
Heat 7: Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 10.50 def. Keanu Asing (HAW) 8.54
Heat 8: Michael Dunphy (USA) 12.54 def. Cooper Chapman (AUS) 12.17