It wasn’t a typical day of competition today, as the weak swell wasn’t offering any clear options to get the event running. After the 7.30 Am check-in for the remaining heats of round 1, the Buondi Billabong Pro got underway at Sao Juliao with heat 14 in clean 2 to 3 ft glassy waves.
Fist winner of the day, Dylan Graves (USA) opened the day in great form popping reverse air 360s on each of his best scoring waves to davance with a 13.34 pts two-wave combined heat score. Light and fast, the Puertorican surfer seemed at ease in the fast righthanders, leaving his closest follower Abdel El Harim in the need of a 7.21 to cath up.
“The waves are super fun, and I hope the swell gets a bit more consistent. I felt good in the conditions and it’s cool we have an option here at the beachbreak as the main site can’t really break today," said Graves.
As yesterday, the low tide was making the conditions hollower and faster, the competitors enjoying their heats and offering the crowd a very good quality show. Under a beating sun, officilas decided to run double banks and get as much heats as possible under the belt.
Amongst the best competitors of day 2, Brian Toth (PRI) found his rythm in round 1 to secure a solid 14.66 pts heat total over south african Keegan Nel (ZAF) in heat 19.
“I’m stoked I won my heat... I didn’t event know the scores as we were running on the south peak and it wasn’t that clear. I felt like I had surfed well but found out fiveminutes later only that I had made it. Just good for me, hope the swell picks up soon..." confessed Brian “Tothy" Toth (PRI).
Round 2 was sent out straight away, giving the next seeded surfers their start in the Buondi Billabong Pro. 20-year-old Brazilian Hizunome Bettero (BRA) lost no time to get on with his portuguese campaign, finding the best score of the day with an impressive 9 pts ride, before backing up his lead with a solid 6.43, to advance to round 3.
Well known for his explosive style and speed, Bettero was just at home in the small clean waves of Sao Juliao, and defeated former Foster’s ASP World Tour surfer Chris Davidson (AUS) with more than an 8 point lead. With the best score of the event at that time, Bettero could confidently strat focusing on his round 3 battle where he will face Greg Emslie (ZAF).
From California, young WQS soldier Brett Simpson (USA) dominated the third heat of round 2, blowing all records of the day with his cutsom made perfect style, getting a two-wave combined heat score of 16.16 pts out of possible 20.
“I wasnt’ really confident as the tide had filled in a lot before my heat... But I was lucky to surf the south peak and got the best waves of the heat. It’s a bit of a hassle to take off on the good sets but when you get them there’s definitely some potential if the tide allows it."
After a wave check around the area of Ericeira, contest director Antonio Pedro (PRT) decided to put the event on hold until a later call at the famous shallow point break of El Reef.
Four heats of round 2 have been held so far, and we hope to reach heat 12 later today and take advanatge of the outgoing tide. Due to all the changes in the schedule and locations, the Buondi Billabong Pro is running slowly but will soon get on fire as tomorrow looks really promissing.