SAQUAREMA, Rio de Janeiro (Tuesday, July 14, 2009) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Coca-Cola Saquarema Pro pres. by Rip Curl saw the opening day of the first day of the event in the great waves of Itauna Beach at Saquarema City. The morning started with blue sky in the “Surf City” of Saquarema and clean waves of two-to-three foot (0.5-1 metre), but with the strong southwest wind in the afternoon, the conditions changed and the competition stopped at the 16th heat of Round of 144.
Brazilian Yam Guimarães, 23, grasped the day’s highest scores for a combined heat total of 15.50 out of 20 in the eleventh heat of the Coca-Cola Saquarema Pro. Yam crushed the day’s highest single-wave score when he annihilated an Itauna lefthander earning a 8.33 out of 10. The talented Brazilian then capitalized on a beautiful righthand wall and scored a 7.17.
“Was great,” Guimarães said. “Although the waves are really small then yesterday I had luck to find good waves to win the heat. I was very sick this morning, with fever, I even asked to transfer my heat. But I decided to compete and it was good that I came. These types of waves, small and messy is not my strong point, but I’m at home and I know this wave very well. I hope that the waves rise in the coming days to improve my surfing too.”
A total of 144 surfers from 16 countries signed up to contest the$ 145,000 total prize money in the ASP WQS 6-Star Coca-Cola Saquarema Pro. Most are from Brazil, with the largest contingent of international surfers in Itauna are from Australia, with 17 athletes, followed by the United States (14), South Africa (5), France (4), Spain (2), Tahiti (2) , New Zealand (2), Chile (2), Mexico (2), Hawaii (1), Japan (1), Portugal (1), Puerto Rico (1), Argentina (1) and Uruguay (1). Some of them, have already competed on the first day and the first to win was the Australian Brent Dorrington.
“My heat was alright,” Dorrington said. “It’s a good start for me. I had a few fun waves. My first left was pretty good. I got a 7 and then I found another right and moved on. I’m enyoing here. Yesterday, when we arrived, was totally different. The waves were big and I used a bigger board and today is a little bit small but still a very fun wave.”
The Australian attack continued when Lincoln Taylor won his heat at Coca-Cola Saquarema Pro pres. by Rip Curl over American Bruno Rodrigues (2nd), Brazilian Cristiano Spirro (3rd) and the surfer from Mexico Oscar Davo (4th). Taylor also commented about the his first heat at the event.
“I feel good,” Taylor said. “I didn’t go well at Florianopolis last week, so i’ts always good to find some scores out there and have a little fun. The waves are okay. It’s not what I expected, but the sun is out and the weather is good, which is great for a surf contest.”
South-African Royden Bryson was another international surfer who advanced to the Round of 96 of the Coca-Cola Saquarema Pro pres. by Rip Curl after finishiing in second in a heat with just a few waves.
“The heat was really difficult, nobody was catching the waves,” Bryson said. “Fortunately, I found a good left in the end to secure my position, so I think I was lucky and the other guys couldn’t do anything. I arrived on Sunday and the waves were big and very difficult to surf. This wave seems to be very good. I hope that the swell will increase for the rest of the week and we can see big lefts again.”
After the onshore winds increased and the waves become very messy, the Contest Director Coca-Cola Saquarema Pro pres. by Rip Curl decided to stop competition on Heat 16, when Australian Luke Campbell won the last heat of the day.
“It’s pretty windy out there but still some waves,” Campbell said. “Yesterday was bigger than today, but in the morning, we had some clean waves, but now, with the onshore wind, it’s really messy. The Brazilians are good competitors, really determined and it’s not easy to surf against them here in Brazil.”