Mike Stewart in the 2009 Viana Pro 

The second day of the Viana Pro got underway today in glassy 2 footers with the IBA Top 16 taking on the inform qualifiers.

In heat 1 Mike Stewart (Hawaii) snuck through with Rui Pereira (Portugal) dominating the sets waves.

“Wow, that was tough” said Stewart.

“When Joao Pinheiro got that last set I thought I was gone for sure. I am feeling pretty lucky” .

In the second heat the European Top 16 seeds were Hugo Pinheiro and Manuel Centeno (Portugal) and they both paddled for the same peak with Pinheiro picking up interference. Andre De Silva continued his giant killing run with a win and moved through with Centeno to tomorrow’s man on man heats.

Heat 3 was a torrid battle with the two former world champions Jeff Hubbard (Hawaii) & Damian King (Australia) prevailing over a determined Gastao Entrudo (Portugal) and Joao Neiva (Portugal).

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Damian King 

The Viana Pro got underway in some clean ½ - 1 mtr surf today and despite the smaller conditions the action was red hot.

This event carries 1000 IBA championship points for the winner and more importantly a perfect start to the 5 event European leg know as E5’09.

In heat 1 of the day Rita Pires (Portugal) could not find the right waves and was eliminated.

“Its not a problem” said the humble Pires. “The others found the better waves. It was still fun” she laughed. “ This is the first time for me to compete against the men on the IBA World Tour” said Pires.

The best performer of R1 was Andre De Silva (Portugal) who looked rock solid with big rolls and snappy spins to combo the field.

Damian King (Australia) and Benat Elosua (Spain) were the top scorers of the second round posting high 7’s on the top two rides.

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European Champion Rita Pires 

The Viana Pro starts today and around 100 of the worlds best riders have signed on to compete.

This event carries 1000 IBA championship points for the winner and more importantly a perfect start to the 5 event European leg know as E5’09.

One of the interesting tales in the early rounds will be the battle of the sexes when European surfing champion Rita Pires (Portugal) takes on the guys as the only female in the event.

“This is the first time for me to compete against the men on the IBA World Tour” said Pires.

“Its usual for me to compete against the Men on the National Tour. Last year I finished in 29th place on the ETB Men’s tour and in all honesty I think that I prefer to compete against the Men rather than the Women”

“ I don’t get as nervous when I surf against the Men because it’s not my normal division. I don’t worry, I just surf and have fun whereas against the women I think too much” .

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