Mike Stewart keeps the dream moving 

The third day of the Viana Pro had a late start as a localized sea mist made identifying the riders virtually impossible.

The event was up to the man-on-man stage so organizers decided to offer the competitors a 25-minute time frame to select the best waves.
Its mid Summer here in Europe and the beaches are packed by lunchtime so an army of hardcore spectators lined the beaches for the day creating a great atmosphere.

The first heat was a classic. Portugals favourite son Manuel Centeno got an early lead on Rui Pereira and looked on-song for the quarters until Rui pulled an 8.0 out of the bag and claimed victory. Exit Centeno.

The next heat was equally as entertaining as Mike Stewart got off to a great start on Portugals Andre De Silva. De Silva almost got back on track but Mike used his tactical skills to secure a win. Andre was one of the form riders going into the round and turned a lot of heads with his snappy style and will be sure to be a star of the future.

Heat 3 was saw Jeff Hubbard (Hawaii) eliminated by an in-form Pierre Louis Costes (France) with Pierre selecting the superior waves to rack up the bigger points.

Read more ...

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).

Read more ...

Damian King

The Viana Pro got underway in some clean 1/2 - 1 meter 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.

Read more ...