On a beautiful Thursday of sunshine and good waves in the three-to-five foot (1.5 metre) range, the Billabong Pro Ladies Costao do Santinho determined the Semifinalists that will decide the title on the 12th stop of the ASP WQS Women’s Tour on Saturday in Florianopolis (SC).
The first heat will be a true classic of brazilian surfers between the experienced Brazilians Jacqueline Silva and Tita Tavares. Already the other Semifinal will be a dispute between the young surfers Paige Hareb from New Zealand and Silvana Lima also from Brazil.
With the classification into the Semifinals, Silvana Lima has already secureded the title of ASP South American Champion at Costao do Santinho, even before the final stop of the 2008 ASP South America Tour in Arpoador Beach next week at Rio de Janeiro.
"Only yesterday (Wednesday) I saw on the internet that I was in the fight for the title and all South American title is important and nice to win, then I am very happy," Lima said. "It is like a prize for being the best surfer in the three stops of Billabong events in Brazil, so I’m representing very well my sponsor."
Silvana also commented about the tough heat against a former ASP World Tour surfer, the Australian Claire Bevilacqua, who remained tied with the Hawaiian Bethany Hamilton in tenth place on the ASP WQS ranking that is sorting through the ninth to the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour.
"If you give soft, she leads," Lima said. "She already won at me sometimes. The waves was not so good, and she couldn’t get the score that she needed to win. So that’s it, I move through, but it was not easy."
She won the most important event of 2,000 points in Praia do Forte beach, stage of the Billabong ECO Surf Festival in northern coast of Bahia State, them stayed in fifth place in the semifinals of the Billabong Girls Pro Rio in Barra da Tijuca at Rio de Janeiro and now move into the semifinals of Billabong Ladies Pro - Costao do Santinho reaching up to the moment 4,010 points in the ASP South America rating. Brazilian Tita Tavares still in second place in the ranking, and even she wins this event in Florianopolis on Saturday and also in Arpoador next week at Rio, can only reach 4,005 points.
Tita Tavares won the first Semifinal defeating another surfer from Brazil, Krisna de Souza by 13.25 x 7.00 points.
"I had never surfing here at Santinho Beach and the waves are difficult but great," Tavares said. "I’m surfing well and my boards are really good too. I made my job and now I have to focus in my semifinal and look for another victory, this is always my goal in competitions.’
Jacqueline Silva won the confrontation of the only two Brazilians surfers who currently appear in the classification zone for the 2009 ASP Women’s Tour. With more experience, the number 7 won the heat against the sixth in the rating, the young brazilian surfer Bruna Schmitz, who is part of the list of six best surfers of the year since the start of the season.
"It was a good heat against Bruna, which is disputing points in the ranking to classify into the Women’s Tour next year and by misfortune we fall together on the same heat, but this time I surfed better," Silva said. "Now we have a day off, because on Friday will just roll the Billabong Pro Junior, then I will train even more to try a good result here, because I competing at home and a lot of people are supporting me, the waves are getting better and I believe that we will have good waves on Saturday to close the event in great conditions, hopefully with me in first place."
Then in next heat was Brazilian Diana Cristina, who tried everything to overcome Paige Hareb from New Zealand and continue defending the title of champion in Costao do Santinho, but the beautiful surfer from New Zealand won with a wide advantage of 12.30 x 5.05 points.
"I’m happy," Hareb said. "As a beautiful day today, the waves improved and I knew it would be difficult to compete against Diana, because she surf very well, I know her and i know that she already won here on this beach, so I only stayed calm when the heat ended. But, I still have to pass another heat to increase my points in the ranking, because I only change my score here if I reach the final."
BILLABONG LADIES PRO – SEMIFINALS ON SATURDAY:
Heat 1: Jacqueline Silva (BRA) vs. Tita Tavares (BRA)
Heat 2: Silvana Lima (BRA) vs. Paige Hareb (NZL)
QUARTERFINALS ON THURSDAY – 5th place (US$ 975 and 915 points):
Heat 1: Tita Tavares (BRA) 13.25 def. Krisna de Souza (BRA) 7.00
Heat 2: Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 11.50 def. Bruna Schmitz (BRA) 9.40
Heat 3: Paige Hareb (NZL) 12.30 def. Diana Cristina (BRA) 5.05
Heat 4: Silvana Lima (BRA) 9.90 def. Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 8.50