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.
Former World Champion Damian King (Australia) could only sit and watch as Eder Luciano (Brazil) blew minds again as the best performer of the round in heat 4. Eder is setting new standards for small wave riding and the crowd were blown away with his jaw-dropping moves in the tiny waves. Kingy had beaten Luciano in Peru so it was a pay-back for Eder and Kingy walked away happy with an equal 9th.
The boys from Brazil went head to head in heat 5 with Luis Villar defeating Uri Valadao. Uri is the current World Champion and was one of the warm favourites going into the event. Luis however had other plans and he worked the small waves to perfection and secured a berth in tomorrow’s quarters.
In heat 6 Spaniard Benat Elosua continued his good role with a win over Lucas Nogueira (Brazil) Benat is gaining momentum heat by heat and is now proving himself against the worlds best.
The second last heat of the day was a hard-hitting battle of the heavy weights with Mark McCarthy (Sth Africa) and Guilherme Tamega (Brazil) swapping the lead several times before Tamega used his enhanced small wave riding technique to sneak in front with a few minutes remaining.
The final heat of the round saw Hawaiian Jacob Romero with a comfortable win over Joao Barcieia (Portugal). Romero normally surfs in trunks but made the transition to cold water look easy as he blasted into the quarters with his best result in a IBA World Tour event to date.
The event is now up to the man on man quarterfinals and the forecast is for a small increase in the swell overnight.
Tomorrow will also feature a Tow-out session and a International Tag-Team event along with all the finals so be sure to log into www.ibaworldtour.com/live or www.surfingviana.com for all the live action
Competition gets underway tomorrow at 10am.
SOURCE: IBA World Tour