William Cardoso

William Cardoso (BRA), 23, has won the first edition of the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Azores Islands Pro pres. by Nissan today after defeating fellow finalist and ASP WQS No. 2 Jadson Andre (BRA) in a 100% Brazilian final. Cardoso, who made the best out of the clean but tricky two to three foot (0.6 to 1 meter) waves on offer, clinches 2500 ratings’ points which rocket him from No. 31 to No. 14, a seventeen-places jump to get back into the race for the ASP World Tour qualification while Andre’s runner-up consolidates his No. 2 spot reaching 14663 points.

Cardoso, who posted a good 13.57 point heat result in the final battle of the Azores Islands Pro including a 7.17 point ride, had defeated local favorite Tiago Pires en route to the final with the best scores of the day using his unstoppable powerful backhand attack, led the final from start to finish with smart tactics and wave choice reading the conditions perfectly to wait for the better waves and end-up winning his second ASP WQS title ever.

“I am over the moon right now, that win was unbelievable and I have made it all the way through to the crown,” Cardoso said. “It’s been a hard week with several close heats coming down to one wave many times and I have had big names on my way so to win this one after such an intense draw is just perfect. That board I have been surfing all week was working so well in the solid conditions and I am stoked.”

Cardoso, whose first career win on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) was at Pantin last year, struck back today impressing the ASP judging panel with his control and commitment on each of his turns, and grabs US$ 20.000 for his performance at Ribeira Grande, main location of the Azores Islands Pro.

“It’s been a tough first half of the year for me and I feel like I got back to my level this week,” Cardoso said. “I had a third this year but I wanted to win an event and the atmosphere here suited me so well in and out of the water. I am looking forward to keeping that roll going in the next events in Spain and hopefully grab another big finish.”

Placing runner-up for another exceptional result this year was 19-year-old Jadson Andre (Santa Catarina, BRA), the ASP WQS No. 2 consolidating his overall ratings’ points total to go above the 14.000-point mark and go closer to his ASP Top 45 ticket for 2010. Andre, who displayed the most progressive surfing of the week popping massive airs and flying floaters, was not able to get the better waves in the final but leaves the Azores Islands confidently knowing his finish today unofficially qualifies him for the ASP Dream Tour.

“The conditions were hard today and there wasn’t space for the two of us in that final,” Andre said. “William (Cardoso) go the longer waves and I didn’t find any launching ramps to try and get airborne so I am just stoked for him because it makes a huge difference for his ranking and it’s still pretty amazing for me. I want to thank the immense support we’ve had here and from Brazil and I can’t wait to get back to work and keep that good feeling going.”

In the spotlights since his arrival on the Portuguese island of Sao Miguel in the Azores archipelago, Tiago Pires (Ericeira, PRT), 28, placed equal 3rd in the event after giving the local crowds a great show throughout the week with the only perfect 10.00 point ride of the event in Round 5 and the best heat score of 18.00 points in the Quarterfinals. Pires, who was not able to best Andre in their 30-minute exchange, left the water disappointed but with solid confidence before heading to Lower Trestles where he will compete in the sixth event of this year’s ASP World Tour.

“I didn’t surf as well as the previous heats today and Jadson did well picking up the good waves,” Pires said. “I am pretty happy though to make it through to the Semifinals of the event and get a third as I came here to train and get back into competition mode and it seems like the hard work since Jeffreys Bay has paid off.”

Pires, who is on his second year on the ASP World Tour, has been focusing on the elite ASP Dream Tour this year leaving his ASP WQS ratings’ campaign aside to try and shine amongst the ASP Top 45 where he has already shown he had the skills to go big.

“I have been injured the last couple of months and it seems like things have healed pretty well so I am confident for the next event,” Pires said. “As I said before, the support has been great here as anywhere else in Portugal and it was great to get back under pressure and get to surf well this week.”

Pires’s result will not make any significant change for his WQS ratings but may have given the Portuguese Tiger a solid confidence boost before he competes against the world’s best surfer in California in a couple of weeks.

Austin Ware (Califonria, USA), 28, was one the best performers in the event this week making his through to the Semifinals to place equal 3rd and get a significant result which rockets him to No. 10 on the international WQS ratings. Ware, who reached the 11575 point mark today, his career best total ever, came short of one wave in his Semifinal against Cardoso, their encounter coming down to the one first wave of the heat that was taken by Cardoso leaving the Californian in the chase through the whold battle.

“We had pretty similar scores in that heat but that one wave I let William (Cardoso) paddle into in the first minutes made the difference and there is not much I could do about it. I could have sat right next to him for the very first minute but it went the other way and Ihe deserves his result here. He has been surfing well all week and I am still very happy to get that 3rd.”

Ware, whose ASP World Tour qualification campaign has been rolling well this year, managed to confirm his consistency this week securing another significant finish that pushes him a bit closer to his goal.

“I haven’t been thinking of the ratings actually but more on winning an event or getting to the final,” Ware said. “This is why I am going to the next couple of events in Spain because I am definitely hoping to make a final this year. It’s looking good at the moment to be up there but this is not really a major concern and I am focused on my heats.”

The ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) caravan now moves to the Basque Country where another 144-man field will get back to work for the ASP WQS 5-Star event starting Tuesday, September 1 and running until Sunday, September 6.

AZORES ISLANDS PRO FINAL
1st, William Cardoso (BRA) 13.57 pts
2nd, Jadson Andre (BRA) 10.80 pts

AZORES ISLANDS PRO SEMIFINALS
Heat 1: William Cardoso (BRA) 14.00 pts Def. Austin Ware (USA) 10.36 pts
Heat 2: Jadson Andre (BRA) 13.27 pts Def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 11.94 pts

Source: ASP Europe