Raoni Monteiro 

Brazilian Raoni Monteiro won the ASP WQS 5-Star PRIME Hang Loose Pro at Cacimba do Padre today in barreling waves of four-to-six feet (2 metre) height. Monteiro won the great final over American Gabe Kling, who already made the finals at Fernando de Noronha Island in 2006. Until last year, both surfers were competing on the ASP World Tour, and now with this excellent result, they will try to return to the ASP World Tour next year.

“Thats it, 13 victories in Hang Loose to Brazil and 12 for the rest of the World, but the most important is that we had excellent waves every day for the whole contest, a lot of tubes, great wheater, sun, hot and next year there will be more,” Álfio Lagnado, President of Hang Loose Company, said. Since 1986, Lagnado has organised the most traditional surf contests in Brazil, holding the Hang Loose Pro Contest in places like Florianópolis (SC), Guarujá (SP), Baía de Maracaípe (PE), Cabo de Santo Agostinho (PE), Maresias (SP) and Fernando de Noronha (PE).

With a beatiful barrel from the biggest set on his first wave of the final, Monteiro started the final with a 8.83 score. Then, in the middle of the heat, the Brazilian scored a 6.60 wave to put Gabe in combination situation, and finished the final with 15.43 points against the 9.50 points of Kling. Kling had a solid second semi-final, winning the heat against Brazilian Hizunome Bettero, finishing with 16.44 points against 15.10 of Hizunome.

“I really wanted to win this event, because since Japan, a long time a go, i didn´t won a contest, and now i am really happy and i don´t know what to say” this was the first words of the new champion of the Hang Loose Pro Contest. “I did everything right since my first heat, i stayed calm every heat and the result of this week was this victory. I promised to my daughter that i would bring this title back home” said Raoni Monteiro, who were in ASP Men´s World Tour last year and now he will try to return to the World Tour next year.

“I want to thank the people of Noronha, the local surfers, and this wonderful place, that always give us excellent waves, sun, big barrels and this great event. I also wish to thank Alfio Lagnado (Hang Loose CEO) to bring every year this contest to this magical Island” said the winner, who earned 12.000 dollars and 2.500 World Qualifying Series ratings points, and moved to the 4th position in ‘QS ranking after his victory in 2008 Hang Loose Pro Contest.

Now the American Gabe Kling received 6.000 dollars and 2.188 points to move directly to 6th place in the ‘QS ranking after 3 stops. “I am stocked, this a great result to start this season. I wanted clear win, but Raoni surfed really good and i didn´t found the waves. But anyway i happy with my result” said Gabe Kling (27), who also finish in second place in Hang Loose Pro Contest when he entry in the ASP Men´s World Tour two years ago. “I hope that things happen again in the same way as the last time. I really wants to return to the WCT Tour next year. Is too early, but anyway this was a great first step, so i am very happy”.

Brazilian Hizunomê Bettero and the Spanish surfer from Canary Islands Jonathan Gonzalez finished in third in Fernando de Noronha. Hizunome also finish in third place in 2006. “Once again the dream of the final has been postponed. There were really great waves in the semi-finals but i couldn´t advanced, but a third place here in a 5 star prime event is a good way to start. I really wants to entry in ASP Men´s World Tour next year and i still confident that this will be a good year for me” said Hizunomê Bettero, who had a great perfomance in the tubes of Cacimba do Padre beach.

After the Hang Loose Pro Contest the next stops of WQS Tour will be in March in Australia. WQS Tour will return to Brazil in June with two events, one in Praia do Forte, Bahia and another in Guarujá, São Paulo. Them we will have another event in September at São Francisco do Sul, Santa Catarina and the last four events of ASP South America will be in October in: Costão do Santinho, Florianópolis (SC), Rio de Janeiro (RJ), Itajaí (SC) and the last one in Ubatuba (SP). And to finish, the only stop of ASP Men´s World Tour in South America, the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro, that will be disputed again in Imbituba (SC), from October-28 to November-05.

Source: ASP World Tour