John John Florence: go for the sun

Nat Young was one the standouts of the 2011 Quiksilver Pro Portugal, at Ribeira de Ilhas, Ericeira. The North American surfer got the best out of the 3-4ft (1m) right-handers to secure a a two-wave heat total of 16.97 out of 20.

"There are waves similar to this definitely where I live and I thought that I was in rhythm every time I paddled back out. I would catch a wave and it was a lot of fun. Everything just kind of went my way which was awesome", says Young.

Young’s backhand surfing was lightening fast with massive hacks in the pocket combined with speed and flow to complete the judging criteria to a tee. He was surfing along with the World’s finest competitors.

"Hopefully I can do the same in the next heat the same as I did now. You can tell which ones have got the good walls and they are the ones you want so hopefully I can do it again in a couple more heats. Sometimes you get a high score in your heat and then there is a bit more pressure in the next one but big scores also give you confidence as well", he adds.

Young is sitting in the 52nd place on the ASP World rankings and hopes to focus ahead to the end of the year knowing his chances of making the mid-year cut to enter the elite ASP World Tour are slim.
 
Quiksilver Pro Portugal top seed Jeremy Flores, current elite ASP World Tour ranked nº11, cruised to a comfortable win in his first-up appearance after opening his account with two consecutive high scoring waves after his heat had been placed on hold for over 4 hours due to the high tide.
 
"I just arrived last night so I got to have a free surf when I was supposed to surf before and I am stoked to get through that one to start. It is a really tricky wave because with high tide and low tide it is a completely different wave and it has all these sections so you want to make all these connections."
 
Flores worked the long right-handers connecting rail-to-rail snaps and speed floaters to link through to the inside bowl. A recent illness was not evident as Flores powered all his turns to their maximum potential.
 
"I got a blood infection in Brazil and I was stuck there for 10 days and now I have just come back from a week at home on Reunion Island and I was stoked to be back home and see my family and my friends I hadn’t seen in several years."
 
Gabriel Medina, Pat Gudauskas, Austin Ware, Ouvre, Jonathan Gonzalez and event wildcard Vasco Ribeiro also advanced through to the next round. The major upsets were C.J. Hobgood, Nate Yeomans, Marlon Lipke, Dylan Graves, Brett Simpson, Mickey Picon, Yuri Sodre and Josh Kerr. The competition will be resumed on Thursday.