Gabriel Medina: Brazilian airline pilot

Gabriel Medina took the 2011 San Miguel Pro Zarautz after defeating Peterson Crisanto, in a dominant final in mushy three foot (1 metre) waves at the central beach of Zarautz.

Surfers were greeted early this morning with offshore 3-4Ft sets breaking all along Zarautz long main beach. A decision was made to start running the Round of 48 on two split banks before welcoming all surfers back to the main podium for the rest of the day. The final heats were surfed late this afternoon in difficult conditions with strong onshore winds and rain coming in to play.

Out of the four Brazilians in the Semi-Finals, Medina was the one to step it up and go all the way to claim the victory in the 2011 ASP 6-Star San Miguel Pro pres. by Euskaltel, displaying his exceptionnal aerial abilities in very challenging conditions. Medina collected the two highest Heat Totals of the event as well as five of the ten best scoring waves of the event.

"I am so happy to be here. Thank you God and thank you to my family. They have done a lot for me and I am so happy right now. Last year I lost in the semis by a small margin to Heitor (Alves) and this year I have surfed well and I tried hard for this result and it all worked well. I was on a good board and it was a very good contest for me. I was comfortable in the final and the waves were not easy for the final but I caught two good waves and I won."

Medina went on to win the Final after coming back from an impossible Combination situation in his Semi-Final battle against fellow Brazilian competitor Thiago Camarao. In just under a minute, Gabriel Medina managed to score two waves over 9 points to re-take the lead. He had to sneak the first one under Camarao’s priority, and ended up throwing a huge backside Kerr-air to be rewarded an excellent 9.57 out of 10 points possible.

"I was thinking that I had to wait for a good wave because Thiago had two high 9’s. I didn’t want to lose and all I wanted to do was win and make it to the final. I was thinking ‘don’t give up, don’t give up’ and a wave came that Thiago couldn’t catch and I got a 9 and then straight after another one came and it was the score I needed to win the heat. It was incredible, I didn’t expect it at all."

Peterson Crisanto who earned a wildcard at this year’s Billabong Pro Rio de Janeiro World Tour event, made a really strong impression from the start of the event, posting high scoring waves, showing incredibly technical skills and eventually finished with a runner-up position.

"This is my first time in the final of a six star event and to come second has made me so stoked. He (Medina) found some good waves and got a 7 and an 8 so I am happy for him. I couldn’t find any good ones so it was unlucky. He was better today and he one."

The yound Brazilian is in his first year competing on the Star Series and came to Europe in search of the valuable ranking points on offer in order to progress on the World Rankings. "After here I am heading to Pantin and then I am going to compete in all the Star events and hopefully build on my ranking and qualify for the World Tour."

Between the second Semi-Final and the Final, Nike 6.0 partner of the event, organized a Cash For Tricks expression session with 14 Top Aerial Specialists incuding the likes of Kolohe Andino, local hero Aritz Aranburu and Canarian surfer Jonathan Gonzalez. Alex Ribeiro, who finished 5th in the main event, displayed the most engaged and innovative surfing of this 20mn session, taking his part of a 2,000€ prize-pool in front of en enthusiastic crowd attracted by the high-flying show.

San Miguel Pro Zarautz pres. by Euskaltel Final
Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.87 Def. Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 8.07