Jean da Silva 

Jean Da Silva (BRA), 23, won the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Estoril Coast Pro at the back-up venue of Guincho today, in testing six to eight foot (2 to 2.5 meter) waves. Da Silva, who defeated American Gabe Kling (USA) in the last battle of the ASP WQS European Series, clinched 2500 valuable ratings' points and confirmed he was back in form after a tough year.

Da Silva, who ended up winning the event with a low 9.83 point score (out of a possible 20), found the best wave of the final which happened to be enough while Kling was struggling against the strong currents and enduring some hard time with some nine foot sets breaking at Guincho.

"I caught that wave right at the beginning before I even had the time to sit out there," Da Silva said. "It was really hard and we could not hear the scores. It was probably one of the trickiest heats of my career but to take the win here is somethiing really special. I am so stoked right now."

Da Silva, who has had a tough year with no significant result, suffered a serious hip injury and had to stay away from the water for four months, a moment he remembered after the final which made his victory today even more special.

"I got injured and it affected me so much that I almost quit surfing this year," Da Silva said. "It was the worse time of my life but the support from my family got me back to work slowly and I just restarted from scratch in July. I traned hard to come back to this level and this win means a lot. I was focused 150% on winning all week and I made it. It is just perfect."

Da Silva, who was the only one of the four last competitors in the event not to have any pressure points' wise, left Kling with a runner-up finish, an excellent result for the American who is guaranteed to surf among the ASP Top 45 next year.

Gabe Kling (Ca, USA), 28, a former elite surfer who got back in the race for the ASP World Tour qualification in the last three events, did not find any good enough waves during the final finishing with a poor 9.67 point total (out of a possible 20), missing his first win in a couple of years.

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Estoril Coast Pro 2008 

The Estoril Coast Pro resumed at its back-up venue of Guincho today, twenty minutes North from Carcavelos, with top seeds getting their start in the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star event in solid four to six foot (1.2 to 2 meter) waves. After a day-off yesterday, it was time for current ratings' leaders to take the dust off their boards and surf in the third to last major event of the year that will be crucial regarding end-of-the-year ratings from which the Top 15 will qualify for next year's ASP World Tour.

Yadin Nicol (Wa, AUS), 22, took top honours on Day 3 of competition coming up with some world-class surfing in the solid waves to advance through to Round 3 with the highest heat result of the event so far, a 17.93 point tally (out of a possible 20), besting fellow Australian and rising star Owen Wright (Sydney, AUS) in Heat 10.

"It was hard out there and to be honest I was just preparing to go home," Nicol said. "These conditions usually fit Matt (Wilkinson) and Owen's (Wright) surfing and I did not know what scores I had. But I am stoked and it is a good motivation boost."

Nicol, who is currently rated No. 16 on the ASP WQS, suffered a shocker in the last event in the Canary Islands and was very disappointed after his loss, seeing all his closest followers jumping ahead.

"That heat in Lanzarote was hard because nothing really happened and I was kind of stuck in a hole," Nicol said. "I am happy to get that behind me and I hope I can get through a few more heats this week. I put a lot of pressure on myself in the last event and it did not work well moreover with every single person who needed a result getting one wether in the Canarys or in Brazil."

Nicol will meet with Gavin Gillette (HAW), Brandon Jackson (ZAF) and ASP Top 45 member Travis Logie in Round 3.

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ASP Europe Awards

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Europe will crown its 2008 Men and Women WQS Champions as well as its Men and Women Pro Junior Champions next Sunday, October 26, at the Carcavelos Sushi Bar in Lisbon, Portugal.

The 2008 Award Ceremony will close one of the best years of surfing ever which showcased the best surfers of the planet in eleven major 4 to 6-Star Prime events, the biggest leg ever held on European shores since the creation of the ASP in our region.

Except for the ASP WQS European Series Men’s Champion who will be known at the end of the Estoril Coast Pro finishing Sunday, all other champions have already been crowned and will raise their 2008 trophies in Portugal in front of all surfers, media and industry representatives.

Not only has 2008 brought new surfers at the forefront of the stage including 16-year-old ASP WQS European Women’s champion Justine Dupont (FRA) and ASP Junior Men’s champion Maxime Huscenot (REU) grabbing the crown. 2008 witnessed the rise of a new generation of potential ASP World Tour contenders with current men’s regional ratings’ leader Tim Boal (FRA) already guaranteed among next year’s ASP Top 45 and Marlon Lipke (DEU) and Michel Bourez (PYF) knocking on surfing heaven’s door confidently at this stage, before the tour wraps up in Hawaii next month.

All of Europe’s best surfers, except for ASP World Tour campaigners Jeremy Flores (FRA), Aritz Aranburu (EUK) and Miky Picon who will be on their way to Brazil for the second to last stop of the 2008 Dream Tour, will meet for the award presentation and celebrate another year of growth and success for the sport of surfing in Europe.

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