Simao Romao 

Brazilian Simao Romao, 22, led the party on a crowded Arpoador beach during the last day of the Oakley presents Rio Surf Pro International. The up and coming surfer started the day strong, posting the highest score ever in the history of the ASP WQS Arpoador event. A local competitor from Arpoador, he went on to dismiss two campaigners before beating the experienced South African Greg Emslie, 31 years old, in the hotly contested final.

Simao took out the US $15.000 prize and jumped from 45th to 18th position in the ASP WQS ratings, a result which places him in a good position to make the top 15 of the ASP WQS with nine events remaining.

“I had a dream two years ago. It was about an important competition here and I would win it," Romao said. "I would climb the rock and remain there beating my chest. This event was that dream and I would like to thank all the locals, my friends, my family and my sponsors who supported me all the way. That victory goes especially to my dad (Paulo) because today is his birthday."

“It was really hot and there were almost no waves," Romao said. "I knew I had to surf my best to beat Greg (Emslie) who is a World Tour level surfer and fortunately I was able to get some good ones and do everything possible I could to win. I had some very tough match ups, especially against William Cardoso in the semifinal, but when I overcame him I just kept the dream alive."

Runner up Greg Emslie (ZAR), 31, would have liked to repeat the victory he had here 11 years ago, but was happy with second place, a result which launches him from 17th to 9th place in the ASP WQS ratings and secures his requalification for next year’s dream tour. Emslie had to overcome two younger surfers, Hawaiian Dustin Barca, in the quarter finals and Michel Bourez from Tahiti in the semifinal.

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Daniel Ross 

Daniel Ross (Yamba, AUS), 25, won the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 4-Star Ocean & Earth Pro pres. by La Caja de Canarias in pumping five to six foot (1.5 to 2 meter) waves at the world famous venue of El Confital today. Ross, who defeated Stuart Kennedy (Lennox Head, AUS), 18, in an exciting 100% Australian 35-minute Man-on-man clash, rose throughout the week with excellent skills and variety in his surfing to end up 1st of the 2008 edition and clinch the valuable 1500 winner’s ratings’ points.

Ross ended up his run with an excellent performance posting a 16.60 point heat tally (out of a possible 20) to secure his win in a tricky final after his opponent had opened the battle well. Ross did not surf any wave in the last fifteen minutes leaving Kennedy almost catching up but missing out by 0.53 points.

"I was very relaxed out there and I felt good," Ross said. "I knew there were not that many excellent waves so I chose mine very carefully and got some good scores. That last wave put me ahead and I just sat there with priority and waited. Patiently. It was such a good event and to surf against Stuart (Kennedy) was even better. He is such a good surfer to watch."

Ross, who has had a tough time for his first year on the ASP World Tour, gets back on track to requalify thanks to his win and will move to the next events confidently.

"The last event I won was years ago when was still a junior so this one is even better," Ross said. "I was definitely here to win because it was as well about business and points and I could not hope for a better end. It is just perfect and I hope I can keep it rolling next week."

Ross, who impressed all week with his power-surfing, was in excellent form and did not leave much option to runner-up Stuart Kennedy.

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World Surfing Games 2008 

The ISA World Surfing Games were declared officially open today in the Costa de Caparica Sports Arena, with cheers and applauses of joy coming from more than 300 surfers from 29 countries. Cheers and applauses were ignited by the words of the ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, who said: “I’m going to ask a favour of everybody, I want you to be very loud, so our noise can be heard in Switzerland, where the International Olympic Committee is, because one day we’re going to be part of the Olympic Games. So I declare the ISA World Surfing Games officially open”!

The colors of the world shined bright today during the traditional Parade of Nations and the Sands of the World Ceremony. All the National Surfing Teams were welcome by ISA President, Fernando Aguerre; the Mayor of the City of Almada, María Emilia De Sousa; the President of the Portuguese Surfing Federation, Guilherme Bastos; the Organizer of the event, Miguel Inacio; the representative of Portugal Sports Bureau Nuno Laurentino; the Deputy of Costa de Caparica, Antonio Neves; and first Portuguese surfer, Pedro Lima.

There was abundant laughter, chanting, dancing and cultural tradition that took place while the countries poured their sand into the event sandbox. New Zealand performed the Haka, Peru presented the traditional Totora Horse to the Portuguese Federation President, a happy Portugal team was applauded by the local fans and the Puerto Ricans sang. Afterwards, the pouring of the sands symbolized the peaceful union of the world through surfing.

In a lively speech, ISA President Fernando Aguerre said: “We are here together - black, white, yellow - people of every race, colour and religion. We are a great surfing family!  We get together three times a year, united by the love for surfing.” He concluded, saying: “The most important word in every language Thank you. Thank you Portugal, thank you Almada, thank you Costa de Caparica, thank you Portuguese Surfing Federation, thanks everybody for having us here. ¡Muchas gracias!”.

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