Jane Belo

Brazil has once again claimed a win at the Maresia Surf International in Itajai with Jano Belo celebrating his first victory in Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) Tour.

Belo defeated three Brazilians to reach the grand final and did not give any chance to Hawaiian Dustin Barca on the last day of competition and waves of two-to-three foot (1 metre) at Brava Beach.

With the victory, Jano earned US$15,000 and 2,500 points on the ASP WQS, but the champion was not well placed in the rating and moved from 166th place to 91th position, while Hawaiian Dustin Barca entered the zone of qualification for the 2009 ASP World Tour with his second place finish.

"I was looking for a good result so long ago and I only have to thank God for having given me a lot of tranquility to bear all the pressure of a final," Belo said.

"The waves were difficult, the heat was tense, Dustin was surfing too much, I only got hard heats today but now I am very happy and relieved with my result. I offer this title to all my family, my parents, my wife who is always by my side giving me strength and God, who was with me all the time. I gave everything of myself in the final and the good thing is that Brazil is on the top again."

Belo began the last day of Maresia Surf International defeating three Brazilians, the first was Beto Mariano in the Round of 16, then passed through Adilton Mariano in the Quarterfinals and Marcio Farney in the Semifinal. In the grand Final, Jano Belo started with full force and surfed a good wave of 7.50 points (out a possible of 10) and then took a 7.00 score which was replaced by another 7.50 points a few minutes later.

Belo then found a really nice left with a good wall to execute maneuvers, with speed and security Jano finished the wave and receive a 8.10 score of the judges, giving no chance to the Hawaiian.

Barca, who got great barrels on Saturday and Sunday, only surfed a regular wave in the Final and finished with 12.90 points (out a possible of 20) against 15.60 of Jano. Despite the second place, the Hawaiian was happy with the result and will try to confirm his entry into the 2009 ASP World Tour at home, in the final events of the ASP WQS in Hawaii.

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Nic Muscroft

Nic Muscroft (AUS), 26, won the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Prime Santa Surf Pro at Lanzarote today in the Canarian archipelago clinching valuable 3000 ratings’ points that rocket him to No. 10 on the international ratings and increases his chances of qualifying for next year’s ASP World Tour. Muscroft, who defeated Oahu’s North Shore former ASP World Junior Champion Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) in wind blown three foot (one meter) waves at the world-class lefthander of San Juan, was impressive throughout the week with his consistency and unstoppable state of mind.

Muscroft, who posted a solid 14.43 point heat tally to best Bacalso’s threatening 14.00 point score (both out of a possible 20), was in good form all week and ended up winning his first event this year in a wave-starved 35-minute final battle where Bacalso was never able to find the 5.60 point ride he needed.

"It was gnarly, probably the gnarliest finish I have ever had," Muscroft said. "It was stressfull for me and I’m sure it was for Kekoa (Bacalso) as well. We had fifteen minutes with no waves right after I got my last one so I could not hope for more. He still had priority so I knew that he would make it if a wave came because he had been surfing so good the whole week."

Muscroft, who surfed seventeen ASP WQS events as well as most ASP World Tour contests thanks to an injury replacement wildcard, eventually sees his efforts pay off with the biggest win of his career to date.

"I feel like I have been surfing good the whole year and been pretty consistent," Muscroft said. "I knew it was more a matter of time before something came through with a big result so it is just amazing. I am over the moon right now."

Muscroft jumps from No. 25 to No. 10, and with three major events only remaining before the end-of-the-year Top 15 is decided and climbs into next year’s ASP World Tour, the Santa Surf Pro champion will be confident in the upcoming event in Portugal.

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Australia conquers the World Surfing Games 2008 

Australia won their third consecutive ISA World Surfing Games Team Championship and gold medals today in Costa de Caparica. This was their fourth out of the seven editions in the history of the event. It was a sunny, beautiful day at Marcelino beach, with waves improving from yesterday and reaching three feet with good conditions.

Sally Fitzgibbons (Gold) in Open Women; Dayyan Neve (Bronze), Heath Joske (Silver) and Kai Otton (Copper) in Open Men; Harley Ingleby (Silver) in Longboard; and Lilly Pollard (Copper) in Bodyboard Women are all members of the Aussie team that made it into their respective finals. They added important points towards the final Team Standings that gave Australia a strong win of almost 3,000 points ahead of Team USA who came in second and won silver medals.

The final team standings are as follows:
Gold: Australia - 17,238 pts.
Silver: USA - 14,284 pts.
Bronze: Brazil - 12,610 pts.
Copper: France - 11,819 pts.

The CEO of Surfing Australia, Mark Lane explained his point of view on Australia's great record in the Games. "I think the secret and one of our team goals is all about having fun while we're here, to be laughing all the time. And it's also in the Australian culture that we're never giving up. We're always encouraging people to never give up and to keep surfing well".

"It's a great feeling to win again. It's really a hard week to watch and go through every heat. You've got to deal with disappointments. You feel everything and when you come out of this and win, it just feels great."

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