World Surfing Games 

It was a crucial, exciting and difficult Day 5 in Costa de Caparica with four out of the five divisions competing today in the contest. Teams had a busy schedule of heats that took place in small 2 to 3 feet waves. Today set the pace between those countries that will be battling for the top of the rankings.

The usual suspects - Australia, USA, Brazil, South Africa and France - were joined by the sharp and consistent surfing of Costa Rica at the top of the list of current Overall Team Standings. The "Ticos" continued to gain the attention of everybody in the contest site, causing great upsets while advancing surfers into the final rounds.

ASP World Tour surfers, CJ Hobgood of USA and Kai Otton of Australia instilled a great deal of patriotism for their respective teams by scoring the highest scores of their rounds. Meanwhile, Ben Bourgeois' journey to the finals was greatly upset by Luis Vindas from Costa Rica.

The Main Event Women´s Open and Bodyboard Men´s semifinals were defined, as well as the Bodyboard Women's final. The event is entering the final leg of rounds with three days to find out who's going to be the next gold medal nation.

With Day 5 finished, the only country to have all of their surfers still competing in the contest is Brazil. Of the 233 surfers that started the event, there're now 114 remaining.

Leading and stealing the show
Australia, USA, Brazil, South Africa and France - the top five seeded nations are leading the show in this ISA World Surfing Games. However, following close behind, Costa Rica is proving their place to become a part of the final face-off. The upcoming surfing nation stole applauses today with two of their team members fighting to stay alive, getting through to next Main Event round and creating big upsets of the day.

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World Surfing Games

The do or die rounds of the repercharge were the main attraction today at the main podium. The Open Men´s Round 2 was held in two foot waves, as the tide forced the Contest Director to suspend the final heats of the day.

A total of 13 heats were held and more surfers were eliminated from the championships. Those who overcame the pressure made it through, adding more points to their respective teams.

The Men and Women's Bodyboard Main Event rounds were held at Podium two and there were some radical performances as riders worked hard to progress through to the next rounds. Unfortunately it also meant that the for the first time some bodyboarders were relegated to Repercharge Round two.

The day's best performances came from ASP World Tour Surfer Dayyan Neve of Australia and Spanish star Pablo Gutierrez, who both posted 16.83 points in their respective repercharge heats. Among the bodyboarders Natasha Sagardia of Puerto Rico was the top women of the round, scoring 11.30, while Pierre Costes (FRA) once again obtained the highest combined score of the round, a respectable 15.17. Manuel Centeno of Portugal, the gold medallist in 2006, won another heat and the local rider is looking good for what is ahead.

Spanish power
Spain's representative Pablo Gutierrez, showed that he knew how to deal with the tough low tide hard. He put together a solid performance to score a 9.00 and a 7.83in his repercharge heat. 

"I felt really good; we were sitting just by the side of the jetty really close to each other, so there was a bit of a hassle to get a wave. I was lucky to find one good 7.83 that left me in an OK situation to look for the back up. So I quietly waited for the good one, it came; I did three good moves and scored a 9.00. I ended the heat first and I´m really happy. Anyway, I think I was lucky," Gutierrez said.

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Mark Mathews

There are waves on the fringe of existence that defy both logic and imagination. They break where the land is uninhabitable, where the elements are threatening, beautiful, raw and brutal.

Where deep sea swells rear on underwater cliffs then fold in mighty explosions that shake the earth for miles, these are the very waves that Mark Mathews lives to surf.

It gives O’Neill great pleasure to announce Mark as the latest addition to the global team. For years Mathews has been one of Australia’s premiere monster slab (i.e.: a huge barreling cavernous tubing wave) riding lunatics.

When weather maps turn purple, odds are he’s already booked flights to the centre of the storm, be it off the bitter Southern Coast of Tasmania or a chunk of reef 30 kilometers out to sea off Western Australia. Hs courage knows no boundaries. To surf the waves he loves is to risk life itself and requires the best possible equipment.

Says O’Neill Ambassador and Asia Pacific Marketing Manager, Rob Bain, “I feel proud to have Mark on the team because I believe he epitomizes the core essence of the real surfer. His quest to surf big gnarly barrels, has him drop everything at any time regardless of the consequences, and to me that is what surfing is really about.”

For his part, Mathews believes the relationship was inevitable. “I’m stoked to be part of the O’Neill family,” he said. “Their basic philosophy towards surfing is to be the first people in the water and last out of it on any given day. For me to be representing a brand whose primary focus has always been to give people maximum time in the water, it makes perfect sense. That’s basically what I live for, to be out there all the time so that I never miss the biggest and best waves that come through.”

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