William Cardoso

William Cardoso (BRA), 23, has won the first edition of the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Azores Islands Pro pres. by Nissan today after defeating fellow finalist and ASP WQS No. 2 Jadson Andre (BRA) in a 100% Brazilian final. Cardoso, who made the best out of the clean but tricky two to three foot (0.6 to 1 meter) waves on offer, clinches 2500 ratings’ points which rocket him from No. 31 to No. 14, a seventeen-places jump to get back into the race for the ASP World Tour qualification while Andre’s runner-up consolidates his No. 2 spot reaching 14663 points.

Cardoso, who posted a good 13.57 point heat result in the final battle of the Azores Islands Pro including a 7.17 point ride, had defeated local favorite Tiago Pires en route to the final with the best scores of the day using his unstoppable powerful backhand attack, led the final from start to finish with smart tactics and wave choice reading the conditions perfectly to wait for the better waves and end-up winning his second ASP WQS title ever.

“I am over the moon right now, that win was unbelievable and I have made it all the way through to the crown,” Cardoso said. “It’s been a hard week with several close heats coming down to one wave many times and I have had big names on my way so to win this one after such an intense draw is just perfect. That board I have been surfing all week was working so well in the solid conditions and I am stoked.”

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Brett Burcher 

Twenty-year old Brett Burcher (Ulladulla, NSW) went home with the richest takings on the Pro Junior surfing circuit today, earning a massive $10 000 after defeating Tahitian born Tamaroa McComb (Burleigh Heads) during the Red Bull Junior Surf Masters Final presented by Mick Fanning at Cronulla.

In what couldn’t have been a more equally matched final, Burcher and McComb who advanced into the main event through the qualifying trials on Friday and went on to net the highest single wave scores throughout the two-day event, went toe to toe in a dramatic final that saw Burcher edge out McComb by the narrowest of margins. Burcher defeated McComb with a 15.65 heat total (out of 20.00) to McComb’s 15.25.

“I am so happy right now, this win is just huge for me,” Burcher said. “Tamaroa is an amazing surfer and he almost had me in that heat but I just kept my head and was lucky that I caught that set wave at the end.”

While Burcher took an early lead, a priority error around the halfway mark saw him slip into second place behind McComb who stormed ahead with an 8.50 (out of ten). It wasn’t until the final three minutes that Burcher stroked into one of the better looking waves of the afternoon - a long open-faced left hander - that allowed him four massive backhand snaps to earn an amazing 8.90 (out of 10.00)  to become the 2009 Red Bull Junior Surf Masters Champion.

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Tiago Pires 

With the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Azores Islands Pro crowning its champion tomorrow, all remaining surfers were psyched today to deliver their best performance and keep the title chase alive, knowing a win in this first ever ASP sanctioned event in the Azores would go down in surfing history books. From current ratings’ leaders to the few remaining outsiders, performance went through the roof today with massive airs and power surfing displayed by the variety of styles seen in the water, rising stars shining along with experienced soldiers.

Today’s action took the event down to its final-four contenders, the remaining heats of Round 4 being followed by the eight battles of Round 5 before moving into the exciting Quarterfinals where the levels of surfing left everyone breathless, wrapping-up an intense show, with Tiago Pires (Ericeira, PRT) dominating the day in the final bout against ASP World Junior champion Kai Barger (HAW) with a 18.00 point heat total.

Pleasing his Portuguese fans, the current ASP Top 45 member, 28, closed the show with a series of 8.50 and 9.50 point rides, the national surf star a.k.a the Portuguese Tiger advancing through to the Semifinals where he will be the favorite. Pires, who had scored the only perfect 10.00 point ride of the event earlier in the day, was in unstoppable form getting an immense support from the hundreds of spectators on the beach to keep his roll going before tomorrow’s showdown.

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