Ricardo Christie: from New Zealand with power | Photo :ASP/Damien Poullenot

The SATA Azores Pro 2014 has entered quarterfinals, in bumpy two-to-three foot surf, at the magnificent Praia de Santa Barbara, in the Azores Islands.

Leonardo Fioravanti, the reigning European junior surfing champion, surprised fans with a victory against Patrick Gudauskas. The Italian kept calm and seized the only two opportunities he was given, including a stunning Hail Mary.

"I'm so stoked; that was such a hard heat. The waves weren't that good but I told myself I had to give everything anyway. I'm on a roll at the moment, I'm just enjoying myself out there and it seems to be paying off," says Fioravanti.

Tomas Hermes managed to claim a decisive win over local hero Vasco Ribeiro. The defending event champion is currently sitting in 11th position on the Qualifying Series (QS).

"Conditions have changed every day, we've had big, medium and small waves, clean and sometimes not so, on the QS you have to be able to adapt and surf it all. I'm in a good season; there's plenty of events left but I like my chances of qualifying in 2014," stated Hermes.

Matt Banting (AUS) 20, displayed a great deal of maturity, controlling his first heat against Tour veteran Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 29. The young Australian got busy early on, trying to build a scoreboard, then adapted halfway through when his opponent chose to surf another peak. Utilising his priority advantage smartly, Banting found a nice wave to score an excellent 8.33 and seal the deal.

Ricardo Christie showed consistency and defeated Matt Banting to earn himself a spot in the quarterfinals. The Kiwi surfer is having a fantastic season.

"I'm stoked to get through that heat, Matt is a tough draw in waves like that. I tried to stay relaxed and do my own thing. I got a sponsor after my result in Brazil and I was stoked on that, so hopefully I can keep the ball rolling, keep having fun and make a few more," concluded Christie.

SATA Azores Pro 2014 | Quarterfinals Matchups

Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) vs. Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Ricardo Christie (NZL) vs. Tomas Hermes (BRA)
TBD
TBD

SATA Azores Pro 2014 | Round 5 Matchups

Heat 5: Maxime Huscenot (FRA) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)
Heat 6: Joan Duru (FRA) vs. Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Heat 7: Yadin Nicol (AUS) vs. Beyrick De Vries (ZAF)
Heat 8: Brett Simpson (USA) vs. Michael Dunphy (USA)

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