Azores Airlines Pro
Santa Barbara Pumps to Set Early Finals Day at Azores Airlines Pro
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 7 September, 2017 - Sao Miguel, Azores Islands - A good northwest swell built overnight to deliver three-to-five foot surf on Day 3 of the Azores Airlines Pro pres. by SEAT and occasional bigger sets. Competition resumed with the third round and moved through twenty-eight heats to decide the event’s quarterfinalists and anticipate a probable finish Friday.
Gony Zubizarreta (ESP), 32, posted an incredible come-from-behind victory over form Moroccan surfer Ramzi Boukhiam in the opening Round Five man-on-man battle this afternoon. Both surfers exchanged the lead multiple times during their twenty-five minute bout but it came down to a last-second effort from the Spaniard who stood up right on the buzzer to claim the winning 6.27 ride.
“I’ve had close calls in my career but this one must have been the closest ever, as I heard the countdown from five seconds I had no idea if I was going to stand up in time,” Zubizarreta said. “Working on our brand Jam with Marlon (Lipke) takes a bit of the pressure off the competition so I feel great and it’s allowed me to surf more freely and get some good results these past couple of years.”
Yago Dora (BRA), 21, did not give his opponent and compatriot Thiago Camarao any room to breathe for the first twenty minutes of their matchup. Dora surprisingly stuck to the wave face to post two solid scores and asphyxiate Camarao. Not one to give up easily, Camarao fought back in the dying instants with an excellent 8 point ride, but Dora played his trump card on the buzzer with a perfect full rotation for a 9.43 to seal the deal.
“I feel great making finals day again after Pantin last weekend,” Dora stated. “It was a crazy heat and Thiago is a great competitor so I had to step it up at the end. There was a lot of water moving and it was hard to find a little pocket so you just had to keep trying and stay active. That last wave was perfect to land an air, so I tried to secure the rotation with a grab and thankfully made it.”
Wade Carmichael (AUS), 24, got a dream start with an excellent 8.24 in the opening moments of his Round Five heat against Hawaiian up-and-comer Seth Moniz. An experienced competitor, Carmichael quickly put on a decent second score and kept trying to improve his situation, pushing his opponent a little further against the ropes with each try.
“I’m stoked, I managed to link a few turns on the first wave and backed it up right away,” Carmichael said. “It was a big day and I’m stoked to make the quarters tomorrow, bring it on! I’ve never really had a good European leg so I’m trying to put my focus on that and get a few results. The peak this year here is super fun with wedges everywhere and I’m having a ball.”
Unfortunately waves backed off a little bit for the remainder of the afternoon, thus rendering performances slightly less exciting. Peterson Crisanto (BRA), Aritz Aranburu (ESP), Michael Rodrigues (BRA), Bino Lopes (BRA) & Davey Cathels (AUS) completed the draw in the quarters and will have a shot at the event title when competition resumes Friday morning.
UPCOMING AZORES AIRLINES PRO QUARTERFINAL MATCHUPS:
QF 1: Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) vs. Yago Dora (BRA)
QF 2: Peterson Crisanto (BRA) vs. Wade Carmichael (AUS)
QF 3: Aritz Aranburu (ESP) vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
QF 4: Bino Lopes (BRA) vs. Davey Cathels (AUS)
AZORES AIRLINES PRO ROUND 5 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 12.10 def. Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 11.27
Heat 2: Yago Dora (BRA) 16.60 def. Thiago Camarao (BRA) 13.50
Heat 3: Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 13.80 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 8.70
Heat 4: Wade Carmichael (AUS) 14.30 def. Seth Moniz (HAW) 12.27
Heat 5: Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 11.33 def. Marco Giorgi (URY) 9.90
Heat 6: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 12.83 def. Dion Atkinson (AUS) 11.63
Heat 7: Bino Lopes (BRA) 12.23 def. Hiroto Arai (JPN) 11.34
Heat 8: Davey Cathels (AUS) 12.66 def. Flavio Nakagima (BRA) 9.37
AZORES AIRLINES PRO ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 12.97, Thiago Camarao (BRA) 11.17, Takumi Nakamura (JPN) 9.34
Heat 2: Yago Dora (BRA) 14.83, Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 12.17, Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 12.03
Heat 3: Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 13.50, Wade Carmichael (AUS) 12.66, Thiago Guimaraes (BRA) 11.67
Heat 4: Seth Moniz (HAW) 11.23, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 10.60, Willian Cardoso (BRA) 9.70
Heat 5: Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 10.93, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 10.33, Tristan Guilbaud (FRA) 9.34
Heat 6: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 12.17, Marco Giorgi (URY) 9.76, David Do Carmo (BRA) 9.04
Heat 7: Bino Lopes (BRA) 15.66, Flavio Nakagima (BRA) 10.60, Billy Stairmand (NZL) 10.30
Heat 8: Davey Cathels (AUS) 16.74, Hiroto Arai (JPN) 11.57, Yage Araujo (BRA) 7.40