SATA Airlines Azores Pro
Praia De Santa Barabara, Sao Miguel, Azores
ASP Men's WQS Prime
2 - 7 September 2014
Brazilian claims SATA Azores Pro in Sao Miguel
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 7 September, 2014 - Praia de Santa Bárbara, Sao Miguel Azores Islands - Jesse Mendes (BRA) 21, has won the ASP Prime SATA Azores Pro pres. by Sumol in windy 2-to-3-foot surf, defeating Joan Duru (FRA) 25, in an exciting 35-minute final. Mendes also takes an early lead in the Portuguese Waves Series - Cascais Trophy, a series of three events comprised of Azores, the Cascais Billabong Pro and Moche Rip Curl Pro Peniche, that will offer a bonus $50,000 to the overall winner.
Surfers blessed the crowds with an opening exchange right on the buzzer. Duru first, closely followed by Mendes on two righthanders, the advantage going to Mendes with a 7.50 against Duru’s 6.17. The talented Brazilian carrying momentum from his semifinal performance, quickly backed it up with a 6.17 as well, to take command of the final.
The two hungry QS campaigners even took the battle to the next level, sharing a peak, Duru on the right, Mendes on the left, but eventually both falling short of improving their situation. A little lull in action got everyone on their toes, before the Brazilian added a 7.03 to put Duru in a difficult position. Not feeling the pressure, the Frenchman launched into a straight frontside air to try and reduce his requirement. In the meantime Mendes selected a beautiful wave on his forehand, nailing two big turns for an excellent 8.33 and the event win.
“I stuck to my plan that’s all, these past two years I’ve been thinking too much about what the other guys were doing,” Mendes stated. “Now I’ve matured a lot, and given the waves I knew I could do it so I just surfed, that’s what I love to do. I’m so psyched, this win is huge for me and I want to keep this momentum now going into the next events. We’re like brothers with the other Brazilians, we travel around the world together and it’s amazing to have their support right now.”
France’s Joan Duru, runner-up in Azores, jumps in the lead in the European QS Title race, with a narrow margin over Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 16, before the final event in Cascais next month.
“If I was told before this event that I’d get a second I would have been stoked, but right now I feel a little gutted cause I couldn’t really express myself in the final,” Duru commented. “I used to go into events telling myself I could maybe make one or two heats, but this is a game-changer; I feel much more confident and hopefully I can keep going good until the end of the year.”
In the first semifinal, Mendes picked off great waves to start building a good scoreboard in the opening minutes, while Ricardo Christie (NZL) 25, wasted a few tries on waves offering no potential. The Kiwi eventually spotted a good lefthander, and performed two big turns to bank a 7.50 and launch his campaign. Quickly backing it up with a 4.00, the two surfers got tied with a similar heat total of 11.50. Mendes rapidly picked off a good left of his own, performing a critical turn under the lip for a 7.43 and the win. Christie placed equal 3rd, collecting 4225 ranking points in the process.
“It was really tough to find the right waves, and I fell off on one where I could have maybe gotten the score,” Christie said. “I still had fun and I’m stoked for my result. I haven’t really thought of the rankings scenario just yet, but I’ll sure start looking at things and possibilities.I have a couple more days here and I’m just going to enjoy myself, it’s such a beautiful place.”
In a very slow scenario, half of the second semifinal went by without Yadin Nicol (AUS) 28, or Joan Duru taking action. The Australian was first to capitalize on a righthander and moved into pole position. Needing only a small requirement, Duru multiplied his attempts, eventually catching the winning ride and relegating Nicol to second. The Australian nets his season-best result of an equal third in Sao Miguel.
“It was frustrating out there but you know we’re all in the same boat and hats off to Joan he did better than me out there,” Nicol stated. “I’m stoked with how this week turned out, I’d like to go one better but I got some points out of it and I’m coming back to Portugal for more in October.”
The second event of the Portuguese Waves Series - Cascais Trophy, and final stop on the 2014 European Qualifying Series will host some of the World’s Best Surfers at the ASP Prime Cascais Billabong Pro, from October 7-11.
The ASP Prime SATA Azores Pro pres. by Sumol is scheduled from September 2-7, 2014 in Sao Miguel, Azores Islands.
The SATA Azores Pro pres. by Sumol 14 is organized by DAAZ Events and Atlantic Action Sports Association, with the support of the following event partners: SATA Airlines, Azores Tourism, Ribeira Grande City Hall, Sumol, Seat, MOCHE, Vip Executive Azores Hotel, SPORT.TV, Mega Hits, RTP, Jornal i, Surf Portugal, OnFire, Surf Total, Beachcam and Puro Feeling.
SATA AZORES PRO FINAL RESULTS:
1 - Jesse Mendes (BRA) 15.83
2 - Joan Duru (FRA) 12.44
SATA AZORES PRO SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 14.10 def. Ricardo Christie (NZL) 11.50
SF 2: Joan Duru (FRA) 9.00 def. Yadin Nicol (AUS) 8.00