Billabong Ladies Pro kicks off in Brazil

What: Billabong Ladies Pro, ASP 4 Star Women’s WQS event
Where: Costão do Santinho in Brazil
When: 1-4 October 2008

The Billabong Ladies Pro – the 18th stop on the Women’s World Qualifying Series – kicked off yesterday with solid 4-6 feet waves in Costão do Santinho, Brazil. The ladies raced through the rounds, with the final eight being picked for the quarterfinals in the very first day of competition!

The heats became progressively competitive, with the Brazilian wave-riders in particular pulling out all the stops. A fantastic 9.25 out of 10 for her final wave still couldn’t secure Diana Cristina a win over Silvana Lima. Diana secured a closely-run second in their heat, eliminating Hawaiian Bethany Hamilton.

“My first heat was tough, but now I got a good wave and charged for the score, I can’t hear the scores but I knew it was a high score. They are all great surfers, Silvana, Bethany… so I’m happy,” said Diana who will surf against New Zelander Paige Hareb in the quarterfinals.

“It’s difficult out there: big, close-out, strong currents, I didn’t find good waves but it was enough to go on,” said Paige. “It’s my third time here in Brazil, but the first in Florianopolis. That beach is beautiful, the waves are powerful… very cool,” said the 18-year-old surfer who is hoping to make the WCT with a storming performance in Brazil. “If I get a good result here I’ll improve my place but only if I make the final. I don’t want to think about it so I’ll take it heat by heat.”

The other Brazilian racing up the rankings at the Billabong Ladies Pro is local ripper Jacqueline Silva. However, so far her local knowledge has only secured her two second places on the powerful waves of Costão do Santinho. “It’s really difficult to set yourself out there. It’s hard to choose the right waves, but I’m still here for the next round,” said Jacqueline. “I’m glad to compete at home again, especially with good waves. The forecast is great for the rest of the week and I hope I can do well here. Everybody is here, my family and all the people who usually watch us on the internet or TV. Now they can watch all the action live, cheering for us”, said Jacqueline, who will surf against Bruna Schmitz in the quarterfinals.

Heat 1: Tita Tavares (BRA) x Krisna de Souza (BRA)
Heat 2: Jacqueline Silva (BRA) x Bruna Schmitz (BRA)
Heat 3: Paige Hareb (NZL) x Diana Cristina (BRA)
Heat 4: Silvana Lima (BRA) x Claire Bevilacqua (AUS)

Heat 1: 1-Tita Tavares (BRA), 2-Jacqueline Silva (BRA), 3-Lee Ann Curren (FRA), 4-Monik Santos (BRA)
Heat 2: 1-Bruna Schmitz (BRA), 2-Krisna de Souza (BRA), 3-Alana Blanchard (HAW), 4-Kyla Langen (USA)
Heat 3: 1-Paige Hareb (NZL), 2-Claire Bevilacqua (AUS), 3-Claudia Gonçalves (BRA), 4-Renata Tambom (BRA)
Heat 4: 1-Silvana Lima (BRA), 2-Diana Cristina (BRA), 3-Bethany Hamilton (HAW), 4-Suelen Naraisa (BRA)


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