Silvana Lima beats field of 71 to claim Midori Pro crown
Brazilian pocket rocket Silvana Lima has beaten 71 of the world’s best female surfers to take the crown at the 5 Star Midori Pro at the 2007 Maitland Toyota Surfest at Merewether beach in New South Wales, Australia.
In an all Brazilian final, Lima narrowly edged out her compatriot Jacqueline Silva, to grab the $US4,000 prize packet and earn 2000 points for the World Qualifying Series (WQS) tour. Currently ranked number three on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour, the 22 year-old natural foot managed a finals’ score of 10.16 against Silva’s 9.83.
The Brazilian wowed the crowd of around 3000 people with impressive high turns off the lip and a number of aerial maneuvers. ”I feel really, really good about the win,” an exuberant Lima said. ”I had a lot of my friends come over and support me, so it was nice to be here.” The pint sized champion who stands just re 145 cm (4ft 9”) shot to international surfing fame as a wildcard entrant in the 2005 Billabong Pro at Maui in Hawaii.
Lima earned a perfect 10 on her first-ever wave ridden in elite tour competition during that event. Today, she was humble about her standout performance. ”I’m just a normal 22-year-old, doing normal stuff and enjoying life – I’m just good at surfing,” the affable Lima said. ”I’m leaving Newcastle this afternoon to go to Soldier’s Beach on the Central Coast and then over to Margaret River to surf the WQS event there.”
Runner up Jacqueline Silva, currently ranked number eight on the ASP world tour, said she had a lot of memories of surfing at Newcastle and would have liked to have taken the Midori Pro title. In 1997, the then 17-year-old finished ninth in the same event at Newcastle. Today she bettered that effort, only missing out on the title by less than half a point.
”I did really well in all my heats and I was so close but it was a tough comp and I’m happy that one of my best friends won,” 27-year-old Silva said. ”Silvana and I tour together and every contest we try to watch each other’s heats, so I’m happy for her win.”
It was a disappointing end to the Australian competitors in the event, with hot favourites Nicola Atherton (Sydney, NSW) and Amee Donohoe (Central Coast, NSW) both bundled out in the semi-finals this morning
1, Lima, Silvana BRA
2, Silva, Jacqueline BRA
1, Silva, Jacqueline BRA
2, Donohoe, Amee AUS
1, Lima, Silvana BRA
2, Atherton, Nicola AUS