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Azores Airlines Pro launches in small Atlantic surf

Nolan Rapoza takes it to the air for his spot into Round Two. Credit: © WSL / Poullenot



Azores Airlines Pro

Small window of rideable surf provides stage for Round 1

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 5 September, 2017 - The Azores Airlines Pro launched today in small, wind-affected surf at Santa Barbara. Officials decided to run through the opening round of competition as the weather and swell forecast for the week look uncharacteristic for Azores and difficult for the entire event to run in time.

Ariihoe Tefaafana (PYF), 22, found a punchy left peak and tore it to pieces on his forehand, selecting the longer waves to combine multiple turns all the way to shore. The Tahitian surfed his way to the two highest single-wave scores of the event so far with a solid 15.74 heat total to advance into Round Two.

“It’s not easy out there but I’m happy I made it through,” Tefaafana said. “Coming as an alternate, there’s always a little pressure to fly somewhere and spend some money when you’re not even sure you’re going to surf in the event. So I’m super happy to win that one in fun waves. This island reminds me a lot of home, so I feel comfortable and I like it here.”

Kilian Garland (USA), 30, took a very similar approach to scoring in the waist-high Azorean surf but on his backhand on those long little lefts. He surfed a total of eight waves during his heat, seeking to build momentum and improve on each of his attempts for a qualifying spot into the next round.

“I started off with a couple little waves and then built my scores, I found a wedge that turned into a pretty good little wave,” Garland explained. “It’s kind of sneaky, you don’t really see them coming and you think they’re going to hit a spot and they don’t, so I was stoked to pick up a couple there. I’ve really enjoyed my first trip to Spain and now I’m having a great time here in the Azores. I’m going to try to visit some of the sites, see the volcano and lakes etc.”

Billy Stairmand (NZL), 27, followed right in Garland’s footpath and incorporated a little variety with a backhand rotation to conclude one of his best scoring rides of 7.77. He also surfed some of the rights, which not many surfers opted to ride today, and put an overall convincing effort to move into Round Two.

“I got a bit of confidence after that first score,” Stairmand admitted. “There’s fun little left wedges like at home and this is pretty much my first heat win all year so I’m pretty stoked. I got nervous in the first half of that heat but when I got that first wave it really pumped me up and then I wanted to surf everything that came by.”

The red jerseys suffered a real damaging day with the eliminations of Leandro Usuna, Reef Heazlewood, Jacob Willcox, Dusty Payne, Nomme Mignot, Mateus Herdy, Parker Coffin and Maxime Huscenot among other shocking early exits.

Event officials and surfers will reconvene at 8 a.m Wednesday to re-assess conditions and decide of the second day’s schedule.

The Azores Airlines Pro pres. by SEAT is scheduled from September 5-10, 2017 at PRAIA DE SANTA BARBARA, Sao Miguel - Azores Islands. For all results, photos, video highlights and press releases, log on to 

The Azores Airlines Pro pres. by SEAT is organized by DAAZ Eventos with the support of the following event partners:  Azores Airlines, Governo Regional dos Acores, Turismo dos Açores, Câmara Municipal da Ribeira Grande, SEAT , MEO, MagicSeaWeed amongst others.

Heat 1: Jesse Mendes (BRA), Jacome Correia (PRT), Takumi Nakamura (JPN), Cristobal De Col (PER) 
Heat 2: Ryan Callinan (AUS), Miguel Tudela (PER), Robson Santos (BRA),Kalani Ball (AUS) 
Heat 3: Cooper Chapman (AUS), Gony Zubizarreta (ESP), Tanner Hendrickson (HAW), Jared Hickel (AUS) 
Heat 4: Alex Ribeiro (BRA), Luel Felipe (BRA), Tom Cloarec (FRA), Thiago Camarao (BRA) 
Heat 5: Yago Dora (BRA) , Tomas Tudela (PER), Peterson Crisanto (BRA), Michael Dunphy (USA) 
Heat 6: Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR), Noe Mar McGonagle (CRI), Taylor Clark (USA), Shun Murakami (JPN) 
Heat 7: Alejo Muniz (BRA), Oney Anwar (IDN), Charly Martin (GLP), Nolan Rapoza (USA) 
Heat 8: Willian Cardoso (BRA), Marco Fernandez (BRA), Matthew McGillivray (ZAF), Ariihoe Tefaafana (PYF) 
Heat 9: Patrick Gudauskas (USA), Krystian Kymerson (BRA), David Van Zyl (ZAF), Charly Quivront (FRA) 
Heat 10: Wade Carmichael (AUS), Beyrick De Vries (ZAF), Thiago Guimaraes (BRA), Slade Prestwich (ZAF) 
Heat 11: Soli Bailey (AUS), Tanner Gudauskas (USA), Kilian Garland (USA), Vicente Romero (ESP) 
Heat 12: Keanu Asing (HAW), Seth Moniz (HAW), Yuji Nishi (JPN), Deivid Silva (BRA) 
Heat 13: Tomas Hermes (BRA), Cam Richards (USA), Dion Atkinson (AUS), Quinn Bruce (AUS) 
Heat 14: Joshua Moniz (HAW), Marco Giorgi (URY), Vitor Mendes (BRA),Jackson Baker (AUS) 
Heat 15: Carlos Munoz (CRI), Koa Smith (HAW),Marcos Correa (BRA), Tristan Guilbaud (FRA) 
Heat 16: Michael Rodrigues (BRA), Mitch Crews (AUS), Mihimana Braye (PYF), Brett Simpson (USA) 
Heat 17: Jorgann Couzinet (FRA), Timothee Bisso (GLP), Aritz Aranburu (ESP), Joaquin Del Castillo (PER) 
Heat 18: Vasco Ribeiro (PRT), Davey Cathels (AUS), Miguel Blanco (PRT), Lliam Mortensen (AUS) 
Heat 19: Flavio Nakagima (BRA), Rafael Teixeira (BRA),  David Do Carmo (BRA), Weslley Dantas (BRA) 
Heat 20: Griffin Colapinto (USA), Lucas Silveira (BRA), Tomas Fernandes (PRT), Joao Chianca (BRA)
Heat 21: Ricardo Christie (NZL), Hiroto Arai (JPN), Jordy Collins (USA) , Yage Araujo (BRA) 
Heat 22: Mikey Wright (AUS), Bino Lopes (BRA), Yuri Goncalves (BRA), Billy Stairmand (NZL) 
Heat 23: Ian Crane (USA), Marc Lacomare (FRA), Joshua Burke (BRB) Shane Campbell (AUS) 
Heat 24: Michael February (ZAF), Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY), Nelson Cloarec (FRA), Jeronimo Vargas (BRA) 

Heat 1: Takumi Nakamura (JPN) 14.93, Robson Santos (BRA) 11.93, Leandro Usuna (ARG) 11.34, Manuel Morgado (PRT) 8.66
Heat 2: Kalani Ball (AUS) 13.16, Cristobal De Col (PER) 13.00, Kei Kobayashi (USA) 9.83, Reef Heazlewood (AUS) 9.77
Heat 3: Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 11.84, Tom Cloarec (FRA) 10.74, Gabriel Andre (BRA) 8.53, Jacob Willcox (AUS) 6.33
Heat 4: Thiago Camarao (BRA) 15.07, Jared Hickel (AUS) 11.07, Lucca Mesinas (PER) 10.53, Cole Houshmand (USA) 9.27
Heat 5: Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 13.00, Taylor Clark (USA) 11.07, Imaikalani Devault (HAW) 11.07, Moses Le Grice (AUS) 8.03
Heat 6: Shun Murakami (JPN) 12.67, Michael Dunphy (USA) 12.20, Alonso Correa (PER) 11.37, Elijah Gates (HAW) 9.96
Heat 7: Charly Martin (GLP) 13.57, Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 11.30, Daiki Tanaka (JPN) 9.90, Dusty Payne (HAW) 8.74
Heat 8: Ariihoe Tefaafana (PYF) 15.74, Nolan Rapoza (USA) 13.10, Jake Marshall (USA) 12.40, Torrey Meister (HAW) 9.86
Heat 9: David Van Zyl (ZAF) 11.70, Thiago Guimaraes (BRA) 11.56, Titouan Boyer (FRA) 10.07, Jean Da Silva (BRA) 9.90
Heat 10: Slade Prestwich (ZAF) 11.50, Charly Quivront (FRA) 10.27, Adrien Toyon (FRA) 9.13, Nomme Mignot (FRA) 6.37
Heat 11: Kilian Garland (USA) 15.50, Yuji Nishi (JPN) 11.56, Keijiro Nishi (JPN) 9.36, Kiron Jabour (HAW) 9.30
Heat 12: Deivid Silva (BRA) 13.27, Vicente Romero (ESP) 9.93, Nicolas Vargas (CHL) 8.26, Alvaro Malpartida (PER) 5.97
Heat 13: Dion Atkinson (AUS) 14.50, Vitor Mendes (BRA) 9.67, Renan Peres (BRA) 9.53, Pedro Henrique (PRT) 8.30
Heat 14: Jackson Baker (AUS) 13.10, Quinn Bruce (AUS) 12.67, Mateus Herdy (BRA) 11.87, Samuel Igo De Souza (BRA) 11.20
Heat 15: Marcos Correa (BRA) 13.16, Mihimana Braye (PYF) 12.10, Shane Sykes (ZAF) 11.77, Skip McCullough (USA) 3.33
Heat 16: Brett Simpson (USA) 13.27, Tristan Guilbaud (FRA) 10.56, Gatien Delahaye (FRA) 10.36, Reo Inaba (JPN) 8.20
Heat 17: Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 13.34, Miguel Blanco (PRT) 11.93, Dylan Lightfoot (ZAF) 9.57, Paul Cesar Distinguin (FRA) 9.43
Heat 18: Lliam Mortensen (AUS) 12.40, Joaquin Del Castillo (PER) 11.60, Jack Robinson (AUS) 11.00, Makai McNamara (HAW) 9.93
Heat 19: David Do Carmo (BRA) 12.33, Tomas Fernandes (PRT) 11.83, Dylan Goodale (HAW) 9.77, O'Neill Massin (PYF) 8.80
Heat 20: Joao Chianca (BRA) 12.57, Weslley Dantas (BRA) 11.66, Parker Coffin (USA) 10.53, Dimitri Ouvre (FRA) 9.23
Heat 21: Jordy Collins (USA) 14.06, Yuri Goncalves (BRA) 12.33, Dean Bowen (AUS) 9.80, Nic Von Rupp (PRT) 7.97
Heat 22: Billy Stairmand (NZL) 14.94, Yage Araujo (BRA) 12.47, Andy Criere (ESP) 10.67, Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 10.44
Heat 23: Joshua Burke (BRB) 10.66, Nelson Cloarec (FRA) 10.40, Manuel Selman (CHL) 10.13, Monty Tait (AUS) 9.03
Heat 24: Jeronimo Vargas (BRA) 13.20, Shane Campbell (AUS) 11.06, Kaito Ohashi (JPN) 10.86, Adrian Garcia (PER) 9.06


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