Monday, June 11, 2007
ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE
Used to be, the WQS tour was a complete slog, with four-man heats in crappy beachbreak after crappy beachbreak. Being able to grovel with the best of 'em while keeping an eye on the Dream Tour prize kept many surfers motivated, but things are changing.
The Sri Lanka Airlines Pro in the Maldives, now in its sixth year, is a prime example of the Dream Tour coming to the WQS. And while there was no Teahupoo-like barrels on offer this year, consistent shoulder to head-high swell graced Pasta Point for the week of the contest, allowing the world's best young surfers to cut loose over the rippable reefbreak.
Brazilian Heitor Alves took the win from Aussie Jarrad Howse in the last three minutes of the final with a solid 8.93, which comboed the Aussie.
"I'm so happy to win such a magnificent event here in the Maldives," Alves said. "All week we have surfed really good waves and today was perfect for me. I feel like Pasta Point really suits my style and after each heat I was very confident I could get a really good result here. It's great that a Brazilian finally wins here as well!"
This was Jarrad Howse's second finals performance in the past month and the South Australian born surfer who now resides in Sydney is well on track to requalify for the elite World Championship Tour in 2008.
"It's been another fantastic event here. Obviously I would have like to have won but in the final I never quite found the waves needed to score really big on. No excuses though, the winner has been the form surfer here and he will always be hard to beat in these type of conditions."
Equal third today went to Hawaiian surfer Dustin Barca and Brazil's Pablo Paulino, while South African surfer Jordy Smith's fifth placing puts him in first place on the ASP World Qualifying Series Ratings.