Young Brazilian surfer Adriano De Souza, the events number one seed, was a shock elimination on day five at the SriLankan Airlines Pro in the Maldives today. In the round of 24 surfers where three man heats are introduced with 1st and 2nd progressing while 3rd is eliminated, twenty year old De Souza only required a three point ride to progress.
The big problem for De Souza was a snapped fin on his board mid heat which restricted his performance severely. He was forced to waste time changing boards and was unable to get a wave on his new board before the heat finished. De Souza fell to Eneko Acero (Spain) and Jordy Smith (Zaf).
Angry after the heat De Souza said “It’s really disappointing when the equipment fails. It happened in my first heat here and then again today. I’ll be talking seriously with my board people to fix this because it’s a serious problem and I’m not happy at all.”
It wasn’t all bad for the strong Brazilian contingent here with Leonardo Neves and Heitor Alves both very impressive round five heat winners today. Alves likened the wave to his home breaks in Brazil and the super fast small framed goofy footer put in an awesome display to score the events highest single scoring ride with a 9.67 and the events highest heat tally of 18.17.
Surrounded by the happy Brazilian contingent after his heat Alves said, “Great heat for me, the winds picked up and I knew I could pull some good aerial moves if I focused on them and that’s exactly how it worked for me. I love the waves here and I really feel good at this stage of the event and will enjoy my next heats.”
One surfer surprising many here is Anthony Walsh (Australia/Lennox Head). Walsh recently made world headlines in surfing following exceptional performances in the worlds scariest wave in Tahiti and here in the Maldives, in probably some of the most fun waves in the world, Walsh is again winning and is through to the final 16 surfers.
“It’s nothing like Teahupoo but it’s such a rippable wave you have to surf well here. The hardest part here is the water temperature. It’s probably the warmest I’ve felt, around 30 degrees and that’s awesome for free surfing but tough when we compete!”
Other big performers today included Mikey Picon (France), Michel Bourez (Tahiti), Jarrod Howse (Aus), Dustin Barca (Haw), Kekoa Bacalso (Haw), Troy Brooks (Aus), Adrian Buchan (Aus) and Tiago Pires(Portugal), all through to the final 16 surfers. The great waves simply continue to roll through at Pasta Point and with predicted favorable winds tomorrow everyone is keen for an epic finish.