1999 ASP World Champ Mark Occhilupo won his Round 1 heat at the SuperSurf ASP World Masters Championships. Credit: ASP / CESTARI
ARPOADOR, Rio de Janeiro / Brasil (Tuesday, July 26, 2011) - The opening day of the SuperSurf ASP World Masters Championships kicked off in clean two-foot (.5 metre) offshore waves at the Rio de Janeiro's lefthand pointbreak of Arpoador. The opening day's proceedings saw some of the sport's most iconic names contribute timeless performances to complete Round 1 of Masters competition.
The SuperSurf ASP World Masters Championships will crown ASP World Champions in two divisions; the Masters (ages 36-49) and the Grand Masters (50 and over) via a round robbin format as they gain points while surfing through five non-elimination rounds to eventually qualify for the man-on-man Quarterfinals.
Guilherme Herdy (BRA), who is a former ASP World Tour veteran, opened his campaign for the SuperSurf ASP World Masters Title in striking fashion. The Brazilian goofy-footer displayed electric forehand surfing to garner the day's highest heat total of 14.10 out of 20 and crucial points to begin his campaign.
"It's so nice to be with everybody in the water again and see old friends, and see the old guys ripping," Herdy said. "It's fun to get some waves. It's very small today, but still plenty of good work. The most important thing is the feeling everybody has in the water. They respect each other. You try to do the best on the wave, but keep the good feeling at the same time. It's nice. I'm so happy to be a part of this and I hope we get waves, so everybody have a chance to show a good performance."
Mark Occhilupo (AUS), who clinched his ASP World Title in Brazil in 1999, opened his SuperSurf ASP World Masters account with a Round 1 victory over Brazilians Fabio Silva, Fabio Gouveia and Hawaiian Marty Thomas (HAW). The powerful goofy-footer has finaled at the Brazilian lefthander of Arpoador once before and returned in dangerous form on the event's opening day.
"It feels great being back in Brazil," Occhilupo said. "Obviously, I won my World Title here in Rio, so it's great to be back. I have made a final out here before, so I love the set up in Aproador, it's a good left, and I feel great about the format and everything. It's good to be back."
Flavio Padaratz (BRA), brother of former ASP World Tour campaigner Neco Padaratz, was another Brazilian to take a Round 1 heat victory. Padaratz topped former ASP World Champion Barton Lynch (AUS) and was elated to be back in the water with some friendly rivalry.
"It was really emotional to get down to the beach early in the morning and see all my friends," Padaratz said. "These guys that made the background of my life for so long. I was out there up against my world champion (Barton Lynch). It might not mean a lot for the young kids today, but it means a lot to me. I was beaten by him so many times when he was World Champion. It's an honor to see all these guys again. It great to get in a heat and feel that adrenaline and that competitive feeling with someone you know. It's outstanding. You get to the contest and you're smiling all day long, and the next day, the same thing."
Tom Curren (USA), former three-time ASP World Champion, admitted that the small conditions at Arpoador were tricky to navigate on his backhand, but is excited about a potential rise in swell later in the week.
"The waves are a bit small today, but it should pick up a little later in the week," Curren said. "It's really fun to be here, it's a beautiful day. Bit of an advantage for the goofy footers, still fun to get the first heat out of the way."
Also competing in this year's SuperSurf ASP World Masters Championships are ASP World Champions Derek Ho (HAW), Shaun Tomson (ZAF), Wayne Bartholomew (AUS), Peter Townend (AUS), Cheyne Horan (AUS) and Terry Richardson (AUS) among other surfing icons.
The waiting period for the SuperSurf ASP World Masters Championships runs from July 26 through 31, 2011. A call at 7:30am local time will be made tomorrow morning for a possible restart to competition.
The Supersurf ASP World Masters Championships will be webcast LIVE via http://supersurf.abril.com.br/
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
Heat 1: Flavio Padaratz (BRA) 12.00, Richard Lovett (AUS) 10.65, Rob Bain (AUS) 8.40, Barton Lynch (AUS) 8.25
Heat 2: Guilherme Herde (BRA) 14.10, Richie Collins (USA) 11.75, Brad Gerlach (USA) 10.10, Gary Elkerton (AUS) 8.05
Heat 3: Victor Ribas (BRA) 13.25, Kaipo Jaquias (HAW) 11.00, Jojo Olivenca (BRA) 10.20, Derek Ho (HAW) 9.00
Heat 4: Shea Lopez (USA) 13.05, Renan Rocha (BRA) 10.75, Tom Curren (USA) 9.65, Jake Patterson (AUS) 9.35
Heat 5: Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 13.65, Fabio Silva (BRA) 13.30, Fabio Gouveia (BRA) 12.55, Marty Thomas (HAW) 4.55
Heat 6: Nathan Webster (AUS) 13.60, Luke Egan (AUS) 12.50, Peterson Rosa (BRA) 11.95, Ricardo Toledo (BRA) 10.60
Heat 1: Shaun Tomson (ZAF), Hans Hedemann (HAW), Buzzy Kerbox (HAW), Daniel Friedman (BRA)
Heat 2: Wayne Bartholomew (AUS), Glen Winton (AUS), Peter Townend (AUS), Iain Buchanan (NZL)
Heat 3: Michael Ho (HAW), Simon Anderson (AUS), Ian Cairns (AUS), TBA
Heat 4: Cheyne Horan (AUS), Terry Richardson (AUS), Terry Fitzgerald (AUS), TBA