Second seeded Adriano De Souza (BRA) lifted the performance bar in a big way when he threw all his power and flow into a series of massive turns and posted a near perfect 9.87 out of 10 as he demolished his three Australian opponents, Nic Squires, local Ryan Callinan and Mitchell James, 2nd to 4th respectively.
“I love Newcastle although I haven’t surfed this event since 2008 but it is just as I remember, good waves with power” said De Souza.
“I’ve been in Australia for a full month working closely with my surfboard shaper Darren Handley and right now I feel good – my equipment and fitness and I am excited for the season.”
De Souza’s 17.70 combined two-wave tally was the highest heat score of the day.
Reigning ASP World Champion Joel Parkinson (AUS) had another solid heat, advancing in second place behind Brazilian Bino Lopes. Mid-heat Parkinson slipped to last place and had the crowd concerned, but his class soon prevailed with an excellent 8.67 ride that saw him advance comfortably.
“It was hard to know what I had to do because the winds are so strong and I couldn’t hear the scores but I knew I needed a good wave and was always confident one would come – the good waves out here are very good and offer plenty of potential but getting two of them in four-man heats can be a challenge.”
Julian Wilson was another elite ASP World Championship Tour surfer to begin this year’s campaign today and he comfortably advanced despite waiting until mid-heat to find a decent wave score.
“The heat before mine was pumping and there were multiple 9-point rides but then in my heat the larger waves just disappeared” said Wilson.
“I had to move in closer to shore and virtually grab whatever wave I could to get going in the heat.”
Five heats of the Round of 48 were completed at the end of the day setting the scene for a big day of Burton Toyota Pro Men’s heats tomorrow that should see the Quarterfinalist’s decided.
The second last heat of the day saw French campaigner Marc Lacomare post an outstanding 9.47 and take a big heat win and join fellow French surfer Maxime Huscenot through to the Round of 24.
The Hunter Ports Women’s Classic did not surf today and are down to their final 8 surfers and they are expected to run and decide a winner on this weekend.
Burton Toyota Pro Round of 48 Burton Toyota Pro:
Heat 1: Bino Lopes (BRA) 14.83, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.67, Joan Duru (FRA) 13.37, Oney Anwar (IND) 10.44
Heat 2: Tiago Pires (PRT) 13.27, Felipe Toledo (BRA) 12.16, Matt-Lewis Hewitt (NZ) 9.87, Thomas Hermes (BRA) 9.17
Heat 3: Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 13.57, Jeremy Johnson (USA) 12, Kalani David (HAW) 11.44, Santiago Muniz (ARG) 11.25
Heat 4: Marc Lacomare (FRA) 16.93, Damien Hobgood (USA) 15.76 , Charles Martin (GLP)15.43, Jesse Adam (AUS) 11.67
Heat 5: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.60, Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 9.93, Mitch Coleborn (AUS) 9.83, Teppei Tajema (JPN) 7.16
Burton Toyota Pro Round of 96
Heat 10: Mitch Coleborn (AUS)12.83, Heitor Alves (Bra) 12.43, Davey Cathels (Aus) 12.10, Cahill Bell-Warren (Aus) 10.44
Heat 11: Keanu Asing (HAW) 12.27, Teppei Tajima (Jpn) 11.17, Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 8.93, Thomas Woods (Aus) 0.00
Heat 12: Conner O’Leary (AUS) 17.93, Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 16.37, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 16.17, Krytian Kymerson (BRA) 6.27
Heat 13: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.20, Cooper Chapman (AUS) 11.83, Dale Lovelock (AUS) 10.73, Stu Kenedy (AUS) 9.77
Heat 14: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 13.83, Garrett Parkes (AUS) 11.76, Jordin Watson (AUS) 11, Jesse Mendes (BRA) 10.63
Heat 15: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 16.40, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 12.34, Lucas Silveira (BRA) 12.34, Shaun Joubert (ZAF)
Heat 16: Marco Fernandez (BRA) 14.73, Leonardro Usuna (ARG) 11.83, Glenn Hall (IRL) 11.67, Mason Ho (HAW) 6.77
Heat 17: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 16.74, Messias Felix (BRA) 14.64, Michael Dunphy (USA) 13.27, Enrique Aritu (PYF) 7.87
Heat 18: Granger Larson (Haw) 15.70, Jay Thompson (Aus) 15.56, Jerome Forrest (Aus) 10.67,Mateia Hiquily (Pyf) 9.84
Heat 19: Dillon Perillo (USA) 16.60, Perth Standlick (AUS) 10.57, Taylor Clarke (USA) 10.07, Romain Cloitre (FRA) 4.97
Heat 20: Nathan Hedge (AUS) 12.87, Kai Otton (AUS) 12.50, Kiron Jabour (HAW), Cory Arrambide (USA) 6.03
Heat 21: Mitch Crews (AUS) 15.10, Brett Simpson (USA), Dylan Goodale (HAW) 13.93, Chris Friend (AUS) 12.74
Heat 22: Heath Joske (AUS) 15.77, Pat Gudauskas (USA) 10.97, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 10.4, Michael February (Zaf) 9.5
Heat 23: Darren O’Rafferty (AUS) 15.27, Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 14.33, Jadson Andre (BRA) 14.17, Manuel Selman (Chl) 9.57
Heat 24: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 17.70, Nic Squires (AUS) 12.83, Ryan Callinan (AUS) 10.63, Mitchell James (Aus) 6.04