Kanoa Igarashi wins the Hang Loose Pro, takes QS lead

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Kanoa Igarashi © WSL/Smorigo
Hang Loose Pro

WSL QS 6,000 Men’s Event
Joaquina, Florianapolis Brazil
1 – 7 November 2016

 Igarashi guarantees his spot on the Championship Tour 2017

Surf News Network 6 November, 2016 – Kanoa Igarashi caught the best waves at Praia da Joaquina and defeated Jadson Andre (BRA), 26, by a score of 15.87 to 13.37 in the Final at the 2016 WSL QS 6,000 Hang Loose Pro Contest in Florianopolis, Brazil.

By winning the event Igarashi earned $25,000 in prize money and six thousand points, which catapults him to first place on the QS rankings, confirming another year on the Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour in 2017.

This is the second time that Igarashi has clinched his spot on the CT after a win in Brazil. Last year, the young Californian won in Itacare, Bahia to guarantee his spot on his maiden journey to the big leagues. This year, Igarashi was the standout surfer of the event at Praia da Joaquina with expressive performances throughout the contest and will remain amongst the Top 34 in 2017.

“It feels incredible to win again in Brazil. It’s really similar to last year, when I needed a good result to qualify for the CT. Now I can go to Hawaii without any extra pressure and just have fun there.”

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Kanoa Igarashi © WSL/Smorigo

Kanoa gave his explanation as to why he is so successful in Brazilian waters: “I just feel very comfortable here. I really like the waves, the people and the food, and I speak Portuguese so that helps a lot too.”

In Heat 1 of the Semifinals, Igarashi beat his traveling partner and roommate Griffin Colapinto (USA) by a score of 14.84 to 11.50. However, no love was lost as Colapinto helped to chair up Igarashi to the winner’s podium.

“I’ve known Griffin for a long time, we’re staying together and he carried me up the beach. I’d do the same for him if he had won,” concluded Iagarashi.

Jadson Andre has had a rough time on the CT this year, but with his runner-up finish, Andre earned 4,500 points and has jumped from 58th to 29th on the QS rankings. But with two QS 10,000 events coming up in Hawaii, Jadson still has an opportunity to maintain his status on the CT.

“It’s awesome to make the final in Brazil, it’s always great to surf in front of the best crowd in the world,” said Andre. “I would have loved to have won this contest, but I can’t complain, second is still good and congrats to Kanoa.”

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Jadson Andre © WSL/Smorigo

Jadson had to overcome a bout of the flu earlier this week, but overcame the challenge to reach the Finals.

“I felt really weak in the beginning of the contest. But each day I got a little better, and that was even reflected in my scores,” Andre said. “I really wasn’t even paying attention to my QS ranking because I want to make it back to the CT with a good result at Pipe. But it’s still good to know that I jumped a few spots on the QS, you never know!”

In Heat 2 of the Semifinals, Jadson Andre took on high-flyer Deivid Silva (BRA), 21, but wave selection was crucial in the 2-foot waves at Praia da Joaquina. With his 3rd place finish, Silva now sits in 11th place on the QS and will now head to Hawaii for the chance to enter into the top 10.

“I’m really stoked with this result especially with the number of events left on the calendar,” declared Silva. “Of course I would have liked to make it to the Finals, but I couldn’t find the right waves. I’m still happy for Jadson, who is also looking to stay on the CT. Now I’m excited to be going to Hawaii to compete in the Triple Crown and I hope to be on the CT next year.”

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Jadson Andre and Kanoa Igarashi © WSL/Smorigo

The Hang Loose Pro Contest is celebrating its 30th anniversary and many of the people that took place in the event in 1986 now had the opportunity to bring their children to show how the history of Brazilian surfing has developed over the last 30 years. Alfio Lagnado, head of Hang Loose, was ecstatic with the overall outcome of the event.

“It’s so cool to see the contest site in the same colors and using the same logos as the historic event that took place in 1986,” said Lagnado. “I’m very proud that we were able to host this contest again and the results were way beyond our expectations. In 86’ it was a dream to run a CT event with the world’s best surfers in Brazil. Now to see Brazil with two world champions, it just proves how important it was to invest in the sport of surfing and it’s been the secret of all this success.”

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