Brazilians Dominate Qualifying Round Heats
Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) showcased her forehand strength, posting an excellent 8.33 on a lefthander. Her backup of a 7.50 was enough to take the heat win over eight-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS).
“I guess I’m just trying to have a ton of fun and trying to bring the variety, power, and flow, but at the same time just focus on surfing because you can’t control the other surfers,” said Weston-Webb. “This wave and this event are super unique, and I actually really like it because of the pressure that we have when we are competing. You can guarantee a wave is going to come and you have your opportunity. I really like this event; I thrive under pressure.”
Defending event winner and current World Champion Filipe Toledo (BRA) maintained his winning streak at the Surf Ranch today, placing first in his Qualifying Round heat and moving straight into Finals Day. Toledo got off to a quick start, earning an excellent 8.83 on his first right of the heat. Past event winner and three-time World Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) also put on a brilliant performance, earning an excellent 8.77 on his second left. No other men have made the Final at the Surf Ranch Pro except these two.
Hoping to break that record is current rankings leader Joao Chianca (BRA), who also advanced straight to Finals Day. This is Chianca’s first time competing at the Surf Ranch and he looked right at home on the long, perfect walls.
Also advancing out of the Qualification Round and into Finals Day were Caroline Marks (USA) Ethan Ewing (AUS) and Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) who won their heats with solid performances.