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Alyssa Spencer and Gabriel Medina Win Corona Saquarema Pro

1st ever Challenger Series in Brazil is in the books

Competition Commenced at 7:35 AM (GMT-3) with Women’s Quarterfinals (12:35AM HI Time)

Alyssa (Carlsbad California) takes out Tessa Thyssen (France) for her 1st CS Victory. Keeps Qualification Dreams Alive

Gabriel’s 1st win at this location… he came from behind in the final minutes and beat Morrocco’s Ramzi Boukhiam.

Medina Delays Qualifications for Top Ranked Surfers

Remaining 2023 Championship Tour Qualifiers To Be Decided in Hawaii

Front page: Event winners Gabriel Medina (BRA) and Alyssa Spencer (USA) at the Corona Saquarema Pro pres. by Banco do Brasil, Stop No. 6 of the 2022 Challenger Series. Credit: WSL / Thiago Diz
check the final heat out

PRAIA DE ITAÚNA – Saquarema, Brazil (Monday, November 7, 2022) – The Corona Saquarema Pro pres. by Banco do Brasil, Stop No. 6 on the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Challenger Series, finished off in spectacular fashion with Alyssa Spencer (USA) claiming the biggest win of her career so far over Tessa Thyssen (FRA) in the women’s Final, and three-time WSL World Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) defeating Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) in the men’s Final. The stage is now set for the remaining 2023 Championship Tour (CT) spots to be clinched at the final Challenger Series event of the season in Haleiwa, Hawaii.

Pictured: Event winner Alyssa Spencer (USA) being chaired up the beach at the Corona Saquarema Pro pres. by Banco do Brasil. Credit: WSL / Thiago Diz

Spencer Wins Her First Challenger Series Event, Keeps Qualification Dreams Alive

Spencer took home the biggest win of her career so far today, at the time when she needed it the most. She came to Brazil needing to make the finals in order to keep herself in reach of CT qualification, and she did just that under an immense amount of pressure. Spencer maintained her composure and form throughout the event, earning some of the highest scores and taking down several big names. Her road to the Finals today started with a matchup against an in-form Keely Andrew (AUS), in Quarterfinal, Heat 4. She then turned things up a notch in the Semifinals, Heat 2, against Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN), earning an excellent score of 8.67 (out of possible 10) on a solid lefthander.

Spencer then matched up against fellow goofy footer Tessa Thyssen (FRA) for the Final. Once again, she was able to find the waves with opportunity and showcase her trademark style to earn a 7.17 and 5.73 to solidify her win. The win was an emotional one for Spencer as it means she now sits just outside the CT qualification line and still has the opportunity to clinch a spot for the 2023 CT in Haleiwa, Hawaii.

“There are so many ups and down throughout the year, we have so many events and it’s so hard to be consistent and when you have losses it’s hard to keep yourself up, but I’ve put in a lot of work this year, so it feels really good to have it pay off,” said Spencer. “Brazil is amazing, I love the energy here and I’ve been feeding off of it. It’s been such a good week and I’ve been surrounded by the best people, so I’m really happy.”

Pictured: Runner-up Tessa Thyssen (FRA) at the Corona Saquarema Pro pres. by Banco do Brasil. Credit: WSL / Thiago Diz
Thyssen had an incredible run of her own here at Saquarema, coming from 46th on the Challenger Series rankings, all the way to the Final. In her best performance of the day, she was able to take down the now current No. 5 ranked surfer, Teresa Bonvalot (PRT), in the Semifinal, Heat 1.

“I’m obviously super happy, I’ve been working a lot and I’ve been moving forwards step by step, so I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made during this event,” said Thyssen. “Man, it’s been hard with the weather this week, but the Brazilian vibes are just amazing. It’s my first time here and I’ve really enjoyed myself during my stay.”

Pictured: Event winner Gabriel Medina (BRA) being chaired up the beach in front of the Brazilian crowd at the Corona Saquarema Pro pres. by Banco do Brasil. Credit: WSL / Thiago Diz

Medina Delays Qualifications for Top Ranked Surfers

Medina once again made history, winning the first-ever Challenger Series event in Latin America. The Final between Medina and Boukhiam was a rematch of the 2013 World Pro Junior Championship which took place in Florianópolis, Brazil, where Medina clinched his first title prior to becoming the first Brazilian WSL World Champion in 2014. Medina and Boukhiam have remained friends since then and may potentially be on the 2023 Championship Tour (CT) together.

“Ramzi (Boukhiam) is a really good friend of mine, we’ve had a Final together before and he’s someone I admire a lot,” said Medina. “I know he trains hard, surfs incredibly well and I hope he makes it onto the CT because he deserves it. I’m stoked that I got the chance to finally win an event in Brazil, especially during such a challenging week here in Saquarema. I’m also happy that I’m 100% healthy and now we’re only one month away from when the real work begins when I arrive in Hawaii.”

Pictured: Runner-up Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) at the Corona Saquarema Pro pres. by Banco do Brasil. Credit: WSL / Thiago Diz
Medina’s path to the Final was not an easy one having to go through Maxime Huscenot (FRA), in the Quarterfinals and local hero João Chianca (BRA), in the Semifinals. Both Huscenot and Chianca had a chance to guarantee their qualification onto the 2023 CT with an event win at the Corona Saquarema Pro, as did Boukhiam. Chianca has now moved up into 8th place on the Challenger Series rankings and Boukhiam now sits in 4th place.

“I really like Brazil a lot. I have a great connection with the country, with the people here and I’m really stoked with my result,” declared Boukhiam. “Medina is my favorite surfer and I know I’d have to surf my best to have a chance of beating him. It was a close one and he got the score at the end, but for me, he’s the best surfer in the world. I had a great time here, I think I was able to move up in the rankings and now I’m hopeful to make it onto the CT.”

Remaining 2023 Championship Tour Qualifiers to Be Decided in Hawaii

Going into the event, four men had a chance of guaranteeing qualification for the 2023 CT prior to the last event in Hawaii, those being Chianca, Boukhiam, Ian Gentil (HAW) and Huscenot if they made it to the Final.  Although none were able to, the four took important steps towards guaranteeing their names on the 2023 CT. Boukhiam and Gentil now sit in fourth and fifth in the rankings respectively. Huscenot is currently tied in sixth place with Australian Liam O’Brien, and Chianca is in eighth place.

In the women’s Challenger Series rankings, the battle for 2023 qualification has already confirmed three names, including Macy Callaghan (AUS), Molly Picklum (AUS), and Caitlin Simmers (USA). Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) is currently sitting in fourth on the rankings, and is also practically guaranteed. With her Semifinal result, Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) has moved up to the final qualification spot prior to Haleiwa. Spencer now sits just outside the cut line and could clinch her spot with another big win in Haleiwa.

For more information, visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL MEN’S RESULTS
CLICK HERE FOR FULL WOMEN’S RESULTS

Watch LIVE
The Corona Saquarema Pro pres. by Banco do Brasil is scheduled to run from November 1 – 8 at Praia de Itaúna, in Saquarema, Brazil. The event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, WSL’s YouTube channels and the free WSL app. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

The Corona Saquarema Pro pres. by Banco do Brasil is brought to you by: Corona, Banco do Brasil, BB Asset, Prefeitura Municipal de Saquarema, Secretaria de Esporte e Lazer do Governo do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, TikTok, 51 Ice, and NewON.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

About the WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) is the global home of competitive surfing, crowning the undisputed World Champions since 1976 and showcasing the world’s best surfers on the world’s best waves. WSL is comprised of the Tours and Competition division, which oversees and operates more than 180 global competitions each year; WSL WaveCo, home of the world’s largest high-performance, human-made wave; and WSL Studios, an independent producer of unscripted and scripted projects. For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

EARLIER UPDATE

1st ever Challenger Series in Brazil is in the books

Competition Commenced at 7:35 AM (GMT-3) with Women’s Quarterfinals (12:35AM HI Time)

Alyssa (Carlsbad California) takes out Tessa Thyssen (France) for her Victory

Gabriel’s 1st win at this location… he came from behind in the final minutes and beat Morrocco’s Ramzi Boukhiam.

Full Story on the way…Meanwhile…check the heat out

Watch LIVE at WorldSurfLeague.com

EARLIER UPDATE FOR KICK OFF OF FINALS DAY

Pictured: Three-time WSL World Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) at Praia de Itaúna during the Corona Saquarema Pro pres. by Banco do Brasil. Credit: WSL / Daniel Smorigo

PRAIA DE ITAÚNA – Saquarema, Brazil (Monday, November 7, 2022) – Finals Day at the Corona Saquarema Pro pres. by Banco do Brasil, Stop No. 6 on the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Challenger Series, has been called ON in clean conditions and waves in the three-to-four foot range. Women’s Quarterfinals will commence at 7:35 a.m. (GMT-3). Men’s Quarterfinals, women’s and men’s Semifinals and Finals will follow. Competitors will be putting everything on the line as this is the last chance for crucial Championship Tour (CT) qualification points before the final Challenger Series event of the season in Haleiwa, Hawaii.

“It’s Finals Day with a 7:35 a.m. start. Conditions are very similar to yesterday with offshore winds and the swell seems to have dropped off a tiny bit, but still tons of waves and conditions seem like they’ve cleaned up even more with optimal swell direction,” said Travis Logie, Deputy Commissioner of Tours and Competition. “We’re going to start off with the women’s Quarterfinals, then men’s Quarters, followed by women’s Semis, men’s Semis, women’s Finals and finishing off with men’s Finals. All heats will be thirty minutes except for the Finals which will be thirty-five minutes. We’ll have our event winners this afternoon.”

The women’s Quarterfinals, Heat 1, will start the day with Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) and Bronte Macaulay (AUS), who are currently ranked No. 7 and No. 8  respectively on the Challenger Series. Both will be eager to improve their position before heading to Haleiwa. An all-french matchup will go down in Quarterfinal, Heat 2, as Vahine Fierro takes on compatriot Tessa Thyssen. Later, Alyssa Spencer (USA), who has had an incredible performance here in Saquarema so far, will matchup against Australia’s Keely Andrew.

The men’s Quarterfinal, Heat 1, will feature Kalani Ball (AUS) versus local hero Joao Chianca (BRA), who is in need of a solid result here in his hometown for a final push towards CT qualification. Maxime Huscenot (FRA), has also put himself in a potential qualification situation, but he will have no easy path to get there, as he will have to face Gabriel Medina (BRA) in Quarterfinal, Heat 2.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Upcoming Women’s Quarterfinals:
HEAT 1: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) vs. Teresa Bonvalot (PRT)
HEAT 2: Vahine Fierro (FRA) vs. Tessa Thyssen (FRA)
HEAT 3: Summer Macedo (BRA) vs. Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN)
HEAT 4: Alyssa Spencer (USA) vs. Keely Andrew (AUS)

Upcoming Men’s Quarterfinals:
HEAT 1: Kalani Ball (AUS) vs. Joao Chianca (BRA)
HEAT 2: Maxime Huscenot (FRA) vs. Gabriel Medina (BRA)
HEAT 3: Ian Gentil (HAW) vs. Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR)
HEAT 4: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)

For more information, visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Watch LIVE

 

EARLIER UPDATES…

Finals Day Set at the Corona Saquarema Pro

Medina and Pupo Go Head-to-Head

Chianca and Fioravanti Continue To Impress in Saquarema

Picklum and Simmers Qualify for 2023 Championship Tour

Front page: Medina image by Smorigo

Pictured above: Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) earned a spot in the Quarterfinals at the Corona Saquarema Pro pres. by Banco do Brasil, Stop No. 6 of the 2022 Challenger Series. Credit: WSL / Daniel Smorigo

PRAIA DE ITAÚNA – Saquarema, Brazil (Sunday, November 6, 2022) – The men’s and women’s Quarterfinalists were decided today at the Corona Saquarema Pro pres. by Banco do Brasil, Stop No. 6 of the World Surf League (WSL) Challenger Series. Conditions were very similar to Saturday, beginning with light offshore winds and waves in the three-to-five foot range at Praia de Itaúna. Wave selection became crucial as onshore winds deteriorated conditions in the afternoon. However, the day was packed with action, high scores, and qualification scenarios. The WSL Tours and Competition team will reconvene tomorrow, Monday, November 7, at 7:00 a.m. (GMT-3) for a possible 7:35 a.m. start for Finals Day.

Medina and Pupo Go Head-to-Head

In a battle against Championship Tour (CT) heavyweights, Maresia locals Gabriel Medina (BRA) and Miguel Pupo (BRA) matched up in Round of 16, Heat 4, to see who would advance into the Quarterfinals. Both surfers qualified for the CT together in 2011 and have faced off eleven times on Tour, with Medina leading the affair by a 10-1 margin.

On Sunday, Pupo got off to a quick lead putting together a 7.33 and a 5.90 for a 13.23 total (out of a possible 20 points). Medina then went into attack mode, speeding down the line on a long lefthander, and boosted a massive frontside full rotation that got the entire beach on their feet. After a short deliberation, the judges deemed his air a 9.33 (out of a possible 10 points). Medina added a backup score of 6.07 to defeat Pupo by a final score of 15.40 to 13.23 respectively.

“This heat was really fun and I had the biggest section to send it,” said Medina. “As I said, I’ve been training a lot and that gives me the confidence to try those kinds of airs. You need to be confident and prepared and I feel 100% and hopefully I can find more ramps like that one.”

When asked about competing against his close friend, Medina said, “Miggy is my brother, we’ve been surfing together since forever and I was going to be happy either way for whoever advanced. Unfortunately someone had to be eliminated, but I’m happy to be in the Quarterfinals and I wish the best for Miggy.”

Pictured: João Chianca (BRA) is into the Quarterfinals at the Corona Saquarema Pro pres. by Banco do Brasil. Credit: WSL / Smorigo 
Chianca and Fioravanti Continue To Impress in Saquarema

Local surfer João Chianca (BRA) continued his impressive form at his home break in the Round of 16, Heat 2. Throughout the week, Chianca had committed to surfing the punchy righthanders at Praia de Itaúna, but with the change in swell direction on Sunday, he decided to gamble on the long lefts that began popping up in the lineup. As a large set swept in, Chianca paddled into a lefthander and executed two powerful backhand turns to earn a 7.23. He added a 7.67 on a right-hander that resulted in a 14.90 victory over Timothe Bisso (FRA) who ended his campaign in Saquarema with a 12.30 final score.

Current Challenger Series rankings leader Leonardo Fioravanti (ITL) also continued his winning momentum with another standout victory in the Round of 16, Heat 7, over Peruvian Lucca Mesinas (PER). Fioravanti earned an excellent score of an 8.33 and a 6.83 backup for a 15.16 Heat total. He will now face Frenchman Joan Duru (FRA) in the Quarterfinals.

Picklum and Simmers Qualify for 2023 Championship Tour

Molly Picklum (AUS) and Caitlin Simmers (USA) have officially clinched their spots on the 2023 Championship Tour. The news comes as a relief to Picklum as she suffered a stunning early loss resulting from an interference in Round of 64, Heat 8. This will be Picklum’s second appearance on the CT as she qualified in 2022 but fell off after missing the mid season cut. Simmers also qualified for the CT in 2022, but decided to hold off on the opportunity. Now, the young sensation is faced again with the chance to compete at the most elite level of surfing.

Pictured: Summer Macedo (BRA) advanced into the Quarterfinals at the Corona Saquarema Pro pres. by Banco do Brasil. Credit: WSL / Daniel Smorigo
Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) was the only athlete that could have left Saquarema with the lead in the rankings if she had made it to the Finals, but she was defeated today by Japanese surfer Amuro Tsuzuki (JAP) in the Round of 15, Heat 6. Tsuzuki will now face Summer Macedo (BRA), who has made Saquarema her secondary home in Heat 3 of the Quarterfinals.

Macedo defeated Sarah Baum (ZAF) in Round of 16, Heat 5, by a slim margin of 10.37 to 9.80 respectively in a nail biting finish which was decided after a lengthy deliberation by the judging panel. Macedo, who also has strong support from the locals at Praia de Saquarema praised the crowd during her post heat interview.

“My friends gave me some advice to keep talking to myself in the water with positive thoughts to convince myself that I would find the good wave, but conditions were very complicated and I didn’t know if I was in the wrong place, because it seemed like nothing was coming my way,” said Macedo. “I really appreciate all the support I have here, for me it’s everything. Feeling that support and love during a competition makes a big difference and I really appreciate it.”

Also finding their way into the Quarterfinals with solid backhand attacks are goofy footers Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) and Alyssa Spencer (USA). Bonvalot will now face Bronte Macaulay (AUS), who is right on her heels in the rankings, in Heat 1 of the Quarterfinals. Spencer hopes to keep her winning streak and qualification dreams alive in her matchup against Keely Andrew (AUS) in Heat 4 of the Quarterfinals.

The outcome of the women’s Quarterfinals will have an impact on who will make a final push in the rankings prior to the final Challenger Series event in Haleiwa, Hawaii. A new call is set for Monday, November 7 at 7:00 a.m. for a possible 7:35 a.m. start for Finals Day at the Corona Saquarema Pro.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com

Upcoming Men’s Quarterfinals:
HEAT 1: Kalani Ball (AUS) vs. Joao Chianca (BRA)
HEAT 2: Maxime Huscenot (FRA) vs. Gabriel Medina (BRA)
HEAT 3: Ian Gentil (HAW) vs. Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR)
HEAT 4: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)

Upcoming Women’s Quarterfinals
HEAT 1: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) vs. Teresa Bonvalot (PRT)
HEAT 2: Vahine Fierro (FRA) vs. Tessa Thyssen (FRA)
HEAT 3: Summer Macedo (BRA) vs. Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN)
HEAT 4: Alyssa Spencer (USA) vs. Keely Andrew (AUS)

For more information, visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL MEN’S RESULTS
CLICK HERE FOR FULL WOMEN’S RESULTS

Watch LIVE
The Corona Saquarema Pro pres. by Banco do Brasil is scheduled to run from November 1 – 8 at Praia de Itaúna, in Saquarema, Brazil. The event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, WSL’s YouTube channels and the free WSL app. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

The Corona Saquarema Pro pres. by Banco do Brasil is brought to you by: Corona, Banco do Brasil, BB Asset, Prefeitura Municipal de Saquarema, Secretaria de Esporte e Lazer do Governo do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, TikTok, 51 Ice, and NewON.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

About the WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) is the global home of competitive surfing, crowning the undisputed World Champions since 1976 and showcasing the world’s best surfers on the world’s best waves. WSL is comprised of the Tours and Competition division, which oversees and operates more than 180 global competitions each year; WSL WaveCo, home of the world’s largest high-performance, human-made wave; and WSL Studios, an independent producer of unscripted and scripted projects. For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

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