It was a Thursday of classic waves in Teahupoo, Tahiti… and full of emotions for one of the world champion Italo Ferreira.
With happy ending! For the second year in a row, the potiguar is among the top 5 and will play in the World Surf League finals.
Despite making a great performance, Italo still stopped in the repechage of the ‘Outerknown Tahiti Pro’, 10th and last leg of the regular league calendar.
The executioner was precisely his friend-brother, Jadson André.
In a very tight heat, Italo commanded the score most of the time. But, in the final minutes, Jaddy caught two ‘bombs’, made an 8 and a 9… and turned the duel.
For the winner, it was also a bit bitter.
After all, he could have been responsible for taking his partner out of the WSL Finals, which takes place in Trestles, Calif., starting September 9th.
From there, the Olympic champion had to cheer from a distance, against two competitors: Kanoa Igarashi (JAP) and Griffin Colpinto (USA).
The first to face the perfect and challenging waves of ‘Tchôpo’ was the American.
Against him, another representative of the green and yellow team: Yago Dora.
And the Brazilian ‘did the job’.
It was really tough. Yago flipped the marker at the end… and still had to wait for confirmation of Griffin’s last note.
Everything went well… and Italo is going to try to win the championship.
Last year, ‘Brabo’ arrived in California in 2nd place in the ranking… and lost in the semifinals to Filipe Toledo.
Now, in a more modest position overall, 4th or 5th, will have a longer path to decision.
Already qualified for the finals since the Saquarema stage, Filipe Toledo also had a short life in teahupoo.
Like Italo, he said goodbye in the repechage, in front of the Australian veteran Nathan Hedge, one of the guests of the tournament.
Even with the bad result, Filipinho will finish the regular season in the lead.
He would only lose the tip if the Australian Jack Robinson reached the final in Tahiti. But just like the Brazilian, Jack stopped in front of the experienced Nathan Hedge, 43 years old and former top of the elite.
FT will wear the yellow lycra… he only enters the dispute in the final in best of 3 heats… and surfing ‘at home’, since he lives with his family in San Clemente, very close to Trestles.
In 2021, Filipe arrived at the WSL Finals in 3rd. He then eliminated the American Conner Coffin and Italo Ferreira.
Then he lost the title to Gabriel Medina, who lifted the title for the third time.
But let’s get back to Teahupoo.
The first note 10 of the event is out. And it wasn’t from any ‘big guy’.
He came with the young South African Matthew McGillivray, in the dispute against the Brazilian Samuel Pupo.
Elite rookie, Samuca said goodbye in 9th position.
Jadson André also finished the walk in the round of 16. He fell to Japan’s Kanoa Igarashi, who turned the match with a 9.70 in the decisive wave. More than that, the guy who took the silver medal at the Japan Olympics won the 5th and final spot in the decision of the year.
But Brazil still has chances of title in Tahiti.
In addition to Yago Dora, Caio Ibelli also advanced to the quarterfinals and will be at sea this Friday, the last day of competition there.
With one show, he dispatched South African star Jordy Smith.
To close, a highlight goes to Miguel Pupo, who surfed a lot and also stayed in the fight for the trophy.
Miggs beat two Americans in the sequence, Nat Young in the repechage… and rookie Jake Marshall in the late afternoon.
Three Brazilians among the 8 best in the event.
Check out the duels of the quarter finals… detail, with Kelly Slater still alive in the race… in search of the hexa in this paradise.
heat 1: Kauli Vaast (Tahiti – screening champion) vs Matthew McGillivray (AFS)
heat 2: Yago Dora x Kelly Slater (USA)
heat 3: Nathan Hedge (AUS) x Gaius Ibelli
heat 4: Kanoa Igarashi (JAP) x Miguel Pupo
The women’s bracket also ends this Wednesday, and with Brazil in the water.
Tatiana Weston-Webb, already confirmed in the finals next month, is among the 8 finalists in Teahupoo.
Will face American Caroline Marks in the quarterfinals.
by @thiago_blum / @surf360_