Silva Wins ASP WQS 6-Star Billabong Cascais Girls Festival In Portugal

CASCAIS, Guincho (Friday, August 1, 2008) – Jacqueline Silva (Florianopolis, BRA), 29,   clinched the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) Women’s 6-Star Billabong Girls Cascais Festival in solid five to six foot (1.5 to 2 meter) waves at Guincho Beach in Portugal today. Silva, who defeated fellow Asp Women’s World Tour campaigner Rebecca Woods (AUS) in an epic 40-minute final, was the most consistent surfer in the event and takes her first win this year.

The crowd amasses as Jacqueline Silva gets carried from the water. Photo courtesy Aquashot/ASPEurope.com

Silva, whose last victory was in the ASP WQS 5-Star event in Newquay almost day for day a year ago, posted several excellent scores throughout the two-day competition including a 9.50 point ride (out of a possible 10) and an impressive 17.00 point heat tally (out of a possible 20), respectively best wave and second best heat result of the event.

“It’s so good to get this win at last, it could not be better”, Silva said. “I had not win an event since Newquay in 2007 and I gave everything I had to get this one despite the massive conditions. It was really hard out there and testing with strong currents. I want to thank all my family, sponsor and my brother who shapes my boards.”

Silva, who had a great crowd support today as last Portuguese-speaking competitor in the event, was cheered by hundreds of people and brought to the winner’s podium by her fans.

“The support here is amazing and I had some great time with all the girls”, Silva said. “People are so nice and supported me during these two hard days. So stoked to take a win in Portugal, it is special for me.”

Silva, who was rated No. 15 coming to Portugal, jumps into the ASP Women’s WQS Top 5 thanks to her victory and will head to the next competition with great confidence.

“Ratings’ wise it is an excellent result as well”, Silva said. “I am going to go up in the ratings and it is a big relief before things get back on with the ASP Women’s World Tour in France. I needed to get this confidence back and I did it. I will enjoy a two week break at home to regroup before coming back to Europe and hope for another big result.”

Rebecca Woods (New South Wales, AUS), 23, placed second to Silva in the final after a great event where she equalled Silva’s 17.00 point heat total (out of a possible 20) in Round 3. Woods, who posted a low 5.75 point result (out of a possible 20) in the final, ran out of energy and was not able to get any good ride.

“I was just exhausted after two close heats in the Quarters and Semis”, Woods said. “The waves picked up every minute and these conditions were just so hard. I am happy to be alive and Jacqueline (Silva) got that one wave right at the beginning and nothing better came through during the heat so there wasn’t much I could do. It was a bit scary out there.”

Woods, who is competing on both ASP Women’s World Tour and ASP World Qualfying Series (WQS) where she is ranked respectively No. 6 and No. 9 (before her result here), had a relaxed approach to the event.

“I needed to stop thinking about points and I really want to enjoy my time on tour”, Woods said. “It is the first time I come to such a big event without pressure or thinking of points and if I do the maths, it worked out perfectly! My best result this year!”

Woods will be back with fellow Dream Tour member Silva in a couple of weeks for Stop No. 3 of the ASP Women’s World Tour.

Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), current ASP Women’s World Tour No. 9 who injured her knee at the beginning of the season, confirmed she has definitely recovered and finishes equal 3rd netting 1825 points for her WQS campaign. Miley-Dyer, a former ASP Women’s Rookie of the Year and ASP WQS Champion, got close to losing in Round 2 before taking her level to the next stage and show powerful surfing that gave her an impressive 17.15 point heat tally in Quarterfinal No. 4, the event’s best score.

“I am stoked I made the semis”, Miley-Dyer said. “I got hammered pretty bad on that last wave and felt close to drowning so I am happy to be OK. I almost got knocked out in my first heat so to end up 3rd is a good result. I am cool with that.”

Milye-Dyer, whose result here is her best thus far, is looking forward to attending next ASP Women’s World Tour event in France and was stoked to see her mate Woods make the final.

“I was definitely for Rebecca (Woods) in the final”, Miley-Dyer said. “Some new girls are surfing really well but when it comes to chunky tough conditions, the ASP Top 17 experience makes a big difference, for sure. Can’t wait to be back to Europe in a few weeks.”

Airini Mason (NZL), 18, one of two New Zealand surfers in contention for a qualification for next year’s Dream Tour, was the youngest surfer to reach semifinals. Mason, a former ASP Australasia Junior Champion rated No. 14 before the Billabong Cascais Girls Festival, secured valuable 1825 ratings’ points and jumps into the ASP WQS Top 10.

“It was really a tough day and the conditions were hard”, Mason said. “We could not hear anything out there and I was stoked to make the semifinals because my quarter was a very close one. I had a perfect time in Portugal.”

Mason, who will be heading to the last WQS events of the year confidently, is focused on her main goal, to qualify for the prestigious ASP Women’s World Tour.

“There is not too much pressure on me because it is my first year on the WQS”, Mason said. “I have been thinking about the ratings a bit and I would really love to make it to the Dream Tour this year but the last two major events in Hawaii will be crucial.”

Mason will head to Hawaii in November to try and secure her inception in the elite for 2009.

Placing equal 5th were Laurina MacGrath (AUS), Alana Blanchard (HAW) and current ASP Women’s World Tour surfers Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) and Karina Petroni (USA). Hodge, who has been among female surfing’s elite since 2007, was the best South African surfer in the Billabong Cascais Girls Festival but failed to advance through to the semifinals losing to Woods in a very close battle.

“It was so close but Rebecca (Woods) got this last minute ride and made it”, Hodge said. “We had some good fun out there and the waves were not too big yet so I enjoyed my time out. I am still bummed with the loss.”

All elite competitors will be back in Europe for Stop No. 3 of the ASP Women’s World Tour at the end of the month.

FINAL
Heat: Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 11.10 pts Def. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 5.75 pts

SEMIFINALS (1st advances)
Heat 1: Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 11.85 pts Def. Airini Mason (NZL) 11.25 pts
Heat 2: Rebecca Woods (AUS) 13.00 Def. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 8.00 pts

QUARTERFINALS (1st advances)
Heat 1: Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 17.00 pts Def. Laurina MacGrath (AUS) 9.25 pts
Heat 2: Airini Mason (NZL) 13.25 pts Def. Karina Petroni (USA) 9.25 pts
Heat 3: Rebecca Woods (AUS) 15.25 pts Def. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 14.50 pts
Heat 4: Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 17.15 pts Def. Alana Blanchard (HAW) 4.15 pts

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