Sodre Leads International Field To Finals, Champions Crowned Tomorrow

Movistar O’Neill Pantin Classic
ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 5-Star event
ASP Women’s World Qualifying Series (WQS) 3-Star event
ASP WQS European Series Stop No. 9 of 13
ASP WQS European Women’s Series Final Stop
Pantin – Spain
September 2-7, 2008

Shaun Gossmann (AUS) at work in a classic Pantin on Day 5 of competition. Photo courtesy Aquashot/ASP Europe

PANTIN, Spain (Saturday, September 6, 2008) –  Pressure rose upon those in contention for the title as the ASP WQS 5-Star Movistar O’Neill Pantin Classic got closer to its end with all quarterfinalists decided in the eight foot (2.5 meter) surf on offer at Pantin today.

The sun eventually showed up for another full day of intense action and outsiders took control of proceedings, fighting against both conditions and top seeds in the first man-on-man clashes of the event.

Brazil’s Yuri Sodre (BRA) shone again en route to Quarterfinals defeating current ASP WQS No. 7 Drew Courtney (AUS) in Heat 3 with a solid 18.50 point heat tally (out of a possible 20) including the third perfect 10.00 point ride of the event. Sodre, a former ASP World Tour surfer currently rated No. 43 on the World Qualifying Series (WQS) ratings, repeated his game plan using patience and wave choice to take off on the better waves and advance.

“I was lucky to get that barrel right after the start but I could not hear anything,” Sodre said. “It was harder than yeserday and after that wave it took me eight minutes to get back out and I felt a bit lost not knowing where to sit to get another one. I tried to remain calm but it was definitely stressing and I wanted to get through that one so hard.”

Sodre, who has been coming here for a decade, was cheered by crowds as if he was a local during his battle and left the water surrounded by fans finding out he had scored an ten pointer.

“I have been coming in the same family for years now and I really wanted to get this win for them,” Sodre said. “I feel at home when I come to Pantin and making my first big result of the year means a lot to me. It has been a hard year and I hope things keep going my way for the finals.”

Sodre will meet Antonio Bortoletto (ZAF) in Quarterfinal No. 2 when finals resume tomorrow and is looking forward to flying the flag up to the end.

Antonio Bortoletto (ZAF) was another of today’s giant killers when he created a serious upset defeating current ASP WQS No. 21 Leigh Sedley (AUS) in Heat 4 taking the best out of the massive conditions. Bortoletto, a longtime Top 100 competitor who won a couple of events in his career including a 5-Star rated one in Newquay three years ago, was confident enough not to surf more than two waves and securd his best result this year by reaching Quarterfinals.

“I got hammered a couple of times and I was concerned on how to make it back out,” Bortoletto said. “It was heavy but the man-on-man format really eased the situation and I was able to relax and wait for a second ride. It would have been definitely harder with four men hasseling.”

Bortoletto, who did not get any solid results this summer, was relieved to eventually make it to the final day on an event.

“It has been a very disappointing year for me and I was a bit stressed and worried in August,” Bortolleto said. “I am definitely relieved and feeling comfortable, just enjoying competing and it is a great feeling. If I cannot qualify this year, I hope I wan make it to the Top 40 at least to have a good seeding for next year.”

Powerhouse Michel Bourez (PYF) led the European contingent with another great performance securing some of the most spectacular moves of the day getting a 9.27 point ride (out of a possible 10) to confirm his domination in solid conditions.

“It was a stressful heat and we could not hear our scores well so we were both trying to hold priority,” Bourez said. “I tried to wait for better waves and I was just thinking of getting a big one and get two solid turns on it. I was so focused on not falling and it paid off. I am so stoked to get through and I am read for tomorrow.”

Bourez ended up winning with a 16.10 point result over David Richards’ (ZAF) 13.17 points and will meet Jarrad Sullivan (AUS) in Quarterfinal No. 3.

Jarrad Sullivan, an outsider but renowned competitor (AUS), defeated current WQS No. 8 and former ASP Top 45 David Weare (ZAF) with the fourth best heat score of the event, an impressive 18.00 point result (out of a possible 20) and secured his best result of the summer today, making his intentions clear. Fellow Australian Nic Muscroft (AUS) advanced as well.

Quarterfinalists will meet at 10 AM tomorrow for the Movistar O’Neill Pantin Classic showdown. Both Women and Men champions will be crowned as well as the ASP European Women’s champion.

The Movistar O’Neill Pantin Classic is webcast LIVE at aspworldtour.com and aspeurope.com.

ASP Men’s WQS 5-Star Movistar O’Neill Pantin Classic
UPCOMING QUARTERFINALS

Heat 1: William Cardoso (BRA) Vs Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 2: Yuri Sodre (BRA) Vs Antonio Bortoletto (ZAF)
Heat 3: Jarrad Sullivan (AUS) Vs Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 4: Nic Muscroft (AUS) Vs Hizunome Bettero (BRA)

ROUND 6 RESULTS
Heat 1: William Cardoso (BRA) 15.83 pts Def. Luke Campbell (AUS) 10.44 pts
Heat 2: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 15.66 pts Def. Adam Melling (AUS) 15.00 pts
Heat 3: Yuri Sodre (BRA) 18.50 pts Def. Drew Courtney (AUS) 6.17 pts
Heat 4: Antonio Bortoletto (ZAF) 13.00 pts Def. Leigh Sedley (AUS) 9.44 pts
Heat 5: Jarrad Sullivan (AUS) 18.00 pts Def. David Weare (ZAF) 9.33 pts
Heat 6: Michel Bourez (PYF) 16.10 pts Def. David Richards (ZAF) 13.17 pts
Heat 7: Nic Muscroft (AUS) 18.70 pts Def. Hodei Collazo (EUK) 13.50 pts
Heat 8: Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 12.67 pts Def. Tim Boal (PYF) 11.50 pts

ASP Women’s WQS 3-Star event
UPCOMING QUARTERFINALS

Heat 1: Caroline Sarran (FRA), Ornella Pellizzari (ARG), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Maria Gonzalez (PRI)
Heat 2: Pauline Ado (FRA), Filipa Prudencio (PRT), Lee Ann Curren (FRA), Amandine Sanchez (FRA)
Heat 3: Marie Dejean (FRA), Nicole Morgan (IRE), Francisca Santos (PRT), Jessica Grimwood (AUS)
Heat 4: Charlotte Hand (AUS), Anne Cecile Le Tallec (FRA), Justine Dupont (FRA), Martine Geijels (NDL)