Cidade Negra opens Itacaré 2017 Carnival


Icon of the 90’s, the Brazilian Reggae group Cidade Negra opens the Carnival in Itacaré. Toni Garrido, Bino Farias and Lazão perform on the main stage on February 25 (Saturday) and will provide a special repertoire, full of hits, as well as new features.

With the theme “Joy and Sustainability”, the Itacaré carnival will be held from February 25 to 28. There will be two trios elétricos during the day, about seven blocks and cultural manifestations in town, and two stages mounted on Castro Alves Avenue for the main concerts.

Festival Gastronômico Sabores de Itacaré

The Gastronomic Festival “Sabores de Itacaré” invites everyone to know a little more about the diversity and gastronomic quality of Itacaré. The event takes place from December 1 to 17. 40 restaurants participate in the festival. Seventeen days with public performances by the best local chefs and a cultural program with popular music.

Festival Gastronômico Sabores de Itacaré




Kanoa Igarashi wins the Mahalo Surf Eco Festival 2015

On Sunday, Kanoa Igarashi (USA), 18, achieved the most important accomplishments in his career so far as he confirmed his qualification onto the 2016 World Surf League Championship Tour after defeating Connor O’Leary (AUS), 22, in the Final of the QS 6,000 Mahalo Surf Eco Festival held at Praia da Tiririca, in Itacaré, Brazil.

Kanoa got off to a quick start during the Final by throwing a straight frontside air on a right at Praia da Tiririca that gave him a 7.00 on his first ride. He then followed with another ride where he executed several strong frontside hacks for a 6.17. O’Leary chose to be patient and his strategy paid off as he earned a 7.77 on his first scoring opportunity, then added a 5.93 for a 13.70 heat total and the lead over Igarashi.

O’Leary extended his lead when he displayed a series of vicious backhand hacks on a right which merited a 6.97 for his backup score. With only three minutes remaining in the Final, Igarashi scratched into a righthander and reached an incredible speed before chucking a huge full rotation reverse to take the lead with a 7.40. In the dying seconds, with O’Leary needing a 7.20, Igarashi caught another right, threw two air reverses on the same wave and sealed his victory with a 7.57; the final score being 14.74 to 14.40 respectively.

“I can’t believe what I’m feeling, this is amazing,” exclaimed Igarashi as he reached the winner’s podium. “It’s the biggest win in my life and the best year of my life. I can’t believe it, I’m so happy. Things are a lot better for me now. There’s a lot less pressure and less events, so I don’t have to worry as much anymore. Now I can enjoy things a little more and relax, but I still want to do well in Maresias. I’m loving Brazil and I love being here, so I can’t wait for Maresias too.”

Despite not winning the Mahalo Surf Eco Festival, O’Leary was pleased with his performance in Itacaré. In addition to establishing the highest heat total (18.44) and the highest single wave score of the event (9.57), the young Australian also climbed into the list of Top 10 surfers that are eligible for qualification onto the elite division of competitive surfing, the Championship Tour (CT).

“Yeah this is a sick result,” said O’Leary. “This is the first QS final I’ve ever been in, so I’m stoked. Things are a bit lumpy and bumpy, but there’s still scoring opportunities out there, so it’s all good. It’s cool to be leaving here with a 2nd place finish.”

Competition on Sunday began with Igarashi facing up against Ryan Callinan (AUS) in Heat 1 of the Semifinals. Although Callinan had an 8.83 on his highest scoring ride, his low scoring 2nd ride was not enough to overtake the Californian and was defeated by a score of 14.83 to 13.16.

In Heat 2 of the Semifinals, O’Leary was matched against the lone Brazilian left in competition, David do Carmo (BRA). Both surfers were neck and neck throughout the heat as they kept busy and produced several mid-range scores. Do Carmo had a chance to take the win on his last wave, but O’Leary held on to a slim lead and advanced by a score of 12.97 to 12.70.

With a 3rd place finish, David do Carmo obtained his best result this year on the Qualifying Series.

“I think I could’ve gotten the score on my last wave, but I bogged a rail and wasn’t able to do the kind of turn I had been doing all contest long,” said Do Carmo. “But I can’t get upset with my result. I’d been losing early in all the QS’s, so getting a 3rd here gives me a good confidence booster.”

After the QS 6,000 Red Nose Pro in Florianopolis and the QS 6,000 in Itacaré, the third and final event of the WSL South America Surf Series will take place from Nov 2-8 at Praia de Maresias for the Oi HD Sao Paulo Open of Surfing QS 10,000. Top surfers on the CT looking to requalify and the best surfers on the QS will battle it out as U$250,000 in prize money will be distributed and crucial ranking points will be up for grabs before heading to Hawaii for the final events of the 2015 Surfing Season.


Semifinalists Decided at the Mahalo Surf Eco Festival in Brazil

The lush tropical beach of Praia da Tiririca provided the back drop for Day 5 of the Mahalo Surf Eco Festival in Itacaré, Bahia. Sunny skies and waves in the 2-3 foot range (1 meter) were on hand as Rounds 4 and 5, in addition to the Quarterfinals were all completed on Saturday at the QS 6000.

Connor O’Leary (AUS) has been outstanding in his recent heats and has continued to post high scores in the excellent range. Facing up against Michael Wright (AUS) in Heat 7 of Round 5, O’Leary linked together three vertical snaps in the pocket on a righthander to earn the highest single wave score of the event, a blistering 9.57 (out of a possible 10 points). Wright followed with an 8.93 and a 7.77 for a 16.70 total. But O’Leary could not be outshined after collecting an 8.87 (even discarding an 8.50) for the highest heat total of the event as well, an 18.44.

Connor OLeary (AUS) - Mahalo Surf Eco Festival Connor O’Leary (AUS) – Photo: Daniel Smorigo

“Yeah wow, that was a really tough heat with Mikey,” said O’Leary. “He’s one of the best up-and-coming surfers in Australia, not to mention the world. It was a really good heat and we both got good scores and the waves turned on for our heat. We’re good mates, we’ve been staying at the same hotels since Florianopolis. So we’ve been playing some card games and surfing a bit, so it’s heaps good.”

After defeating Wright, O’Leary maintained his lofty strike-rate and went on to overcome Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) in the Quarterfinals with a 9.07 and an 8.83 (17.90) against the 12.10 totaled by the South African.

With his result today, O’Leary took control of 10th place on the QS rankings and is currently eligible for qualification onto the 2016 Championship Tour. O’Leary remained modest when asked about his accomplishment.

” I’m not really too worried now,” declared O’Leary. “I’m just kind of doing my thing and we’ll see what happens from there.”

David do Carmo (BRA) - Mahalo Surf Eco Festival David do Carmo (BRA) – Photo: Daniel Smorigo

O’Leary will now face the only Brazilian surfer still left in competition at the Mahalo Surf Eco Festival, David do Carmo (BRA), who defeated Noe Mar McGonagle in Heat 3 of the Quarterfinals by a score of 12.90 to 11.90 respectively.

“I’m so happy with this win,” exclaimed Do Carmo. “I lost early on in Florianopolis with an interference call, but here I’ve been really letting my surfing do the talking. I’m stoked to be the last Brazilian still competing. This is going to be my best result of the year and now I’m going to do my best tomorrow (Sunday). I went up against some very hard competitors today. I knew the Costa Rican (McGonagle) surfs with a lot of power, so I tried to match him with strong backside turns and I ended up winning.”

On the other side of the heat draw, Heat 1 of the Semifinals will see the two highest ranked surfers on the QS still alive at the Mahalo Surf Eco Festival face off against each other. Ryan Callinan (AUS) is currently in 7th place on the 2015 Qualifying Series, while Kanoa Igarashi (USA) sits in 6th and needs to win at Praia da Tiririca to obtain 23,350 points and guarantee his promotion to the CT next year.

Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) - Mahalo Surf Eco Festival Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) – Photo: Daniel Smorigo

Callinan began the day by beating Bruno Galini (BRA) in Round 5 by a score of 11.67 to 9.73, then defeated fellow countryman Soli Bailey (AUS) with a solid score of 15.24 to 13.17 in Heat 1 of the Quarterfinals.

“Yeah, I’m pretty stoked right now. I kind of had a meltdown in the heat before in the Round of 16. I felt like I could have had one then, so it felt really good to come back in the end and get some big scores and get through,” Callinan said. [When asked about 7th place on QS] “Yeah, I’m pretty stoked. I think I still need a bit more, maybe a win here to seal it. That’s what I’m aiming for. It’s good to be in the Top 10, but you never know what can happen in Hawaii.”

Kanoa Igarashi (USA) - Mahalo Surf Eco Festival Kanoa Igarashi (USA) – Photo: Daniel Smorigo

In Heat 4 of Round 5, Igarashi, the young surfer from California, merited high scores from the judges after demolishing the righthanders at Praia da Tiririca for an 8.90 and an 8.73 (17.63), eliminating Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) who obtained a 14.74 heat total. Then in Heat 2 of the Quarterfinals, Igarashi defeated Santiago Muniz (ARG) by a score of 15.50 to 12.47 respectively.

“Yeah for me I think Santiago (Muniz) was the in-form surfer of the event, along with Connor O’Leary,” said Igarashi. “I think I needed to get the best waves, and I think I did that. I did what I set out to do, so I’m stoked. This event has been really good to me. I got to the Quarters in Florianopolis and I’m in the Semis now here, so it’s been a really good leg for me so far and hopefully I can win this one.”

A call is set for 8 am local time on Sunday for completion of the WSL Men’s QS 6000 Mahalo Surf Eco Festival. A total of U$150,000 in prize money will be distributed. The winner will take home U$25,000 and 6,000 points that are valid towards their 2015 Qualifying Series ranking.


The Battle Continues at the Mahalo Surf Eco Festival

Friday began with torrential rain at Praia da Tiririca and forced Event Organizers to put competition on hold at the 2015 Mahalo Surf Eco Festival. Yet as is the case in tropical regions, the sun shortly returned and the action continued at the WSL Men’s QS 6000 event in Bahia, Brazil.

Bruno Galini (BRA) - Mahalo Surf Eco Festival Bruno Galini (BRA) – Photo: Daniel Smorigo

Bruno Galini (BRA) once again kicked off the excitement with a victory as he earned a 16.07 after opening up with an 8.50 and subsequently backed it up with a 7.57 on his two best scoring rides. Galini was able to defeat a stacked line-up of opponents as he dispatched Nic von Rupp (PRT) and Tanner Gudauskas (USA). Soli Bailey (AUS) moved on in 2nd place with a 12.40 total.

“When I saw the heat draw yesterday (Thursday), I knew I had to surf my best to beat these guys,” said Galini. “I’d have to at least catch the best waves if I wanted to make it to the next round because everybody rips. I felt like the lefts would be key. I saw Yage (Araujo) getting some in the heat before mine, so I thought I’d do the same. In the beginning I couldn’t find anything, but from the middle of the heat on out, I found two good ones to win the heat.”

Santiago Muniz (ARG) - Mahalo Surf Eco Festival Santiago Muniz (ARG) – Photo: Daniel Smorigo

In Heat 5 of Round 3, Jadson Andre (BRA) once again looked to pull rank over QS surfers Santiago Muniz (ARG), Kanoa Igarashi (USA) and Derek Peters (USA). Yet it was Muniz who stormed to the lead as he put together a solid heat score of 16.00, which included a 9.00 point ride. Igarashi stepped into action and jumped into second place as he maintained his steady performance in the QS events in Brazil.

“That was a super important heat for me. I mean all the other ones too, but that was a really hard heat. We had a CT surfer and a couple really good QS surfers,” Igarashi said. “The waves were pretty good, so I knew there’d be some high scores in the heat. At the end, Santiago ran away with it. And I was bummed for Derek because we’re staying together. I just waited for my wave and it came and it went my way so I’m stoked.”

Igarashi later shared his perspective in regards to the Mahalo Surf Eco Festival in Itacaré.

Kanoa Igarashi (USA) - Mahalo Surf Eco Festival Kanoa Igarashi (USA) – Photo: Daniel Smorigo

“It’s beautiful here, an amazing place,” declared Igarashi. “I came here 2 years ago when the event was a 4-Star. So I knew this wave had potential to be really good. The tourism board is really supportive and loves surfing, so we’re all stoked to be here. We’re pretty much in paradise. It doesn’t feel like we’re competing. There are trees everywhere, coconuts, açaí, good food, white sand and blue water. It feels like we’re on vacation, but we’ve got to make sure that we remember that we’re still competing because everyone wants to win.”

Only the Top 10 ranked surfers on the WSL Qualifying Series at the end of this year’s Surfing Season will qualify for the 2016 Championship Tour. Results at the Mahalo Surf Eco Festival QS 6000 are immensely sought after as the athletes look to solidify their place in the standings.

Noe Mar McGonagle (CRI) needs to win the event to make it into the Top 10. Soli Bailey (AUS) and Dion Atkinson (AUS) need to make it to the Semifinals if they want to overcome Maxime Huscenot (FRA) who currently has 15,100 points on the QS rankings. For the remaining athletes in striking range, Evan Geiselman (USA), Davey Cathels (AUS) and Connor O’Leary (AUS) all need to make it to the Quarterfinals to be eligible for qualification.

Connor OLeary (AUS) - Mahalo Surf Eco Festival Connor O’Leary (AUS) – Photo: Daniel Smorigo

In Heat 11 of Round 3, O’Leary looked fierce on the waves in the 2-3 foot range (1 meter) and earned the highest heat total of the day, a 16.70 (8.93 + 7.77). The promising young surfer from Brazil, Yage Araujo (BRA) threw a massive air to take second place and advance into Round 4 alongside O’Leary.

“The tide’s getting high now, so things are getting a bit slower, but I was lucky to get a few at the start before the boys started to catch up to me,” said O’Leary. “I’m currently 22nd right now, so I’m not really thinking about it too much. I started doing the Primes midway through last year, so I’m just kind of going through the motions and trying to get through a few heats.”

The intense battle for conclusive positions on the QS rankings will continue on Saturday at Praia da Tiririca. The contest is scheduled to run three rounds of competition and will determine the four Semifinalists that will compete for the title of the QS 6000 Mahalo Surf Eco Festival on Sunday.



QS Rankings Continue to Shuffle at Mahalo Surf Eco Festival

On Thursday, a full day of surfing took place at Praia da Tiririca as twenty heats were run at the WSL Men’s QS 6000 Mahalo Surf Eco Festival. The action intensified as the top seeded surfers hit the water in Round 2. From here on out, every heat and every wave is crucial as the surfers battle it out for a spot in the Top 10 on the QS rankings and a ticket straight to the 2016 World Surf League Championship Tour.

19 surfers that are directly in reach of qualification competed on Thursday, but only ten advanced into Round 3. Kanoa Igarashi (USA) and Ryan Callinan (AUS) both won their heats and currently sit within the Top 10 on the QS. Other surfers to move ahead in competition were: Joan Duru (FRA), Even Geiselman (USA), Davey Cathels (AUS), Dion Atkinson (AUS), Soli Bailey (AUS), Jesse Mendes (BRA), Noe Mar McGonagle (CRI) and Ezekiel Lau (HAW).

Kanoa Igarashi (USA) - Mahalo Surf Eco Festival Kanoa Igarashi (USA) – Photo: Daniel Smorigo

After earning several mid-range scoring rides, Callinan took control of the lead as he earned an 8.73 for the high score in Heat 4 of Round 2. Fellow countryman Soli Bailey (AUS) also found an excellent scoring ride of an 8.50 to advance in 2nd place over Patrick Gudauskas (USA) and Paul Cesar Distinguin (FRA).

“It’s fun, there are good waves to be had out there. They’re a little tricky to find, but there are definitely a lot of fun waves and it’s really contestable,” said Callinan. “Yeah, it was a good wave. I actually had like 3rd priority or something but I was able to tag it twice and it ended up being my best score. I’m happy that it got me through the heat.”

Callinan was asked about his thoughts on qualification and who he thinks will win the World Title.

“The QS 6000s really aren’t my focus, the QS 10000S are,” Callinan responded. “But to get a win here will probably see me on there. So I’m putting a lot of effort in here and I’m just trying to get some heats under my belt. I’ve been waking up early, having early dinners and I’ll just keep surfing the way I’m surfing and hopefully it will all go well. I hope Mick wins, because I always support the Aussies, but it’s coming down to the wire now with everyone being knocked out of Portugal, so it’s going to be an exciting finish.”

Jadson Andre (BRA) - Mahalo Surf Eco Festival Jadson Andre (BRA) – Photo: Daniel Smorigo

Kanoa Igarashi (USA) is currently in 6th on the QS ranking and is very close to adding his name to the list of CT surfers in 2016. Igarashi lived up to expectations as he took first place in Heat 9 of Round 2. Granger Larsen (HAW) advanced into Round 3 behind Igarashi in a close finish over Victor Bernardo (BRA) and Vicente Romero (ESP).

“Yeah, that was a hard heat. The waves were really difficult and it was hard to find the ones that gave you scoring potential,” Igarashi said. “So I just made sure I was giving myself opportunities and kept away from the other surfers when I didn’t have priority and I ended up getting my 7.17 without priority. [About the QS Ranking] I’m stoked to be in a position where I can qualify. It wasn’t a goal of mine at the beginning of the year, so to have this opportunity to maybe qualify, that just makes me feel so stoked. I still feel really young and I can’t believe that I’m in the top 10 right now. Of course I want to do good in this event and my goal is to win, so I want to do everything I can to do that.”

The crowd at Praia da Tiririca started to buzz as current CT surfer Jadson Andre (BRA) made his way out to the line-up for Heat 12 of Round 2. Facing Andre were Jean da Silva (BRA), Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) and Stuart Kennedy (AUS), who had just come off a Runner-Up finish at the QS 6000 event in Florianopolis.

Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) - Mahalo Surf Eco Festival Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) – Photo: Daniel Smorigo

However, it was Boukhiam who demanded attention as he destroyed the 2-3 foot (1 meter) walls and obtained an 8.83 from the judges on his best scoring ride. Andre stayed active and was able to squeak past Kennedy by a tenth of a point to advance into the next round.

“I woke up early for a surf here. I spent a long time looking at the waves and I saw some rights breaking farther up the beach,” said Boukhiam. “I caught a good one to start off the heat, then I got another good one, but I ended up falling off. I’m just happy that I made it into the next round. I think it’s the first time that I had a heat in Round 2 of the QS with such incredible opponents. Stu (Kennedy), Jadson (Andre) and Jean (da Silva) are all great surfers and it was a good heat, so I’m glad I won.”

In the following heat, another CT surfer, Ricardo Christie (NZL) ripped apart a lefthander with three huge backside blasts for the highest single wave score of the Mahalo Surf Eco Festival, a 9.17 (out of a possible 10 points). Christie added a 7.93 backup ride for the event’s highest heat total of 17.10. Joan Duru (FRA) earned two solid scores in the 7-point range (7.50 + 7.37) to advance into Round 3 alongside Christie over Willian Cardoso (BRA) and Cory Arrambide (USA).

Ricardo Christie (NZL) - Mahalo Surf Eco Festival Ricardo Christie (NZL) – Photo: Daniel Smorigo

“It really was a good little wave. It wasn’t the biggest wave, but it had a double-up. After I took off it doubled in size and it had a bit of power in the sections,” said Christie. When asked about his opinion of Bahia:

“It’s beautiful here. It’s kind of what I imagine when I think of Brazil,” stated Christie. “There’s beautiful bush, it’s right on the beach. The water’s really warm. We’re here drinking coconut and eating mango, it’s pretty beautiful. It’s sick.”

A call is set for 8 am local time to finish off the four remaining heats of Round 2 before moving on to Round 3. First up will be Michael Rodrigues (BRA), Cooper Chapman (AUS), Oney Anwar (IDN) and Ian Crane (USA).