Deivid Silva Wins the South to South presents Itacaré Surf & Sound Festival

Deivid Silva (BRA) was unstoppable on Sunday as he defeated Marco Fernandez (BRA) by a score of 17.77 to 14.40 to win the 2017 WSL Men’s QS 1,500 South to South presents Itacaré Surf & Sound Festival at Praia da Tiririca in Bahia, Brazil. Silva was in top-form throughout the competition and saved his best performance for last by scoring a 9.60 and an 8.17 in the Final by executing vertical attacks on the windswept waves in the 3-ft. range (1 meter).

Deivid Silva and Antonio de Anizio - South to South apresenta Itacaré Surf Sound FestivalDeivid Silva and Antonio de Anizio WSL / IGOR NEVES

Silva wasn’t even supposed to be at the event, but opted to go on a last-minute decision. Having registered for the event as a late entry, Silva was not able to use his Qualifying Series ranking seeding and was placed in Heat of Round 1 instead of directly into Round 3 with the other top seeds. But the combination of his speed, precise airs and powerful carves carried him from the first heat of the event to the last and most important one for the victory.

“It feels so great to win this event,” Silva declared. “This gives me more motivation to never give up my goal of making it onto the CT. I’d like to thank my parents and my wife who are here with me. Now my focus will be on the remaining QS events in Maresias and Hawaii.”

The punchy waves at Praia da Tiririca worked in Silva’s favor as he was able to show his full range of surfing during the event.

Deivid Silva - South to South apresenta Itacaré Surf Sound FestivalDeivid Silva WSL / IGOR NEVES

“The waves were really good all contest long and I had some great heats,” continued Silva. “I wasn’t thinking about coming here, but my dad insisted, so I have to give him credit for this victory.”

Marcos Fernandez was the only surfer from Bahia that made it to the Quarterfinals. Despite having the full support of the crowd at Praia da Tiririca, Fernandez was unable to triumph over Silva’s explosive performance.

“I came close to winning again, this was still a very good result for me since I haven’t been doing too well in contests this year,” said Fernandez. “We had a good heat and I knew whoever caught the best waves would win. I’m stoked that I made the Final and from here I’m going straight to Maresias. I hope there will be more QS contests in Bahia and in Brazil next year.”

Marco Fernandez - South to South apresenta Itacaré Surf Sound FestivalMarco Fernandez WSL / IGOR NEVES

In what could easily have passed as a Final, Deivid Silva faced Alejo Muniz (BRA) in Heat 1 of the Semifinals. Muniz had been impressing the judges with his fast and clean rail-to-rail surfing, but could not come up with an answer as he was defeated by Silva by a score of 16.04 to 13.60 respectively.

“I knew that heat was going to be difficult,” said Muniz. “He got an 8.0 with priority and a 7.0 while I had priority. At the end, I caught a good one for an 8.0 too, but conditions got worse and it made things very difficult to find a good wave. I would have liked to have gotten another chance, but that’s how it goes sometimes. 3rd place is still a good result and even though I didn’t make it to the Final, I felt like I did my best surfing of the year here in Itacaré, so that’s a big confidence booster.”

Alejo Muniz - South to South apresenta Itacaré Surf Sound FestivalAlejo Muniz WSL / PEU FERNANDES

In Heat 2 of the Semifinals, Fernandez was matched up against Krystian Kymerson (BRA), who had been on a tear all event long getting high-scores in every heat with his impeccable aerial talent. However, Fernandez got off to a strong start by blowing apart two righthanders at the beginning of the heat for a 15.94 total (7.77+8.17). Kymerson fought back but could not obtain anything beyond mid-range scores, bowing out of the event with a 9.34 total.

“It’s been a tough year for me, so getting a 3rd place here means a lot to me,” said an emotional Kymerson. “Congrats to Marco (Fernandez), he surfed really well and I only found a few good ones at the end, but it was too late. Him and Deivid deserved to be in the Final. Now I’ll be concentrating on Maresias, which will be a very important contest for me too. Hopefully I can get a good result there too.”

Krystian Kymerson - South to South apresenta Itacaré Surf Sound FestivalKrystian Kymerson WSL / IGOR NEVES

With his result today, Kymerson jumped from 8th to 2nd place on the WSL South America Ranking. The continental title will be determined next week in Maresias at the final event of the year before heading to Hawaii. Thiago Camarão (BRA) currently leads the rankings, but there are an additional 14 athletes that are mathematically capable of becoming the 2017 WSL South America Regional Champion. The winner from each WSL Region will gain automatic entry into all QS 10,000 and QS 6,000 events in 2018.


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).


Itacare Set to Host QS 6000 Mahalo Surf Eco Festival

The Mahalo Surf Eco Festival is the most traditional event on the WSL South America calendar. Eight previous editions have taken place in the state of Bahia; with events held at Praia do Forte and Salvador before making its way to Praia da Tiririca, in Itacaré. Now the event has reached a new level of importance by having its status raised from a 4-Star to a QS 6000 event.

For the third year in a row, the city of Itacaré will attract a large number of international athletes vying for a substantial result and a chance to solidify their positions on the World Surf League Qualifying Series ranking before heading to Hawaii for the Triple Crown of Surfing. The Mahalo Surf Eco Festival will run from October 27th to November 1st and is the second of three consecutive QS events in Brazil. A total of U$150,000 in prize money will be distributed to a wide array of surfers from around the globe that will be competing at Praia da Tiririca.

Praia da Tiririca - Itacaré - Bahia Praia da Tiririca

The Mahalo Surf Eco Festival, developed by Grupo Dendê Productions since 2008, combines a top-level surfing competition together with a music festival and a variety of environmental attractions. Due to its elevated status as a QS 6,000 event, it will be decisive as only the top-10 ranked athletes on the WSL Qualifying Series will achieve their long sought-after goal of making it onto the 2016 Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour (CT).

Railton Lemos, Director for Dendê Productions and founder of the Surf Eco Festival took pride in his accomplishments and had this to say:

“We’ve always believed in surfing’s potential and we were some of the first in the Northeast to invest in the sport, so we’re honored to continue with one of the Qualifying Series’ most traditional events in Brazil. We’re even more excited this year since the Mahalo Surf Eco Festival has now risen to a QS 6,000 Event. But that also means a lot more responsibility, so we’re working hard to provide an unforgettable event for the athletes and the public; making sure that they’ll leave here already thinking about the contest in 2016.”

The Mahalo Surf Eco Festival will be the last QS 6,000 event of the 2015 Surfing Season and Itacaré could possibly guarantee CT qualification for athletes currently on the QS.

In addition to all the action in the water provided by some of the world’s elite athletes and exciting young up-and-comers, the event will focus on sustainability and a number of environmental endeavors all week long at Praia da Tiririca. As an added bonus, the weekend will exhilarate the crowds with a music festival composed of local and national musical acts.

Alex Ribeiro (SP) in 2014 Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 2014 Champion

Since its inception in 2008, the Surf Eco Festival has always ended with a huge music festival. This year, it’s grown even larger with concerts running throughout the duration of the Mahalo Surf Eco Festival. The line-up includes: Baiana System, Ponto de Equilíbrio, Seu Jorge, Cidade Negra, Nando Reis and Legião Urbana. In addition, each day of the event will end with DJs performing at sunset. All performances and concerts are open to the public and will surely thrill the animated crowds in Itacaré.

“The musical line-up and our concentration on environmental education has always made our event stand out in comparison to others,” continued Lemos. “We believe that the fusion of surfing and music is a perfect match. We’ve gotten together some amazing talent that will be sure to please the audience’s taste. Our agenda is also centered on propagating a sustainable lifestyle. That’s why each year we set up tents where kids can learn about ecology and teach them how to bring that knowledge back into their households, along with increasing their love for surfing.”

In respect to their view on sustainability, being ecologically correct and nature preservation, Dendê Productions pioneered the history of competitive surfing in 2014 by being the first surf event to use solar energy; reducing the ecological footprint of the Mahalo Surf Eco Festival. This positive impact will be repeated this year’s event at Praia da Tiririca in addition to complimentary lectures and activities based on environmental education.

Adriano de Souza (BRA)  - Itacaré - Bahia Adriano de Souza (BRA)

The first edition of the Surf Eco Festival was held in 2008 at Praia do Forte, Bahia and consisted of Men’s and Women’s 5-Star events, won respectively by current CT standouts, Adriano de Souza (BRA) and Silvana Lima (BRA).

In 2009, the contest moved to the capital city of Salvador in Bahia. In addition to the Men’s and Women’s QS events, the contest also held the South America Men’s and Women’s Pro Junior Championships, also won by exceptional current CT surfers. Alejo Muniz (BRA) defeated Gabriel Medina (BRA) in the Pro Junior Final at Praia da Armação. The following year, Miguel Pupo (BRA) took out the title in the same location. In 2011, Filipe Toledo (BRA) won the event at Praia de Jaguaribe, before changing locations to Itacaré in 2012.

In Itacaré, the Mahalo surf wear company began sponsoring the Surf Eco Festival as a 4-Star QS event. In 2013, Halley Batista (BRA) won the contest. In 2014, Alex Ribeiro (BRA), who is currently ranked in the top-10 on the 2015 WSL QS rankings, won the event. Another familiar name to be successful at the Mahalo Surf Eco Festival is Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), who came in 1st place at last year’s event.

The Mahalo Surf Eco Festival is brought to you by Dendê Productions and is sponsored by Mahalo, the City of Itacaré, Pousada Ecoporan, the Department of Tourism for the State of Bahia, TV Santa Cruz and Skol. The QS 6,000 Event is sanctioned by the WSL South America and will distribute U$150,000 in prize money and 6,000 points valid towards the WSL Qualifying Series rankings.