Brazilians Take Command at Mahalo Surf Eco Festival

Competition resumed at Praia da Tiririca for another action-packed day at the 2014 ASP 4-Star Mahalo Surf Eco Festival presented by Skol. Wave selection proved to be crucial as athletes faced waves in the 2-to-3-foot range (1-meter), with the occasional larger set and moderate onshore winds.

Krystian Kymerson (BRA) provided a number of highlights, scoring a 16.55 heat total in his Round 3 victory. In 2012, Kymerson won the Surf Eco Festival held in Salvador, Bahia. With a bid into Round 5, he is focused on repeating that feat.


Krystian Kymerson is looking to repeat his 2012 victory.

“I’ve been working hard on coming back from a knee injury I suffered in South Africa,” Kymerson said. “I spent two months out of the water, so I’m very focused on getting a good result here. I’m so thankful that I’m able to surf as good as before my injury. My two heats today were my first since I hurt my knee, so it’s nice to hear that I was able to get the day’s highest scores. I know that no one has ever won this event twice, so my goal is to become the first.”

Young local surfer Yage Araujo (BRA) brought the crowd to its feet after pulling off several airs to earn an 8.25. Araujo was called for an interference in the heat that would cut his first eight-point ride in half but his early heroics carried him through into Round 5.

Yage Araujo’s Round 4 air earned him the advance into Round 5.

“I feel great and I think that I felt even more relaxed after I got called on that interference, so I just started throwing some airs and I think the judges liked it since they rewarded me for it,” stated Araujo. “It’s hard to believe that I won the heat even after being called on an interference. But I think the judges saw me going for it on every wave, so they ended up giving me the scores I needed. Now I’m concentrating on not committing the same mistakes in my next heats.”

In a stacked heat, Jay Thompson (AUS), Yago Dora (BRA), Michael Rodrigues (BRA) and Kiron Jabour (HAW) fought to the last second to see who would qualify for Round 5. Thompson to an early lead, leaving Dora, Rodrigues and Jabour in a battle for second place. Rodrigues, who had been on a tear in recent events, looked out of sync and was not able to complete his final maneuvers. Despite showing off lightning-quick surfing, Jabour could not find a scoring opportunity and left Dora with a chance in the dying seconds of the heat. Dora wafted consecutive tailslides in tight sections to guarantee his qualification into Round 5 alongside Thompson.

Cahill Bell-Warren is into Round 5.

Jesse Mendes (BRA), the only remaining top seed at the Mahalo Surf Eco Festival, also qualified into Round 5 in his heat alongside Cahill Bell-Warren (AUS). Bell-Warren topped the four-man heat, which pit him against three Brazilians.

“It’s always tough to face the Brazilians anywhere around the globe, but it’s even harder in their country,” stated Bell-Warren. “I was lucky enough to find some waves that were good enough to get me into the next round. This is my first time to Brazil and I’m loving everything here… All I need now is a good result to help boost my rankings.”

In addition to the crucial ASP Qualifying Series (QS) ranking points being distributed, the ASP 4-Star Mahalo Surf Eco Festival together with the O’Neill SP Prime in Maresias will decide a 2014 ASP South America champion. Alex Ribeiro (BRA) currently leads the South American rankings after his event victory in Mar del Plata, Argentina. His victory over Willian Cardoso (BRA) in Round 4 puts him a step closer to earning the continental title.


Alex Ribeiro currently leads the South American QS rankings.

“I’m leading the rankings, but I don’t even want to think about that. I just want to take things heat by heat and focus on the waves at this competition,” said Ribeiro. “The waves are a little bigger today, but the swell is coming from a different direction, so the peaks are spread out along the beach. You need to stay calm and choose carefully to find a wave that will stand up and let you execute some big turns. I’m glad that I’m still in the event, so let’s see how things go tomorrow because my goal is to win the contest.”

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Kayaking in Itacaré

By: Bella Papadopoulou.

It is not a secret that Itacaré offers a little bit of everything. From Atlantic forest to white sandy beaches … from sea to lakes. The varied environments allows one to practice various kinds of sports and experience new and exciting adventures.

The edge of Itacaré’s calmer river fronting the neighborhood ”Forte”, is also the home of the Association of Kayaking of Itacaré. Every day members and tourists take the kayaks and row along the beautiful Rio das Contas that starts in Chapada Diamantina and ends in Itacaré.

Josenildho Monteiro De Jesus, who is the founder of the association goes kayaking every day and believes it to be an amazing experience each time he paddles out.

”Kayaking is great because, first of all, it is calming and also healing in a way. Secondly, it is a great way to make new friends while having fun together in a group. Last, but not least, you are out in this breathtaking nature and can enjoy it up close” Josenildho says.

And it is absolutely true! Paddling along the river one will pass next to the Atlantic forest with the small fishing boats in the background and a setting or rising sun ahead of you (depending if you go early in the morning or in the afternoon).

But kayaking here is not only a hobby. Itacaré is in fact a leading city withing kayak championships both nationally and internationally. Today there are 15 champions that proudly represent Itacaré at national and international competitions as well Marta Ferreira who is a two times paraolimpic world champion.

”As our athletes train in an environment that is made up by both river and sea, they definately have an advantage in competitions because they alredy know how to paddle in all kinds of conditions” Josenildho says.

The association is also the oldest institution that makes social work in the town allowing children from the poorer areas to get educated about how to have a healthy life.

”Over the years we have given support to many children by keeping them away from drugs and allowing them to become competitors and responsible citizens” Jozenildho says.

To book a kayak tour or make a donation, one can go to the associasion that is located in the neighbourhood Forte, Monday-Saturday 07.00-17.00.



Top 10 Healthy things do in Itacaré for free!

By: Bella Papadopoulou.

1. Clay in Engenocha
Only a few kilometers outside of Itacaré and a 15-minute walk through the Atlantic forest lies the beach called Engenocha. There is a wall facing the sea that is made of a special clay called “Argyle”. This clay is known for its toxin-drawing properties. Cover yourself in it, wait a bit then take a dip in the warm ocean water to rinse. The final result is soft and healthy skin.

2. Coconut water at the beaches
It will be a challenge to find a coconut-free beach around here! Take one of the already fallen coconuts, hit it against the rock and drink the nutrient rich coconut water that is full of electrolytes. Coconut water also helps your body fight viruses and boost your metabolism system.

3. Cocoa good for the heart
Itacaré is located on what is known as the coast of Cocoa. This fruit has many benefits including the ability to decrease blood pressure, which as a result, improves blood vessel health and lowers cholesterol levels. Chocolate which is made from Cocoa, is also said to increases the level of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates emotions, creating a good feeling.

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4. Massage under the waterfall
The waterfall of Tijuipe is known for its breathtaking beauty but what many people do not know is that if you stand under the falling water, it’s akin to receiving an excellent shoulder massage. Say goodbye to worry and stress!

5. Walk barefoot at Concha
The calm sea at Concha beach allows you to walk around in the water slowly. The bottom is filled with small stones that press all the important spots under your feet and makes a gentel zonotherapeutic massage that is beneficial for the whole body.

6. Enjoy the energy of the sun
The sun is a great source of vitamin D that is necessary for optimal health. Getting your daily dose of sunshine will enhance your immune system. It increases the number of white blood cells in your blood. It also helps them to be better fighters in their mission to kill bacteria. Of course, we need only to expose ourselves to the sun for short periods. Plus always remember to use sunscreen!

7. Yoga for the mind and body
Through the practice of Yoga we reach a higher lever of both well-being and awareness. Go to Resende beach, inhale the beautiful scenery, close your eyes and feel your body become calmer with every inhalation.

8. Peeling with the sand
Our skin needs to be exfoliated at times to remove dead cells. The wet grit of sand is a perfect mixture of delicate and rough so a full-body scrub results in a glowing appearance. And pss! Your tan will lasts longer on a freshly peeled skin.

9. Laugh a lot
Laughter is the best medicine! It decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, as well as improving your resistance to disease.

10. Dance the night away
Bahia is known as the place where people dance in the streets on every corner. Take off your sandals and shake your body to happy samba tunes or grab a partner and spin around while dancing Forró.

Big travelers in Itacaré!

By: Bella Papadopoulou.

There is something special about whales. Everybody loves them and wants to get a glimpse, even if that glimpse is only a tail. Maybe it is their friendly behaviour or their overwhelming size. Either way, being face to face to a 16 meter long Jubarte whale is something you will never forget!

Five years ago researcher and biology student, Nayane Rosetti Pinto, started making daily boat trips out into the blue in order to see the Jubarte whale in close-up. The whales come to the warm waters of Itacaré to reproduce and stay – just like a long vacation – from July to November each year.

After this time spent along the Brazilian coastline they migrate back to Antarctica which lies approximately 4000km away. With an average speed of 42km/day it takes them about 2 months to get there, where they will stay (mainly to eat loads of shrimp) until next July.

No one knows with certainty why they choose this place to reproduce in, but some theories believe it to be the currents and the temperature of the water. But hey, doen´t everybody want to live in Itacaré?

Seeing these creatures from such a close distance is quite an emotional thing. Betinha Yonashiro went on this trip and was amazed by what she saw.

”When I saw the mother whale playing with her newborn child I felt like crying. It was an amazing thing to witness” she says.

Nayane that has been meeting the whales almost daily for the past five years, feel like it is her first time every day.

”It is something very special and emotional to see these sweet and friendly creatures. It is fun because they are also very curious to see us people” she says.

Nayane Rosetti Pinto

But it is not only the whales that make this day trip fun and special, it is the whole atmosphere on the boat. A happy crew, fresh served fruit, tranquil bossa nova tunes along with turquoise water and an always shining sun is a recipe for a great passage.

The usual moves that one can expect them to make are waving or clapping of the tail, swimming close to the surface, peeking out the whole head or jumping high above the surface.

Many wonder if there is a kind of guarantee of spotting a whale and as Nayane says ”it is not a planned thing as all animals have their own routines but it has never happened to her in all these years that they went out without seeing anything”.

You can find more information about the trips on their Facebook page or contact Nayane at

10 must-know phrases for Itacaré

By: Bella Papadopoulou.

1. Aí sim (Oh Yeah).
This is probably the most used phrase in Itacaré. It is used in order to encourage a good situation and is a also a way for people to share excitement and success. If you catch a good wave or pop open a cold beer in the summer heat there is nothing better than hearing a simple yet so great ”Ai sim”!

2. Boas ondas/Altas ondas (Good/High waves).
For anyone in search of good waves: Itacaré delivers! It’s no surprise that the town’s character is partly shaped around it. When walking to the beach with your surfboard under your arm, people passing by will most likely say this to you, along with a big smile.

3. Vamos nessa galera (Let´s go everybody).

Your days of solitude are over! Itacaré is a big family and you are welcome to be a part of it. If the language is indeed a mirror of the culture then the fact that the word ”we” is referred to as ”a galera” (meaning ”the gang”) says it all.

4. To ligado (I got it/I understand).
Also a very common thing to say here and it is used to give your friends a heads up that you are on the same page. “To ligado” can be used as question and statement: practical!

5. Bahian time.
Oh yeah, this phrase is just perfect and should be enforced everywhere in the world. If anyone hustles or stresses you , turn around and simply say ”I’m on Bahian time”.

6. Mais uma (One more).

Imagine being on the beach on a hot summer day and your cold beverage is all gone. Is there a better thing to say then ”mais uma” in that situation? I don’t think so!

7. E ai beleza (Hey, all beautiful/amazing/great).
The perfect greeting phrase. Why stick to a regular ”hello” when you can ask someone if everything is going beautifully? In Itacaré it almost always is, so the answer to this would be ”Beleza pura” (meaning ”pure beautifulness”)!

8. Bora (Let´s go/Let´s do it).
Don´t wait around, don´t hesitate, don´t think twice… Bora!

9. Show de bola (Everything is awesome).
It is not enough to say that things are good around here, they are ”show de bola”, a fun expression to say that certainly ups the atmosphere.

10. ”Bota fé” (You can believe it).
Sometimes it’s hard to believe that things are for real here. It can almost seem like too good to be true. In a place with such beautiful nature, great waves, cool music or a gripping moonrise sometimes just that someone tells you ”Bota fé”!