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.


Alex Ribeiro and Tatiana Weston-Webb win Mahalo Surf Eco Festival 2014

On the final day of competition at the ASP 4-Star Mahalo Surf Eco Festival presented by Skol, Alex Ribeiro (BRA) maintained his high-performance surfing to defeat Paul Cesar Distinguin (FRA) by a score of 11.25 to 8.90, respectively. With his win today, Ribeiro earned US$15,000 in prize money and 1,000 points, which places him at 37th on the ASP Qualification Series rankings.

Prior to the start of the Mahalo Surf Eco Festival, Ribeiro was leading the rankings for the ASP South America title. After his victory in Itacare, he has seized control for the continental championship. The final event of the ASP South America Series will occur at the O’Neill SP Prime at Maresias Beach from November 3-9. Jesse Mendes (BRA) and Michael Rodrigues (BRA) are the only other athletes that are in contention for the Title.

Alex Ribeiro, taking down the field.

Distinguin earned a 9.25 for a deep barrel ride in the Quarterfinals for the highest single-wave score of the Festival on Friday. He also displayed an impressive aerial attack throughout the event but was unable to repeat his performance during the Final against Alex Ribeiro.

In the Women’s division, Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) defeated Alessa Quizon (HAW) by a score of 14.70 to 13.60 in an all-Hawaiian heat at Praia da Tiririca. Both surfers will be part of the 2015 World Championship Tour and have further solidified their classification with their results at the ASP 4-Star Mahalo Surf Eco Festival presented by Skol.

Alessa Quizon, airborne in Brazil

Jacqueline Silva (BRA) lost in the Semifinals to Weston-Webb but with her result today, she has practically guaranteed her title as the 2014 ASP South America champion. Despite having one event left on the calendar (Maui and Sons Pichilemu Pro from November 13-16 in Chile), neither Silva nor the remaining athletes in contention (Silvana Lima and Suelen Naraisa) will be participating in the event.


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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Top Seeds Light Up Day 3 at Mahalo Surf Eco Festival

Action on Day 3 of the ASP 4-Star Mahalo Surf Eco Festival presented by Skol intensified as the top seeds entered the competition for the Round of 64. Performances in the water displayed clutch execution, big-time maneuvers and several come-from-behind victories.

Hot off of his ASP 6-Star victory at the Oceano Santa Catarina Pro in Florianopolis, Michael Rodrigues (BRA) continued to show an uncanny knack for finding the right waves and pulling off exciting finishes. He earned the highest single-wave score of the day with an 8.50.

Michael Rodrigues earned the highest single-wave score of the day.

“I’m surfing under no pressure to get good results,” Rodrigues said. “I came here just for fun and to stay in the rhythm of competitions because I’m going to enter in the Prime in Maresias. I’m happy that the conditions improved today. I’ve been coming to Praia da Tiririca for a few years now, so I feel like I know this wave pretty well. I really like Bahia, so just being in the water feels great.”

Having roots in Brazil, Kiron Jabour (HAW) looked right at home in Itacare and continued to show off his high-velocity surfing.

“I was stoked because conditions were great during my heat,” Jabour said. “The wind stopped and the water got really glassy, so everything went right for me. It’s my first time here in Itacare and I’m impressed with the town. It’s beautiful and everything is still preserved. The houses, the streets, the beaches and all the nature.”

Bino Lopes winning his Round 3 heat.

Bino Lopes (BRA) is the only local surfer who has ever won the Mahalo Surf Eco Festival. With his precision surfing, Lopes claimed the victory in his Round 3 heat over Erick Moraes (BRA) and Adrien Toyon (FRA). Yago Dora (BRA), who is part of the latest generation of Brazilian aerialists, qualified in second place.

“Thankfully I got that good wave (an 8.00) to start the heat off, then after that I just used my strategy to get the win,” said Lopes. “I feel totally at home here in Itacare. I’ve been competing here since I was a little kid and I’ve had some good results, so that gives me a lot of confidence. It felt great to begin with a victory and I’m going to give it my best to win this event again.”

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QS Men and Women Head to Itacare for Mahalo Surf Eco Festival 2014

The tropical setting at Praia da Tiririca, located in city of Itacare, Brazil, will host the ASP 4-Star Mahalo Surf Eco Festival pres. by Skol from October 27 to November 1, 2014.

Home to one of the longest-standing sites for professional surf competitions in Brazil, Itacare will gather some of the best surfers on the Qualification Series (QS) who are hungry for an opportunity to move up in the rankings.

In addition to men’s competition, the 2014 Mahalo Surf Eco Festival will witness competition from the ASP Women’s QS for the first time. Altogether, the Mahalo Surf Eco Festival will distribute over U$125,000 in prize money and crucial world ranking points.

The Mahalo Surf Eco Festival a traditional proving ground for future World Championship Tour stars. In 2008, the inaugural Surf Eco Festival was held at Praia do Forte, in northern Bahia, and saw Adriano de Souza (BRA) and Silvana Lima (BRA) claim the event titles. In 2009, the contest moved to Salvador, the capital of Bahia, and witnessed Alejo Muniz (BRA) defeat Gabriel Medina (BRA) for the ASP South America Pro Junior title. Following in their footsteps, Miguel Pupo (BRA) was crowned event champion in 2010, succeeded by Filipe Toledo (BRA) in 2011. All aforementioned surfers went on to join the elite ranks.

There has always been an innate relationship between surfing and music at this event. The Mahalo Surf Eco Festival has been in tune with that connection since 2008 and has entertained the energetic crowds in Bahia with live music as a compliment to the show in the water. This year, the bands O Rappa, Ponto de Equilibrio, Strike and Massa Sonora will perform.

Itacare, located south of Salvador, is a small, idyllic town surrounded by natural beauty. Gorgeous beaches, breathtaking waterfalls, preserved flora and fauna, unique geology and one of the best waves in Brazil are all part of the surroundings found in Itacare, Bahia. Because of this natural exuberance, the Festival has unfailingly supplied each event with a number of ecological activities, lectures, exhibitions and films. The 2014 event will be the first-ever surf contest in the world to be run on solar energy. Dendê Productions, together with the University of Sao Paulo, under the supervision of the leading authority in solar energy in Brazil, Dr. Aurélio, will be erecting a large solar platform on the event premises for the implementation of this pioneering achievement.

The 2014 men’s and women’s QS events in Itacare hold an event window of October 27 to November 2.

Champions in the history of Surf Eco Festival in Bahia, Brazil:

2013: ASP 4-Star Men´s – Halley Batista (BRA) in Itacare
2012: ASP 1-Star Men´s – Krystian Kymerson (BRA) in Jaguaribe Beach
2012: ASP South America Pro Junior – Deivid Silva (BRA) and Rosanny Alvarez (VNZ)
2011: ASP 2-Star Men´s – Bino Lopes (BRA) in Jaguaribe Beach
2011: ASP South America Pro Junior – Filipe Toledo (BRA) and Gabriela Leite (BRA)
2010: ASP 4-Star Women´s – Coco Ho (HAW) in Armação Beach
2010: ASP South America Pro Junior – Santiago Muniz (ARG) and Johanne Defay (FRA)
2009: ASP 3-Star Men´s – Marcio Farney (BRA) in Armação Beach
2009: ASP South America Pro Junior – Alejo Muniz (BRA) and Diana Cristina (BRA)
2008: ASP 5-Star Men´s – Adriano de Souza (BRA) in Forte Beach
2008: ASP 5-Star Women´s – Silvana Lima (BRA) defeated Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)


Halley Batista wins Mahalo Surf Eco Festival 2013

Itacaré, Bahia / Brazil (Saturday, Oct, 19, 2013)
The final day of the ASP 4-Star Mahalo Surf Eco Festival presented by Skol was held under sunny skies and in front of a packed audience on the sand and surrounding point break at Praia da Tiririca in Itacaré. Halley Batista (BRA), 27, pulled off an impressive aerial performance to defeat Alan Jhones (BRA), 24, in an exciting final battle. For his victory, Batista took home U$15,000 and 1,000 ASP World Ranking points.

“I feel blessed to have won another Mahalo event,” stated Halley Batista. “The quality waves here at Tiririca have shown that they can’t be left off the circuit. The vibe here is great, the crowd is amazing and I feel so thankful to have won this event. Now I’m off to Venezuela for the next event of the Latin American Circuit.”

For his runner-up finish in Itacare, Alan Jhones earned U$7,500 and 750 ASP World Ranking points. With several dramatic victories throughout the week, Jhones was pleased with his result.

“Even though I didn’t win, I think I did really well here,” said Alan Jhones. “I had some come from behind victories and a few high scores, but the wave conditions deteriorated in the Final and I couldn’t pick the right wave. I knew that whoever threw a big move would win the heat, and Halley did great.”

Krystian Kymerson (BRA) had been the standout performer all week long by consistently landing big airs, but was eventually defeated by Batista in the Semifinals.

“Unfortunately I couldn’t find the right waves in the semis and I fell on all the airs that would have made a difference,” said Krystian Kymerson. “I’m still pleased with a 3rd place result and I’d like to thank everyone that filled the beach and cheered me on.”

Due to his fluid style, former South American champion Jean da Silva (BRA) was unstoppable leading up to the final day of competition before falling to Jhones. With their equal 3rd place results, both Kymerson and da Silva earned U$4,500 and 563 points.

“Conditions kept getting worse because of the onshore wind, the waves got a little choppy and I just couldn’t execute against Alan (Jhones),” stated Jean da Silva. “Next stop for me is the ASP Prime at Cascais in Portugal and I feel confident after doing so well against so many good competitors here.”

The Mahalo Surf Eco Festival presented by Skol is produced by Dende Produções and sponsored by Mahalo, Petrobras, Bahiatursa and the City of Itacaré and is supported by Backdoor, the Tourism Institute of Itacaré, the Bahia Surf Federation and the Itacaré Surf Association. The event is approved by the ASP South America as a 4-Star event. More information:

via Quarterfinalists Decided at the ASP 4-Star Mahalo Surf Eco Festival in Brazil : ASP World Tour – The Association of Surfing Professionals