GUINCHO / CARCAVELOS, Portugal (Saturday, October 25, 2008) - The Estoril Coast Pro, last ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) event of the year taking place on the European shores, entered the exciting and dramatic Man-on-man Round 5 at the main location of Carcavelos today in excellent three-foot surf after wrapping up the 3-Man battles in building six to eight foot (2 to 2.5 meter) waves at the back-up venue of Guincho. The Estoril Coast Pro will finish tomorrow and eight men only remain in contention for the ASP WQS 6-Star valuable 2500 winner's points.
Gavin Gillette (Big Island, HAW), 22, came out ahead on Day 5 of competition posting the highest heat result en route to defeating ASP Top 45 member Travis Logie (ZAF) in Heat 4 of Round 5. Gillette, who had a good run in the Canary Islands last week, unleashed his progressive style to post a couple of flying frontside airs giving him an impressive 17.50 point score (out of a possible 20) including a 9.00 point ride.
"I am stoked contest directors moved here because the waves were so fun in my heat," Gillette said. "It is the best heat of my year I think, just had fun and enjoyed the waves so much."
Gillette, who did not get any significant result in 2008, will jump into the Top 100 of the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) ratings after Portugal and will have nothing to lose when he meets with Brazilian Jean Da Silva (BRA).
"It was a very slow year for me and I did not do well," Gillette said. "I feel I am getting things together right now and I am pretty stoked with that run. I was hanging out with the Hawaiians and there was pretty good feeling between us. I just did my thing today and felt no pressure at all."
Huge crowds attended Round 5 with national hero and ASP World Tour No. 31 Tiago Pires (Ericeira, PRT) surfing in Heat 2 of Round 5 against friend and former Dream Tour campaigner Eric Rebiere (Biarritz, FRA). Pires, who was loudly cheered by hundreds of people standing at the water's edge, found his way through to the Quarterfinals of the Estoril Coast Pro with a solid 14.27 point tally (out of a possible 20), a result that already pushes him higher on the international ratings.
"I am really happy to get through and the call was right to move back to Carcavelos," Pires said. "The waves were pretty fun and I felt good and pushed my turns hard. I know the conditions should be really nice tomorrow and I can't wait to surf again."
Pires, who is already guaranteed to go above the virtual 11000 point mark on the international ratings, will be surfing for a win in the Estoril Coast Pro tomorrow.
"I have huge support here and I want to please everyone," Pires said. "That support gives me a lot of work and pressure as well so I have to deal with this all and surf my best. I am not looking at any ratings and there are so many guys ripping I know it is going to be hard finish."
Pires, who will surf first thing when competition resumes, will face Quarter finals' outsider Mike Losness (USA) who impressed today defeating ASP WQS No. 35 Adam Melling (Lennox Head, AUS).
Losness, rated No. 61 before the Estoril Coast Pro, created the upset of the day by securing his Quarterfinal berth against Melling finishing with a promising 16.00 point heat score (out of a possible 20) to advance.
"I am stoked the contest moved back to Carcavelos because the waves definitely had more scoring potential," Losness said. "The waves were perfect, we had perfect little three-footers and I felt pretty strong on my board. I know next heat will be hard because Tiago (Pires) is hard to beat at home with all the crowds' support but I am ready."
Losness, who is finishing his European campaign with at least an equal 5th, will move up the ratings with his result and hopes to finish the year in the Top 50.
"I've been targeting the Top 50 this year and it seems like it is reachable," Losness said. "I was not expecting anything from the events in Europe because the only time I came to compete ended up pretty bad and I surfed with nothing to lose. I placed 3rd in Lacanau and now I am in the Quarterfinals so I am stoked."
Quarter finalists of the Estoril Coast Pro will meet at 8.30 AM Sunday, October 26, for the showdown.
The Estoril Coast Pro is webcast LIVE at www.aspeurope.com
UPCOMING QUARTERFINALS (1st to Semifinals)
Heat 1: Mike Losness (USA) Vs Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 2: Jean Da Silva (BRA) Vs Gavin Gillette (HAW)
Heat 3: Marlon Lipke (DEU) Vs Dion Atkinson (AUS)
Heat 4: Jay Thompson (AUS) Vs TBA
ROUND 5 RESULTS (1st to Quarterfinals)
Heat 1: Mike Losness (USA) 16.00 pts Def. Adam Melling (AUS) 15.17 pts
Heat 2: Tiago Pires (PRT) 14.27 pts Def. Eric Rebiere (FRA) 10.83 pts
Heat 3: Jean Da Silva (BRA) 12.66 pts Def. Christophe Allary (REU) 11.94 pts
Heat 4: Gavin Gillette (HAW) 17.50 pts Def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 13.50 pts
Heat 5: Marlon Lipke (DEU) 14.13 pts Def. Eneko Acero (EUK) 13.67 pts
Heat 6: Dion Atkinson (AUS) 12.66 pts Def. Greg Emslie (ZAF) 10.83 pts
Heat 7: Jay Thompson (AUS) 15.34 pts Def. Leigh Sedley (AUS) 13.80 pts
Heat 8: Gabe Kling (USA) Vs Shaun Cansdell (AUS)
ROUND 4 RESULTS (1st, 2nd to Round 5)
Heat 1: Adam Melling (AUS) 15.50 pts, Tiago Pires (PRT) 11.00 pts, Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 10.93 pts
Heat 2: Eric Rebiere (FRA) 12.57 pts, Mike Losness (USA) 9.96 pts, Hugo Savalli (REU) 6.97 pts
Heat 3: Christophe Allary (REU) 12.67 pts, Gavin Gillette (HAW) 11.43 pts, Owen Wright (AUS) 10.33 pts
Heat 4: Travis Logie (ZAF) 15.00 pts, Jean Da Silva (BRA) 9.84 pts, Tonino Benson (HAW) 9.00 pts
Heat 5: Marlon Lipke (DEU) 12.57 pts, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 7.74 pts, Nathaniel Curran (USA) 7.33 pts
Heat 6: Greg Emslie (ZAF) 17.60 pts, Eneko Acero (EUK) 5.17 pts, Shaun Gossmann (AUS) 3.83 pts
Heat 7: Jay Thompson (AUS) 15.34 pts, Gabe Kling (USA) 13.00 pts, Blake Thornton (AUS) 10.00 pts
Heat 8: Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 11.83 pts, Leigh Sedley (AUS) 11.33 pts, Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 10.10 pts