Analysis: Alagoas Pro Wrap
Caio Vaz made a convincing case for his slot on top of the Standup World Tour rankings with his second win of the season in as many events. On the women’s side, Floridian Izzi Gomez stamped her name on her 2014 campaign, with a win over current women’s Tour leader Nicole Pacelli in a hard-fought final.
As the level of SUP surfing continues to improve, the route to the finals continues to get harder with Vaz having to overcome an onslaught of progressive surfing from the likes of Keahi de Aboitiz, Sean Poynter and Kody Kerbox, making his second win of the season that much more impressive. The last-minute (literally) eight-plus ride in the semifinals against Poynter was a case in point: clutch surfing to make a final and peak at just the right moment. That’s the stuff that world titles are made of.
De Aboitiz certainly didn’t lay down in the final, either. His loose-finned approach served him well throughout the event, especially in a dominating semifinal win over Ian, the other Vaz brother. But his loose, lanky and casual style may be a disadvantage for him as some of his scores in the final seemed a little low, leaving him needing a two-wave combination to end his contest runner-up.
Poynter will be disappointed with this loss, especially since Vaz caught his wave to the finals under Poynter’s priority. But he was surfing sharp throughout the event, his blow-tail approach serving him well in the less-than stellar Brazilian beach break conditions. Look for him to be a major contender in the wave pool at Abu Dhabi.
Ian Vaz is overshadowed by his brother at this time but it’s only a matter of time before he wins an event. His fast and technical surfing worked well in the closeouts in Brazil and will look good in the desert.
With her second-place finish, Pacelli has further cemented her first place status on this year’s rankings, not to mention her title as the reigning world champ. In a post-heat interview, Pacelli said that surfing in front of her country men and women put more pressure on her and maybe that played into her mindset in the final. Either way, the women know to watch out for Pacelli, who thrives in big waves and small.
Gomez took her third Standup World Tour victory (the most of any World Tour woman) with this win in Brazil. She’s only 14. Gomez grew up surfing and only switched to SUP in the last couple years. If her performance record is any indication, the other women on tour better keep their eyes on her as she’s just getting started.
Iballa Moreno, from the Canary Islands, put on a solid performance with strong rail surfing that results in large fans of spray. Brazilian Aline Adisaka put her beach beach knowledge to use in the sloppy conditions taking advantage of the little pockets that the conditions presented her. Moreno and Adisaka both took home equal thirds from the event.
More Standup World Tour.
Current Men’s Rankings
1. Caio Vaz
2. Keahi De Aboitiz
3. Kai Lenny
4. Zane Schweitzer
5. Ian Vaz
6. Leco Salazar
7. Sean Poynter
8. Mo Freitas
9. Kai Bates
10. Beau Nixon
10. Justin Holland
10. Kody Kerbox