C.J. Hobgood Scalps ASP WQS 6-Star PRIME Hang Loose Pro
FERNANDO DE NORONHA, Pernambuco/Brazil (Saturday, February 6, 2010) â€“ 2001 ASP World Champion and current ASP Dream Tour stalwart C.J. Hobgood (USA) confirmed his status of top seed at the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 6-Star PRIME Hang Loose Pro, winning the first ASP Prime event of the year in Fernando de Noronha, Brazil. Raoni Monteiro made his third final in a row in Cacimba do Padre waves, but as last year, didnâ€™t find the barrels to win.
â€śIâ€™m stoked,” Hobgood said. “Last year I put too much pressure on myself and it didnâ€™t paid off. It was amazing to win right now in the ning of the season. I was lucky all day long finding those left barrels and Iâ€™m glad to be here in this amazing place.”
Hobgood walked away with a US $20,000 winnerâ€™s check and 6,500 points to take the lead of the ASP World Rankings. Raoni pocketed US $10,000 and 4,875 points to place himself two steps below Hobgood on the ASP World Rankings where young Brazilian Alejo Muniz is the current No. 2. Here in Noronha Alejo and fellow coutryman Wiggolly Dantas was equal 3rd.
With the fore showing a decline in the swell contest organizers decided to run the finals on Saturday even with the window going till Sunday. C.J. was on fire since his first heat of this Saturday. In the Round of 16, C.J got barreled twice to post a new record of two-wave total of 17.17 points (out of a possible 20). He smoked both Brazilians Gustavo Fernandes in Quarterfinals and Alejo Muniz in the Semifinal.
There were no more waves in the right side of the beach due the low tide. In the Final, Hobgood and Monteiro were searching for the lefthanders in the Cacimbaâ€™s left side. Raoni caught the first wave but it didnâ€™t worth. Hobgood was in the right place to get barreled and than smashed the wave to the end with a powerful forehand attack to post the highest score of the final (8.0). And it was done when he did it again in the next set registering 6.33.
With few waves in offer, there was no way for Raoni to fight back. â€śRaoni is a great surfer and a great guy. I know him from the ASP Tour and I knew it would be very tough to beat him here in Noronha. I hope to see him back in the WT. I want to congratulate Hang Loose to run that great event here and support surfing in Brazil as wellâ€ť, said C. J. Hobgood.
â€śEven losing twice, the second final in a row, Iâ€™m definitely happy,” Monteiro said. “C.J. is a great surfer, top seeded, always making to the Finals so itâ€™s ok. Itâ€™s nice to be in the final three times in a row here, so Iâ€™m stoked and now I Just need a new sponsor to keep going.”
Hobgood was alone in the Semifinals heats against Brazilian crew. He made it through with a solid win over Gustavo Fernandes. North American Brett Simpson was dismissed by Alejo Muniz while Wiggolly Dantas overtook Frenchman Joan Duru in the quarters. In the last quarter-finals heat was Raoni Monteiro and fellow coutryman Hizunome Bettero.
In equal 3rd both Semifinalists are from the new Brazilian generation, Alejo and Wiggolly were competing under Brazilian and South American flag in the last ASP World Pro Junior in AustrĂˇlia. Alejo is current National and South American Champion under-20 and Runner-up in the last ASP WQS 6-Star event at Paracuru.