NAGS HEAD, North Carolina/ USA (Friday, September 1, 2017) – The World Surf League (WSL) WRV Outer Banks Pro Qualifying Series (QS) 1,000 presented by Pacifico crowned Gabriel Farias (BRA) its 2017 winner at Jeannette’s Pier. Continued fun, two-to-three foot swell streamed through the lineup to provide competitors plenty of scoring opportunity from the day’s start until Farias earned his first-ever QS chair-up the beach after taking down an in-form Stevie Pittman (USA). Despite increasing winds scrambling the lineup, Farias put on a great display of surfing in the later rounds to emerge victorious.
Farias came into the Final with a lot of momentum, but had a slow start until soaring into a backside alley-oop that earned him a 9.00 (out of a possible 10) for a lead change — one he wouldn’t relinquish. The Brazilian talent found an immediate backup score of a 6.23 after a handful of searing turns on his backhand to raise Pittman’s requirement to a near-perfect 9.23. This marks Farias’ first-ever QS victory as he earns 1,000 valuable points toward chasing the higher-rated events.
“I don’t even know what to think, that was my first Final and first win so I’m just beyond stoked,” Farias said. “I had a rough go in Virginia and just knew I had to win this one, and thank God the waves always kept coming to me to go for those airs. All the heats before that Final I landed my first air, but when I didn’t in the Final I was so bummed. But, then I landed that alley-oop for a 9-point score and my friends on the beach were keeping me updated with signals so I got excited to move into first after that. I had priority the last five minutes and knew I had to stay close to Stevie [Pittman] because he’s such a great surfer. I can’t believe I won this event.”
The 22-year-old posted the day’s highest single-wave score, a 9.27, and wave total of 15.94 (out of a possible 20) in his Quarterfinal bout with Tomas King (CRI) before topping East Coast threat Tommy Coleman (USA) in the Semifinals. Farias will take this momentum forward and continue chasing his dream of breaking into the QS elite. “My goal for this year is to get into the top events so I’ll go straight to the Philippines for that QS3,000,” Farias said. “I’m so happy to get a chance at competing in the QS6,000 in Brazil and I’ll do my best to get a result at both the Philippines and in my home country. I’m just so happy right now and out of words to describe this moment.”
Pittman’s road to the Final was no easy task having to overcome yesterday’s barrel hunter and freestyle air capability of Dusting Richardson (USA) in the Quarterfinals before taking on an in-form Facundo Arreyes (BRA) in the Semifinals. The North Carolina native looked to have all the momentum heading into the Final, after nearly putting Arreyes in a combination situation, meaning he needed two new scores to total Pittman’s, but couldn’t find that rhythm in his first-ever QS Final appearance. Pittman’s young career is just getting started and plenty of Finals await the 17-year-old’s future if he keeps building his power surfing even further.
“It feels good to make it to the Final after getting barreled all day yesterday, that was just a dream, and today was still pretty fun,” Pittman said. “Gabriel [Farias] was just ripping all day long and landed that alley-oop which was hard to come back from. I’m just down the road about three hours and have competed here a lot so I’m really familiar with the area, and had my parents here to support me along with a lot of the people here which was great. I’ll be able to get into some of the bigger QS’s now I think so I’m really excited for that and I’ll keep doing a few more events this year.”
Pittman eliminated Argentinian talent Facundo Arreyes (ARG) who continued to impress at the start of finals day with a big Quarterfinal win over one of the event’s biggest threats — Australia’s Chris Michalak (AUS). Arreyes tried to find his rhythm in the growing tricky conditions as winds became unfavorable and nearly avoided elimination in a combination situation against Pittman in the Semifinals. But, Arreyes still has full schedule ahead of him to finish up 2017 and the motivation to take it on.
“I feel so good because I came here looking for some points after my brother told me I needed to come here and Virginia so I could try and get into the QS6,000 in Brazil,” Arreyes said. “This is the best result of my career so far and I’m super stoked on this event. Yesterday was the best day of competition I’ve ever surfed in and I had fun today. Now I’ll get ready and try to do the Philippines event and just see what happens, but I’m ready for another one.”
Vero Beach, Florida, native Tommy Coleman’s (USA) incredible run at Outer Banks ended with a Semifinal result and a boost of confidence in the 16-year-old’s young career. Coleman took down the all-East Coast Quarterfinal affair against an in-form Gabriel Morvil (USA) and couldn’t find that winning form after fatigue set in from yesterday’s massive day. Coleman’s focus remains toward the Pro Junior circuit, but continues building experience in a jersey whenever he can and still has big year ahead of him.
“I knew I just had to go big against these guys since they all rip and stoked to get this far even though you always want to go a little further,” Coleman said. “I’ll get back to the Pro Junior Tour at the RVCA event now and then finish off the year in Barbados so I’m excited for that. I’m at fifth on the rankings there so I still have a chance which makes me happy. It’s my first year really getting some contests under my belt and it’s great to be making heats like this, and just keep trying to find my way through it all.”
WRV Outer Banks Pro QS1,000 Finals Results:
1 – Gabriel Farias (BRA) 15.23 1,000 points $2,500
2 – Stevie Pittman (USA) 11.67 750 points $1,500
WRV Outer Banks Pro QS1,000 Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Gabriel Farias (BRA) 13.60 def. Tommy Coleman (USA) 10.66
SF 2: Stevie Pittman (USA) 15.26 def. Facundo Arreyes (ARG) 11.90
WRV Outer Banks Pro QS1,000 Upcoming Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Tommy Coleman (USA) 12.23 def. Gabriel Morvil (USA) 10.53
QF 2: Gabriel Farias (BRA) 14.54 def. Tomas King (CRI) 10.76
QF 3: Stevie Pittman (USA) 12.77 def. Dustin Richardson (USA) 8.33
QF 4: Facundo Arreyes (ARG) 14.33 def. Chris Michalak (AUS) 11.17