• SriLankan Airlines Pro set for an epic Showdown in the Maldives

SriLankan Airlines Pro set for an epic Showdown in the Maldives
Final 16 surfers decided as the event heads into the man on man rounds

Billabong’s Tiago Pires, swept through the early rounds as the field narrowed at the Sri Lankan Pro being held in the Maldives. It was another amazing day of surf as rounds three and four were completed leaving 16 surfers to fight out what has been a superb event.

Six Hawaiian’s, Five Australian’s, Three Brazilian’s, One Portuguese and one USA surfer remain in a stacked quality field going into the final 16 surfer round.

Veteran ASP World Tour surfers Sunny Garcia (HAW) and Michael Campbell (AUS) will carry all their experience and skills into the round of 16 and with the event going man on man two surfer heats from here on in, these two surfers will obviously be very hard to beat.

Garcia again impressed everyone with his typical powerhouse moves and two excellent high 8 point rides securing him a big win to advance to round 4. Garcia seems to be building in confidence heat by heat and his next round match up with fellow Hawaiian Makua Rothman is set to be a display of immense energy.

Number one seed Michael Campbell faces another Hawaiian power surfer in Kekoa Bacalso. The young Hawaiian is confident but realistic about his chances commenting after his round four heat win by saying “ Everyone left in this event is capable of winning, the surfing is amazing, the Hawaiian’s are in form, the Brazilian’s are going nuts with aerials and the Aussies are just throwing down super impressive performances – I’ll do my best and if I get the right waves I’m sure I can score big.”

The quiet achiever at this event has been Nat Yoemans (USA). The goofy footer has displayed an almost flawless fluid style combined with massive and precise committed surfing. Yoeman’s has been scoring outstanding 9 point plus rides throughout the event and today posted the days highest scoring ride with an almost perfect 9.93 ride!

Nathan Hedge (AUS) and Pablo Paulino (Bra) showed just how dangerous the goofy foot contingent left in this event will be with both surfers combining perfectly timed bottom to top turn combinations to easily progress through to the final 16 and Tiago Pires (Portugal) as the sole remaining European showed his typical stylish display to also advance.

The final heat of the day was another high scoring shoot out in a thumping, blow by blow duel between Leonardo Neves (BRA) and Adam Robertson (AUS) with Neves reigning supreme and both surfers deservedly advancing to the final 16 with Hizunome Bettero (BRA) placing 3rd and eliminated.

Neves has been a standout throughout the event and commented on his positioning going into the final 16 by saying “This has been an incredible event and the waves just amazing. I can’t believe how good it’s been and everyone is just loving the Maldives. I’ve never actually won a really big event and it’s my dream and to win this one, in such incredible waves would be very special. We’ll all try our best tomorrow!”

Surf is expected to remain amazing and tomorrow’s man on man action is not to be missed.

Log into www.aspworldtour.com , hit the event mini site and watch it live. The event is headed for a monumental showdown.

Event Brief: The SriLankan Airlines Pro is widely regarded as one of the premier events on the prestigious ASP International World Qualifying Series. Held in the Maldives each year since 2001 during early June the event has always delivered high quality surf and the event is famous for being held in the warmes surfing waters of any event world wide, at an amazing approximate of 30 degrees.
The number one seed this year is Michael Campbell (AUS), a former world number 2 rated surfer and the field includes the likes of 2000 ASP World Champion Sunny Garcia (HAW), Travis Logie (ZAF), Masotoshi Ohno (JPN), Aritz Aranburu (SPAIN), Jay Quinn (NZ), Brett Simpson (USA) to name just a few of the outstanding surfers here this year. The defending champion is Heitor Alves (BRA) who is scheduled to surf in heat 16 round 5 which is expected to surf on Wednesday with the finals expected to run through Saturday and Sunday.

Follow the SriLankan Airlines Pro live via a superb high quality Webcast beginning 9th June 2008. Live vision, commentary, scores, high quality digital images, daily video highlight clips and press releases updated throughout the event. The event mini site will be located at


Attached Photo: Billabong’s Tiago Pires (Portugal) was the sole remaining European showed his typical stylish display to advance to the final 16.