THE Billabong Azores Islands Pro presented by Nissan is the 28th qualifying event on this year's WQS tour. It's also the 5th out of nine WQS (World Qualifying Series) events with a 6-star Prime status, given by the ASP only to the top venues, regarding quality of surf available. Top male and female surfers from around the world will be fighting for the first place 6.500 rating points (3.000 points for the women) and 180.000 USD of total prize money.
Billabong team rider and local hero Tiago "Saca" Pires, currently sitting 15th on the World Tour, will compete at the event, alongside last year's event winner William Cardoso and top ASP tour competitors including Chris Davidson, Patrick Gudauskas, Brett Simpson, Michael Campbell, Chris Ward, Mikael Picon, Aritz Aranburu and Josh Kerr, as well as young surfing prodigies such as Gabriel Medina, Granger Larsen, Julian Wilson, Kai Barger and Billabong World Junior Champion Maxime Huscenot.
Female surfers will also feature in the Billabong Azores Islands Pro presented by Nissan, where they will be battling for valuable WQS points vying to secure a position for next years ASP Women's World Tour (WWT). This event is the 5th from a total of 9 events on the WQS (World Qualifying Series) Women's tour with a 6-star status.
Current world number two Sally Fitzgibbons, a previous multiple winner at portuguese events, along with Billabong's Paige Hareb and Courtney Conlogue and some of the top women's surfers, including former World Champion Sofia Mulanovich and young guns such as Coco Ho, Tyler Wright, Laura Enever (World Junior Champion), Alana Blanchard, Bethany Hamilton or Lee-Ann Curren, alongside local Portuguese surfers like Billabong team rider Joana Rocha and 2009 WQS number 20 Francisca Pereira dos Santos, will all be looking to do well this year at the event.
The Billabong Azores Islands Pro presented by Nissan is organized by DAAZ Eventos and USBA (Azores Surfers and Bodyboarders Union). The event is sponsored by the Azores Tourism, Billabong, Nissan Portugal, Ribeira Grande City Hall, Sumol and TMN. Also kindly supported by SATA, Ericeira Surf Shop, Dakine, RTP Açores, Visão, Antena 3, Go-S.TV, Surf Portugal and Surf Total.