Italo Ferreira wins Red Bull Airborne Gold Coast

Form Guide

COOLANGATTA, Queensland/AUS (Thursday, April 4, 2019) - The first event of the women’s World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) season, the Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast, kicked off today after a three-month offseason. The world’s best surfers started the day at Duranbah in three-to-five foot (1-to-1.5 metre) conditions, completing Rounds 1 and 2. 

Following the women, men’s elimination Round 2 said goodbye to its first four competitors. The day ended with the high-flying action of the Red Bull Airborne Gold Coast, which saw Italo Ferreira (BRA) claim the win. 

Italo Ferreira (WSL / Cestari)

Italo Ferreira Wins Red Bull Airborne Gold Coast

Today, Italo Ferreira (BRA) won the Red Bull Airborne Gold Coast, a WSL specialty event that highlights aerial surfing. The 24-year-old is known for his creative antics in the air, landing some of the Championship Tour’s biggest maneuvers and setting the bar for above-the-lip surfing. Ferreira brought his same flair into today’s air show to light up Duranbah and take home the win. 

“That was an epic Final,” said Ferreira. “It was special with Filipe (Toledo) and Yago (Dora). To me those are two of the best guys in the air. I am so happy to take the win. I tried to go big in the first five minutes and I landed the first one. It was so fun.”

To make the Final, the Brasilian battled through the 18-surfer field in a leaderboard-scoring format for a place in the top six alongside finalists Filipe Toledo (BRA), Yago Dora (BRA), Mateus Herdy (BRA), Reef Heazlewood (AUS), and Mitch Parkinson (AUS). Ferreira landed a frontside air-reverse to earn the specialty event win. Ferreira will now prepare for his next heat in the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast. 

“Two years ago I had a big injury here and hurt my ankle,” continued Ferreira. “That was devastating. It was crazy because after two years, I've now won an air comp here. I do not know how to explain how crazy that is to me. I am so excited for tomorrow and bringing this to the CT competition.”

The Red Bull Airborne Series is a three-part WSL specialty event that will now look ahead to its next air shows in Keramas, Bali and Hossegor, France. 

Isabella Nichols (WSL / Dunbar)

Wildcard Isabella Nichols Off to Strong Start

Wildcard Isabella Nichols (AUS) was not flustered by Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) and battled with the reigning, seven-time WSL Champion throughout the heat alongside Paige Hareb (NZL). Nichols’ CT debut was nothing short of tactful and displayed the grit Qualifying Series competitors possess heading into the five-minute mark, by posting a 5.60 (out of a possible 10) under pressure from Gilmore.

“You have to do what you have to do and I had to block Steph (Gilmore) on that last one because I wanted to win the heat,” said Nichols. “Both girls were surfing really well, so I’m just happy to take the win. Of course, Steph will always be the favorite, it’s her hometown, she is the seven-time World Champion and she’s also my favorite, too, so I probably would’ve put my vote towards her, as well. I have '100%' written on my board to remind me to go one-hundred percent all the time. I can get lost out there time to time as we all do, but it’s a great reminder from my coach.” 

With a second-place finish in Round 1 Heat 3, Gilmore will also advance to Round 3. She will face 2019 CT Rookie Macy Callaghan (AUS) next in the head-to-head, elimination round. 

“The yellow Jeep Leader Jersey is a pretty special jersey to have on and it has stars for how many Titles we’ve won,” said Gilmore. “But it adds a bit of pressure for sure. First event of the year, it’s a light, bright jersey but it has some weight to it. It’ll be tough going for an eighth. First heat of the year, I wanted two excellent scores and to really start strong, and I didn’t do that. It’s a long year, but it’s important to start strong, so I’ve got work to do. The best surfers learn to adapt really quickly and that’s something maybe I wasn’t confident in just then and wanted to stick with my plan.”

2018 Event Winner Peterson on Track to Repeat

Lakey Peterson (USA) made an incredible statement in 2018, going toe-to-toe Gilmore’s Title campaign all the way to Maui, and renewed that intensity today coming into the 2019 season. The Californian left no doubt in her win over injury replacement Sage Erickson (USA), who will also advance into Round 3, and Coco Ho (HAW).

“It’s so good to be back and get a heat under the belt," said Peterson. "I always get nervous with that first heat. A lot of it is just giving yourself enough opportunity. There are waves for everyone to surf and perform in the heat. I think a lot of our waves on Tour are right pointbreaks, but I’ve been surfing a bunch of beach breaks going left and right that are similar to here.”

Rookies Find Redemption in Round 2

Unlike the men’s rookie class spoiling yesterday’s proceedings on opening day, Brisa Hennessy (CRI) and Callaghan got a taste of what it takes to compete among the world’s best as both were relegated to Round 2, despite a few shining moments. 

Hennessy fell to a dominant performance from Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), who posted an excellent 8.33 (out of a possible 10), leading to a 15.16 heat total (adding top two wave scores, out of a possible 20). Malia Manuel (HAW) had no intention of an early exit and locked in a second-place finish behind Weston-Webb to advance to Round 3. Finishing last in the heat, Hennessy was relegated to elimination Round 2 where she handled the pressure against Hareb and Ho to win Round 2 Heat 2. The rookie’s heat win puts her back in the running at the Boost Mobile Pro, eliminating Hareb in Equal 17th place. 

“I look up to Coco Ho and Paige Hareb a lot and it was pretty scary,” said Hennessy. “I needed to bring out my surfing and get the best waves. To get a heat win in any CT event helps your confidence a lot. It doesn’t happen too often for a rookie so I will take it. It was special and I was happy with that.”

Rookie Callaghan started strong in her full-time CT rookie debut with a quick lead against Courtney Conlogue (USA), who she faced in the 2018 Roxy Pro France Final, and Johanne Defay (FRA). Callaghan’s lead was short-lived with Defay and Conlogue finding their rhythm and placing ahead in Round 1. In Round 2 Heat 1, the newcomer found redemption with a runner-up result behind Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) and overtaking Keely Andrew (AUS), the 2018 event runner-up. 

11X Champion Kelly Slater Eliminated Early, Disruptors Continue To Charge

2019 CT Rookie Peterson Crisanto (BRA) helped send shockwaves through the event proceedings after helping eliminate 11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater (USA) alongside veteran Owen Wright (AUS), who took the Round 2 heat win. 

“I felt a lot more settled in that heat,” said Wright. “The first heat I felt great and just got a little bit lost out there and that last heat I just felt like I was there. I’ve gotten a little heavier, so I’ve got a bit more volume in my boards. I’ve been training a bunch in the offseason using weights, probably the first time in four years, and it felt great to enjoy that heavier training again.”

Reigning World Junior Champion Mateus Herdy (BRA) also caused trouble of his own with a big Round 2 heat win over last year’s World Title contender Julian Wilson (AUS) and simultaneously eliminating Italy’s Leonardo Fioravanti. 

Jordy Smith (ZAF) and Ricardo Christie (NZL) showcased their innovative and powerful styles to overcome Caio Ibelli (BRA) in Round 2 Heat 2. Finishing Round 2, Willian Cardoso (BRA) took over for a vital win alongside Sebastian Zeitz (HAW) advancing to eliminate Jadson Andre (BRA).  

Red Bull Airborne Gold Coast Final
1 - Italo Ferreira (BRA)
2 - Reef Heazlewood (AUS)
3 - Yago Dora (BRA)    
4 - Mitch Parkinson (AUS)
5 - Filipe Toledo (BRA)
6 - Mateus Herdy (BRA)

Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 13.20 DEF. Carissa Moore (HAW) 10.60, Keely Andrew (AUS) 6.50  
Heat 2: Lakey Peterson (USA) 13.34 DEF. Sage Erickson (USA) 8.27, Coco Ho (HAW) 8.14  
Heat 3: Isabella Nichols (AUS) 11.60 DEF. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 10.17, Paige Hareb (NZL) 8.44  
Heat 4: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 15.16 DEF. Malia Manuel (HAW) 13.83, Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 10.44  
Heat 5: Johanne Defay (FRA) 12.53 DEF. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 11.83, Macy Callaghan (AUS) 10.30
Heat 6: Caroline Marks (USA) 14.50 DEF. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 12.84, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 9.40

Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 13.00, Macy Callaghan (AUS) 11.83, Keely Andrew (AUS) 11.73
Heat 2: Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 12.60, Coco Ho (HAW) 9.46, Paige Hareb (NZL) 7.53

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Mateus Herdy (BRA) 12.77, Julian Wilson 11.23, Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 10.66 
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.93,  Ricardo Christie (NZL) 12.56, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 10.63 
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS) 13.73, Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 13.50, Kelly Slater (USA) 10.63
Heat 4: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 12.93, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.64, Jadson Andre (BRA) 8.90


truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher commented Sunday, 1 Mar 2020 at 7:10pm

Younger tbb grew tired of backflipping into breakfast cereal bowls.
Other backflippers may be quick to point out Italo backflip was podium assisted.
Fair Point & tbb was equally onto that! However....

Italo strummed his guitar was sprayed in Fizz, sunnies fly off the handle he lands it.
tbb pays live backflip & rates it fair dinkum! Italo performed on song! As winners do!

Almost as cool as Form Guide...another superb wrap!

12 No scores and only (16 ) > 2 wave score completions of 42 Surfs.
Hardly a world class competitive display...far from it!

Message to fellow Surf Historians to dust off your slate boards...let's surf...

1) 2019 Qld ~ "4 WSL Tour Events"....WSL Shark may send more...
2) So far only one of 4 Qld comps has been staged in Qld.
3) NSW 4 /4/2019 Triple Crown WSL @ Tweed Heads all on the same epic Day.
4) NSW Tweed paid 'zilch' for World's premium Surfing Display(men's/women's/Airs)
5) WA/Qld paid $millions to get rid of > 5 m/f WSL comps from State & Country!
6) Taxpayers want answers as same foreign Corp again says thanks for all the fish.
7) Note WSL also walked out on Noosa CBD... just last month. (Event transit Fail)
8) 1st Equal Pay Year starts with Machoman Air Comp...Mind my Towel Babe!
9) Do Bali taxpayers reimburse WA Tourism WSL m/f Margs?
10)Do NSW taxpayers/Tweed ratepayers reimburse Qld Tourism WSL Triple Crown?

Maybe WSL hands back my double dip or coughs up free WSL bus ride to Tweed?
Free transit for all other Qld events just never Qld Tourism outta town WSL events.
Scomo's girlfriend is now rollin' in tbb's dough! - Where the Bloody Hell are You?

Ted from the moon's picture
Ted from the moon's picture
Ted from the moon commented Friday, 5 Apr 2019 at 2:04pm

I guess we now don't need to wonder if the best airborne surfers should be given wildcards to compete in the CT. Its now offical that the best airborne (don't you just love the new branding) surfers are actually on the CT and Josh Kerr's new tour looks in trouble unless those athletes (yawn) actually lift their game significantly.

From what we have seen at D-Bah so far - more significant airs will be popped in the CT event than the airborne. That can not bode well going forward. The completion rate of the CT guys over the so-called airborne experts is poles apart.

eel's picture
eel's picture
eel commented Friday, 5 Apr 2019 at 5:55pm

Agreed. Embarrassing watching the so called 'air guys' fall on wave after wave. It's no secret that they take 6 months and 1000 attempts to fill a 3 min clip with stuff they landed. This will be the last year we see of the air tour.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Friday, 5 Apr 2019 at 6:49pm

Good call Ted from the moon.
I reckon today's airs may have nudged the Airborne but crowd is dwindling.
What I prescribed above was sadly only the beginning of Qld Govt/WSL fuck-ups.

Surfing is improving but all noted a massive tail off with WSL crowd numbers today.
I made my point about Qld > NSW comp but who could imagine Clash of the Titans.

Qld Tourism see crowd ditch WSL little Bro & Siss to join Big Bro Aussies at Kirra.
Qld Tourism sponsors 5 competing Major Aquatic event sites this weekend
(QLD)GC Triathlon B'water + Aussies Kurrawa/N Kirra/Kirra + (NSW) WSL D'bah.
Sat (Youth) Shout Out Fest Tugun Skate -10:00 + WSL Drop Festival Cooly -3:00

WSL D'bah needs an Air reverse flip into the Finals & fast before it's a Ghost Town.

Do they chance a Qld switch or keep getting booted over the border by Big Bro.
2019 Big Brother Aussies boss 5 GC surfbreaks including WSR (Worth noting!)
That's right Aussies are more mobile than WSL.(Pays to look in rear view mirror!)

Message to all... if WSL don't rate GC WSR sites then SLSA will gladly Surf them.
Aussies just held their 2 overflow surfing events @ North/Burleigh no bother at all.
WSR Burleigh is firing & would win back crowd for epic WSL finals arena

tbb is not arguing when or where just to respect the Surfing public who fund comps.
Qld Surf fans put up prize money & some, so that buys us a stake in the game.

Note: Nearest D'bah Bus Stop is 1km from any direction not helping crowd numbers.

Free transit > shuttle point/s to all GC fixed/mobile Surf Events over the weekend.
Not a big deal as all OZ cities offer free Tourist Loops...All but OZ #1 Tourist City GC.
Premier need only shout! Free Transit for Surfies & Clubbies this weekend!

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Saturday, 6 Apr 2019 at 10:27am

tbb & all are hoping those healthier morning crowds can hang around!

Viewers may notice that Air Asia tent at the comp site.(What's all that about?)
At the close of 2018 Quicky Air Asia sponsored Big Air challenge on Oz leg.
The award goes to best Air of the male/female WSL Comps, including State Titles.
2018-Quicky ('End' of Comp) Announcement 'Big Air' will include-Quicky Pro.
2018-Big Air Bells winner -G Colapinto
2018-Big Air Margs winner-Filipe Toledo
2019_Big Air Quicky winner-....... ...... (Sophie: stated awarding Big Air- Quicky Pro)
Quicky Pro should conclude or reboot the Air Asia Big Air (WSL/Oz Air Show)

tbb thinks both Redbull Airborne + Air Asia 'Big Air' are flying high at 2019 Quicky.
All men & women WSL Pros compete for Air Asia Big Air as to machoman Red Bull.
This may explain why Ted & all are seeing larger than life Airs throughout Quicky.

Recap: Brazil WSL Air Comp winning streak -2018 Bells/Margs/France 2019 Quicky.

Get some XXXX spirit of Australia into ya! Hoisting the flying Kangaroo. Oi Oi Oi!

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Saturday, 6 Apr 2019 at 6:30pm

Example:(A) WSL Margaret River / Bali Big Air Winner - Filipe Toledo
Example:(B) Big Air auctioned off for Shark Attack Victim A. Travaglini

Commentators forever ignore Oz WSL Big Air comp..Why?
Big Air is all access from S'A grassroots Groms > WSL Pro OZ...(Epic)
Red Bull is let loose in a closed china shop & organ grinder hollers backflip?

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 2:29pm

2018/19 tbb Oz Big Air decypher.

Air Asia 2018 contract is not an exact 1 year calendar deal more a handshake.
This allowed a timely Red Bull Airborne takeover of Quicky Big Air Comp 2019

2018 Big Air was up & running before...(WSL Quicky 2018 Air Asia Promo) .
tbb apologizes as this & [facebook] cut me out! (2018 Quicky Big Air comp was held)
The first WSL Quicky Big Air nomination-10/March/2019 >(Promo was 1 week later)

WSL- Big Air of the day (May apply to 'Big Air of the Round') Depends on Comp.
SA -Big Air of the day +Wave of the day + Xpress session'+('Wooolies' fresh wave)

tbb will introduce Big Air Nominees of 2018 Quicky Pro...{facebook voters only}
Note: WSL girls/men "openly compete" for "Same Equal prize purse" (100% equal)
2019 WSL stamped out unity & banned little girls from big man airs? Shh...Siss!
Love to know of Quicky Big Air winner perhaps an Oz pilot backflipped off stage.

WSL Bells Big Air nominee/s

WSL Margs/Bali Big Air + (Maybe a '3 round final' Vote off as in Red Bull series)

Most recent Big Air Award by S.Aust' Victoria 17/March 2019

Kind facebook account holder may wish to share all Big Air nominees & GC winner?

WSL Quicky may bring to an end Big Airs for SA also?
Air Asia new 'Beach Club' promo will still offer free Oz surfboard

In closing... Big Air broke new ground on every level..(Go hard or Go home...was said!)
Red Bull Airborne is no more than a blast from the past...
Step aside little women this is secret men's business...
WSL equality was fun while it lasted.."Hey Siss! Lay down & hold this ramp will ya!"

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher commented Sunday, 7 Jul 2019 at 12:27am

2019 WSL Red Bull Airborne Series
Contest 2 of 3
Keramas, Bali.

Swellnet airhead re-presents (Full Replay) via YouTube

(Cheats version)
Day 1 Highlight reel
Day 2 Wrap

Go Back!
[Spoiler Alert!]

Comp results....following...
tbb will hold back the suspense as long as possible.

6 heats...
Eli Hanneman Hawaii won 2 heats
Ian Crane US won 2 heats
Both shared highest heat scores branding them hot favourites going into the Final

Finalists & Placings (Listed Alphabetically) Ha! Ha!

Crane. I. US (Yellow) 4
David. K. Haw (Black) 2
Freestone. J. Aus (Green) 1
Geiselman. E. US (Blue) 5
Hanneman. E. US (Red) 3
Ho. M. Haw (White) 5

Yes! tbb double checked...
Just confirming that an Aussie man won a WSL Comp!

Final Wash - Up.
US/Hawaii/Oz were amply represented
Only one Brazilian entrant in Comp
Equal 5th Place = (No waves caught by either Surfer?)

Airborne Series has no priority rules! Surfers can choose any wave any time!
There were plenty of shapely head high waves to choose. Best waves went unridden!
Bali Comp produced 11 no score combos + 13 one wave only scores
Reef Hazlewood Aust/GC rb #2 Surfed 2 x 45 min heats & caught Zero waves?
Tomic lost all his dough simply for having a go...Does that mean Reef has to pay WSL?
Was this a Strike or Protest or World Record maybe! Any got inside news on tanking!

Next Airborne pit stop is France (Final)

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Sunday, 1 Mar 2020 at 6:52pm

Continues with 2019 France Final Contest (3 of 3) Comp Results
17 zero scores + Only 8 (2 wave completions in whole comp)
Note Redbull Airborne select most active Surfers for XL 45min heats to catch no waves?
1 I.Crane 2 N.Mignot 3 R.Heazlewood 4 G.Colapinto 5 M.Huscenot 6 F.McGill

No WSL Tour Rank / Placing
2019 Best Airborne Finishes (1 + 4 + n/a Ian Crane) (2 + 3 + n/a Reef Heazlewood)

2020 Redbull Airborne

8-9 Feb 2020 Redbull Airborne OZ Qualifier @ D'bah
Note: Redbull Airborne has a history of no scores
(25 from 48 entrants did not score?) +(Only 7 surfers caught regulation 2 waves)
Typical of WSL Redbull events...(Highest flyers are laziest surfers on the beach!) Wot!

Placings 1 A.Kelly 2 L.Mortensen 3 W.Ayres 4 L.Hynd 5 S.Gunning 6 C.Perkovich

Congratulations Aaron Kelly in qualifying for Main GC Redbull Event

2020 Redbull Airborne Tour
26 March -5 April - Gold Coast
18-27 June - Saquarema Brazil (Replaces 2019 low scoring Keramas Bali Event)
1-11 Oct - Hossegor France

All clear for take off... but first your in-flight safety instructions