World Champion Adriano De Souza added to Piha Pro field
The inaugural Corona Piha Pro has added another World Champion to its ranks, with Brazilian Adriano De Souza today confirmed as an entrant.
Following on from the announcements of Kelly Slater and Carissa Moore, De Souza’s participation ensures that there will be 16 World Championships represented at Piha this March.
Remarkably, the World Surf League Challenger Series event will see no fewer than 22 competitors from the elite Championship Tour (CT) involved.
The men’s side is naturally headlined by 11-time World Champion Slater and 2015 Champion De Souza, with Hawaiian Seth Moniz and Australian Jack Freestone the other standouts from the world’s top 20.
In an incredibly strong field on the women’s side, five of the world’s top ten surfers will descend on Piha, with four-time World Champion Carissa Moore, Brazilian Tatiana Weston-Webb, France’s Johanne Defay, Hawaiian Malia Manuel and Australian Nikki Van Dijk.
The WSL’s new Challenger Series is the highest-level qualifying event for the Championship Tour – it comprises eight events and features CT surfers, as well as the hungriest young competitors in the world aiming to claim a place in the top tier of global surfing.
Five Kiwis are currently entered to compete in the Corona Piha Pro, with local hopes being spearheaded by experienced WSL athletes Paige Hareb and Ricardo Christie – both of whom will be aiming to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Four more New Zealanders are guaranteed entry, with two male and two female surfers to emerge from a national trial competition on 15th March and receive the unique opportunity to compete against some of world surfing’s best.
“When I saw there was a Challenger Series event in New Zealand I was so pumped to go because I’ve never been there before. My good friend Ricardo Christie is from New Zealand so I’m hoping he will give me some good tips. This event will be a great way to prepare for the Championship Tour which starts only a week later. It will be a big test, especially with names like Kelly Slater in the draw. Having multiple World Champions competing at Piha is going to be sick.”