di Erika Scafuro
We followed him on his journey from Portugal to Australia, got excited with him, watched him train with the elite surf coach Thomas Cravarezza, and cheered for him. From May 16 to 24, João Dantas took part in the first leg of the World Longboard Championship in Manly Beach. We had interviewed him in April to let him tell us about the excitement of being a Longboard Tour Surfer, now we asked him to share the most intense moments he experienced in Manly Beach.
We followed you in the first leg of the WSL Longboard Championship, in Manly Beach, which you finished 17th in the world ranking. Tell us about how it went?
«It was super good to get back competing at highest level. I have never been in Manly or Sydney before so it was great to get to know a new place and new faces! The level was very high and I lost in round 3 against two amazing surfers and former world champions. It’s not the result I was looking for, but I know what I did wrong and I won’t do same mistake again».
Thomas Cravarezza was your surf coach at Manly Beach, how did you approach the pre-competition training?
«Thomas was very helpful to make me feel confident, comfortable and understanding the local break. My pre-competition training was mostly about fighting jet leg, getting used to the water and waves there and put my body working well to for the competition. Thomas made some video analysis before the comp and during each heat I’ve done. For sure it felt good to have the support of Thomas by my side».
What is the most exciting memory that Manly Beach left you with, it was your first time in Australia, wasn’t it?
«Manly is a very cool place. You can get to everywhere without a car, lots of waves near by, beautiful beaches and landscapes. People from there are very friendly and I had a really good time. I think what I enjoyed the most was the amount of cool beaches all near to each other and the Opera House in Sydney ahah it’s huge! It was my 4th time in Australia, but first time in Manly/Sydney area, and I really had a good time».
What are your personal highlights from the first leg in Manly Beach?
«My first heat was good. I felt like I showed my surfing also belongs there even if I still have a lot of work ahead. All the new faces I meet and the old ones I got to see again after a long time was also a highlight of the trip».
The next race will be held August 3-7 in the legendary Huntington Beach – California. How are you preparing and what waves are you training with?
«Next stop is a tricky beach break and it will be during maybe one of the biggest surfing events in the world, “Us Open”. I’m really excited to go there! I’ve been surfing a lot of beach breaks here at home and preparing the best I can! But I’m also focused in enjoying the moments I’m living now. This is my dream so I want to get the most of it».
Besides training do you have other What are your plans for the Summer?
«I want to keep doing what I love also beside surfing. I want to sail boats, work on my projects and enjoy every moment the most I can».