Tiago Pires PRO

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Tiago Pires was born in Lisbon, on 13 March of 1980. He spent his youth in the well ordered urban lines of the Alvalade neighbourhood but it was about other well ordered lines that he thought about daily: those of Ericeira and its classic days, where his mind was set in school days. Between him and those days, a tortuous bus journey from Lisboa to Ericeira, where he started to surf on the weekends with his brother Ricardo and his friend Mica Lourenço. The weekends turned into days, weeks, months, years and Saca saw its surf become custom-made to the Portuguese most perfect waves, with a technique that was based on line, pressure, precision and power, plus an amazing ability for barrels.

After his competitive debut (1993), his first titles (under-14 National Champion in 1994 and under-16 in 1995), in 1996 he achieves his first final in the Portuguese National Circuit. He was sixteen years old. In that same year he met José Seabra, since then both his mentor and trainer. Together, they set up the goal to achieve the elite of world surfing, a nearly impossible dream in a country with an almost non-existent surfing tradition and culture. In 1997, he beats Europe’s best surf juniors, a result that qualified him to challenge the World Junior title in 1998, in Australia, where he competed against Andy Irons, Taj Burrow and C.J Hobgood, among others. In that same year he achieves an amazing second place in ISA World Championship, in Portugal, being only defeated in the final against Dean Morrison. In 1999, he wins the European Pro Junior title and starts to compete in the World Qualifying Series (WQS) with the goal of becoming part of surfing's elite echelon, the World Championship Tour (WCT). It was in the year 2000 that he got his first victory in the WQS circuit, in a three star event in Miramar Beach, Vila Nova de Gaia, it was also that year the name Tiago Pires definitely went into in the mainstream surfing lexicon of the world surfing establishment. It was on Hawaii’s winter season, where he became world junior vice-champion and achieved an amazing second place in the Sunset Pro for the WQS tour. That final, held in epic conditions with Sunny Garcia, Andy Irons and Zane Harrison, gave him the title of Triple Crown Rookie of the Year. In 2001, he places third in the famous Surfer – Hot Hundred list. In 2002 he wins a big event in Japan and makes good results in the WQS circuit, but a serious injury in Coxos throws him out of the qualification’s contention. In 2003, a new injury leaves him six month out of the water and out of the cut.

In 2005, he flawlessly wins in Ribeira d’Ilhas, his home break in Ericeira, in front of an emotional crowd but, at the end of the year, he still doesn't make the cut for the WCT. One year after, he repeats his home victory but remains even further from the qualifying positions. In 2007 he appears more confident than ever and with an unstoppable strength that classifies him in fifth place on WQS ranking, finally opening the WCT doors. In his first year among the world’s best surfers, he gets a 31st and requalifies through the WQS circuit. However, that same year, he made a memorable campaign in Rip Curl Pro Search, in Bali, Indonesia, where he got a third place. In the year after he requalifies in 24th place, obtaining an excellent third place in the Quiksilver Pro France. In 2010, he gets his best result ever, a 21st place, after a brilliant first half of season. Early this year, he returned to his first sponsor, Quiksilver, and opened his fourth year among world’s best surfers equalling his two best results ever, with a third place in Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, the first stop of ASP World Tour 2011.

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