Tomas Hermes rides the bubble to Sunset BeachNov 19, 2016
By Brad Bricknell
We arrive at Hawaiian Pro and make our way through the crowd to find a spot on the beach. Through a sea of heads and shoulders I see a surfer in red meticulously carving chunks out of a twisted Haleiwa wall. “Who is that?” I overhear someone in the crowd asking. “It’s Tomas Hermes.” comes the reply.
The stylish natural footer is one of a handful of Brazilian surfers flirting with qualification for the 2017 World Championship Tour and the first 2 events of the Vans Triple Crown of surfing will be the last throw of the dice for Tomas to reach his dream of qualification for next year.
Hermes is currently sitting 11th place on the World Qualifying Series ratings. Photo: WSL / Cestari
Despite being knocked out in the Round of 32 yesterday, he gained one spot on the rankings and is sitting in 11 th place going into the Vans World Cup event at Sunset Beach – And we know the top 10 qualify for the big league starting March 2017. The number 10 spot was just grabbed by Frederico Morais courtesy of a dream run at the Hawaiian Pro that saw him finish runner up to the new world champ, and climb 18 spots on the rankings.
But it seems Tomas is not perturbed. He still came out of the water smiling and knowing he has two fellow country men in Bino Lopes (8th) and Ian Gouveia (7th) ahead of him - and Jadson Andre and Jesse Mendes right behind him – he wont need to look far for motivation.
For many Brazilians’ the path just to get on tour has already been filled with challenges and setbacks. But this just seems to galvanize a brotherhood of surfers who all bear the same flag, the same burden and the same desire to succeed.
Hermes earnt a 9th at the Billabong Pro Cascais Photo: WSL / Masurel
The Brazilian storm continues to surge on this years qualifying tour. Medina winning the South America’s first world title in 2014, and backed up by De Souza last year has given these surfers, and indeed a nation something to be proud of.
And that Brazilian pride translates into motivation for every aspiring tour surfer, and this would be no exception for the 29 year old from Barra Velha, Santa Catarina.
The waiting period for the next notch of the Triple Crown starts in just under a week and no doubt Tomas will be doing his time in the shifting lineup of Sunset Beach in preparation. He is right on the bubble, but we already know he has a lethal forehand carve, and if he gets on role and a few results go his way, a lot more people will know his name before the close of 2016.