Brazilian Adriano de Souza wins Billabong Pro J-Bay
Supertubes, Jeffreys Bay, Sth Africa (Friday, July 13, 2012) – Brazilian surfer, Adriano de Souza (25, Guaruja, Sao Paulo, BRA) has won the 6-star Billabong Pro, J’Bay, which culminated today in one-to-two metre waves at Supertubes, in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.
Twenty-five year-old de Souza defeated Frenchman Joan Duru (FRA) in the final of the World Qualifying Series tournament to claim his tenth ASP World Tour victory and his performance today caps off an incredible week of surfing that saw 144 starters compete in some of the most flawless and consistent surf seen in the event’s 34 year history.
A total of five perfect 10 point rides were awarded in the early Rounds of the week-long event but it was de Souza, the current world rated number four, who prevailed to take top honours and the $25,000 first-place winner’s cheque.
In deteriorating conditions, De Souza was able to hold off the hard-charging Frenchman in the 30-minute decider, out-scoring Duru on a two-wave combined heat total of 16.00 points (out of a possible 20) to 13.60 points.
De Souza’s determination saw him commit to desperate measures, he rode one wave to the death, across J’Bay’s sharp rocks, cutting his feet and snapping a fin clean from his surfboard.
De Souza, who fulfilled one career aspiration in May of last year when he became the first ever Brazilian to lead the ASP Men’s World Title rankings after winning his home event in Rio de Janeiro, said winning at Jeffreys Bay has been a dream since he first visited the revered location in 2000.
“I’ve come to South Africa and to Jeffreys Bay for so many years, and have always seen the guys win the Billabong Pro, and now it’s my turn,” said De Souza. “I’m just so happy, and I’m going to remember this win for my whole life. J-Bay is a special place for me and hopefully see you again next year.”
As a full time touring ASP Men’s World Championship Tour (WCT) contender, the 3,500 star ratings points will not factor into the ASP Men’s World Title race for De Souza, he will retain his fourth place ranking heading into the next WCT event in Tahiti, the Billabong Pro, Teahupo’o, scheduled for August 16-27th.
Frenchman Duru was in outstanding form all week at Jeffrey’s Bay, with the 24 year-old accounting for the event’s biggest name in two-time and defending event champion, Jordy Smith (ZAF) in the pair’s morning Round 5 clash.
Smith, 24, had a shot at an historical three-peat today after winning at J’Bay in 2010 and 2011, but Duru surfed hard to outpoint Smith on 15.20 points to 11.73.
Finishing equal third today was Hawaiian Ezekial Lau (Haw) and Spain’s Aritz Aranburu (EUK).
The highest placed South African was local Dale Staples (ZAF) who saw his excellent run end in this morning’s Quarter Finals. Finishing equal fifth, Staples was responsible for one of the Billabong Pro’s biggest upsets when he defeated Hawaiian prodigy and current world rated number five, John John Florence (Haw) in Round 5, but the 21 year-old failed against Spaniard Aranburu in the Quarter-finals.
A special prize, the NIXON WTA (Winner Take All) award, was given to Australian goofy-foot Nathan Hedge (AUS), the former world number seven and 2005 Billabong Pro, J’Bay finalist earning the highest heat total of the event in Roun 1, a near-perfect 19.27 out of a possible 20.00.
Hedge’s prize, a Nixon 51-30 tide watch valued at over $10,000 USD. The winning timepiece features a diamond-encrusted bezel, a high polish all black subdial/hands and the South African flag at the six o’clock position.
“What a sick prize, a few years ago I was in the final with AI (Andy Irons, former three-time ASP Men’s World Champion and 2004 Billabong Pro, J’Bay champion) and he needed a perfect ten to beat me and he got it, so maybe it was AI who sent me the ten this year” said Hedge.
All the highlights and newsfeed vision from an incredible week can be found at:
The Billabong Pro J-Bay has been made possible with the support of the following:
Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, Sony Xperia, Carling Black Label, Monster Energy, Nissan, Vida e Caffe, VonZipper and Nixon.