Twenty-two year old Adriano de Souza from Brazil claimed his inaugural ASP World Tour win today, taking out the Billabong Pro Mundaka, eliminating fellow Finalist Chris Davidson from Australia, in punchy two-to-three foot waves at the backup venue of Sopelana. The Billabong Pro Mundaka experienced an array of conditions for the event, from clean surf on the opening day at Mundaka to a lengthy seven-day wait before a marathon 24-heat session yesterday, culminating into today’s dramatic finale.
De Souza, who had previously won the ASP World Junior Championships in 2003 and on the ASP World Qualifying Series winning in 2005, was rapt with his inaugural ASP World Tour victory. “I don’t have words to express how happy I am right now,” De Souza said. “I have been working so hard for this ever since winning the ASP World Junior Championships and the ASP WQS. To finally win here in Mundaka, where the culture is so rich and the people love surfing so much, is an incredible thing. This is the most special day of my life.” The young Brazilian dominated the crumbling lefthander of Sopelana, racking up an insurmountable 16.40 out of a possible 20 to overtake his Australian opponent, resulting in his history-making win as the first South American to take out the prestigious event win. “The conditions have been hard for this event but we surfed the best waves that were available to us,” De Souza said. “Davo (Chris Davidson) is such a strong surfer and he has been going after a win for so long. When he beat C.J. (Hobgood) in the Semifinals, I knew it was going to be a battle. I was able to get the better waves today and that’s why I won.” The victory rockets De Souza into a solid 3rd place on the 2009 ASP World Tour ratings, putting him within striking distance for a shot at the ASP World Title. “I’m not thinking about the world title right now,” De Souza said. “I am just enjoying my win. This is the biggest win of my career and have a lot of confidence heading into the next events.”