Jordy Smith has won the Billabong Rio Pro in a hard-fought final over national favorite Adriano de Souza (BRA), 26, by a score of 17.80 to 16.34 in clean 2 – 4 foot waves at Barra Da Tijuca.
Smith showed an incredible variety of technical airs and turns in the Final against De Souza, launching a massive straight frontside air for a 9.33 and a stailfish air-reverse for an 8.50 to top De Souza for the win.
The Billabong Rio Pro victory marks the third career ASP WCT event win for Smith and his first away from South African soil.
“This win feels unbelievable,” Smith said. “It’s another dream come true. I knew I could win a World Tour event, but I had to prove to myself that I could do it away from South Africa.
Thanks to crowd and Adriano (de Souza). He’s been ripping the whole event. Thanks to all of my friends and family for all of the amazing support.”
Smith’s run to the final was nothing short of amazing as the South African powerhouse defeated dangerous rookie Filipe Toledo (BRA), 18, and two-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS), 31, en route to the Final.
Smith attributed today’s success to his ability to adapt to both his competitors and the ever-changing conditions of Barra Da Tijuca.
“I knew it was going to be tough,” Smith said. “I was really nervous in the first heat against Filipe (Toledo). Luckily I got through that one and when I came up against Mick I waited for better waves. When the swell dropped against Adriano and he took to the sky, I knew I was going to have to do the same, but luckily I got a couple of scores.”
Smith now sits at No. 2 on the ASP WCT Rankings.
Kelly Slater (USA), 41, 11-time ASP World Champion and current ASP WCT No. 4, was near-flawless in yesterday’s action but was out of rhythm in the opening Quarterfinal of the morning against De Souza.
The next stop on the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) will be the Volcom Fiji Pro from June 2 – 14, 2013.
BILLABONG RIO PRO FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.80
2 – Adriano de Souza (BRA) 16.34
BILLABONG RIO PRO SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 17.64 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.50
SF 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.83 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 8.26
BILLABONG RIO PRO QUARTERFINALS RESULTS:
QF 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.33 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 12.30
QF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.43 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.93
QF 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.50 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 12.37
QF 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.76 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.07
ASP WCT TOP 5 SURFERS (Following Billabong Rio Pro);
1. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 18,500 pts
2. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 18,250 pts
3. Mick Fanning (AUS) 18,200 pts
4. Kelly Slater (USA) 16,950 pts
5. Taj Burrow (AUS) 15,700 pts