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Adriano de Souza (Brz) 2003 World Pro Junior Champion

Adriano de Souza : photo ASPWorldtour/Robertson

2003 Billabong World Junior Championships

Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP)

North Narrabeen, Sydney, Australia

1 - 8 Jan 2004

Adriano de Souza 2003 World Junior Champion

Sunday January 4, 2004 (North Narrabeen, Sydney NSW, Aus):

Brazilian Adriano De Souza today became the youngster surfer to ever clinch an ASP world title by winning the Billabong Junior Championships, defeating Australian Shaun Cansdell (Mullaway, Aus). Competition commenced with remaining round three heats this morning, before the prestigious tournament made its way through the business end of the draw and climaxed with the dramatic final.

Clean 3ft (1m) lefthanders graced the long sandbank throughout the day, with conditions improving as the tide dropped this afternoon and swell pulsed. The summer crowd soaked up the world’s best U/21 surfers in action.

16-year-old De Souza, from Sao Paulo, was one of the youngest competitors in the in the field and still has an unbelievable four years left in this division. Regardless, the diminutive natural footer showed no nerves against his more experienced opponents, posting the highest combined total of the entire tournament in round one for 17.9-points. From there he progressed with similar form, toppling some of the biggest names in the event.

Adriano de Souza : photo ASPWorldtour/Robertson

Against Cansdell in the decider he opened with a rare righthander, setting the early pace following his 7.67 score. He then focused on the lefthanders and found another gem, belting a massive backhand re-entry and collected an 8.33 for the commanding lead that never wavered.

De Souza has now added his name to an honor roll including reigning two-time world champion Andy Irons (1998), Australian Joel Parkinson (1999 & ’01) and fellow Brazilian Pedro Henrique, who claimed the title in 2000.

“I have to speak in Portuguese, cause it’s my heart,” began an emotional De Souza through the aide of a translator, once his fellow Brazilian contestants carried him up the beach. “I have to thank all my friends and people who have helped me.

Shaun was the best in the whole contest, but I just tried to place first one more time,” he added. “Now I plan to study English here in Australia, get some more good waves and have fun being the world champion.”

Daniel Jones : photo ASPWorldtour/Robertson

20-year-old Cansdell capped off a brilliant junior career with the runner-up placing. He was in blistering form throughout the day, and posted the second best combined tally of 17.5-points in his quarterfinal clash. Against De Souza however, he was unable Ho pick off the desired waves and required a near-perfect 9.27 score.

“I just couldn’t get over a six during the final,” explained Cansdell. “My waves didn’t really wall up or offer much and I was a bit tired, I suppose. He’s been surfing well the whole week and deserved it. Just to be in the final was unreal though. I would have liked to win of course, but he was ripping.”

Equal third today were Hawaiians Daniel Jones and Sean Moody. Jones, who hails from a great family of Hawaiian surfers, took out some of the big names in the tournament, including good friend and yesterday’s high scorer Kekoa Bacalso this morning. Against a fired up Cansdell he trailed from the start however, and ultimately needed a combination of waves totaling 16.84-points.

“I wanted to do my best and I’m happy with third,” said Jones. “I just wasn’t really able to put anything together in that last heat.”

Daniel Ross : photo ASPWorldtour/Robertson

20-year-old Moody was extremely unlucky in his match against De Souza. The Hawaiian posted the best single score of 8.33-points, but then waited an agonizing 9-minutes for another ride. After his opponent fell on a last good wave, priority went to Moody, but even still he was unable to find the 2.17 he was searching for. Returning from a serious leg injury however, the result is a great confidence boost.

“He fell on a good one, so I kind of had a chance, but nothing came in,” explained Moody. “This is my last year in the event, so it’s nice to do alright. Third’s third though, and I didn’t want that. I came here to get first. I’m pretty bummed, but I’ll take. I was out of the water for four months after shattering my leg (at Pipeline, Haw, last year) and had to get pretty gnarly surgery. Stoked to be back, for sure.”

Finishing equal fifth in the Billabong World Junior Championships was Brazilian Jihad Kohdr and Australians Leigh Sedley (Sunshine Coast, QLD), Daniel Ross (Yamba, NSW) and Luke Munro (Gold Coast, QLD).

Sean Moody : photo ASPWorldtour/Robertson

Sedley, who finished runner-up in the Von Zipper Trials, created a huge upset by knocking out the event’s #1 seed Joel Centeio (Haw) in round three, as well as another Hawaiian TJ Barron in the fourth. Cansdell ended his campaign, but nonetheless, the 19-year-old impressed all with his overall performance.

“It was always going o be hard to try and beat Shaun in really long lefthanders,” reasoned Sedley. “I gave it my best and still had fun this event and was happy to make it this far. Unfortunately it came to a halt in the quarterfinals. Still a great start to the year.”

Ross - the 2003 ASP Australasian champion - suffered a surprise loss to De Souza following a fantastic season last year. The 20-year-old was eager to add the world junior crown to his ever growing lit of accomplishments, but required another ride worth 7.84-points at heat end to match his younger opponent.

Leigh Sedley : photo ASPWorldtour/Robertson

“I knew all the Brazilians were surfing pretty good, so I had a fair idea what he’d be doing if he got the waves,” acknowledged Ross. “I just didn’t get the right ones, so that’s what happens. I’m still stoked to have gotten through a few heats. There were so many good surfers in this event and I’m happy with a fifth.”

Munro – winner of the ASP Australasian junior championship in 2000 & ’01 – became stuck on the wrong side of a wave-starved match against Moody.

17-year-old Hideyoshi Tanaka secured Japan’s best result with an equal 9th placing. Likewise, South African Damien Fahrenfort also made round four and posted his nation’s strongest finish.

An special exhibition heat was also staged between the second semifinal and grand finale, with World Championship Tour (WCT) surfers Luke Egan (Gold Coast, Aus), 1999 world champion Mark Occhilupo (Gold Coast, Aus) and Narrabeen local Nathan Hedge. Egan, the event contest director, offered the following comment afterward.

Luke Munro : photo ASPWorldtour/Robertson

“Stoked we got it finished,” began Egan. “We really broke the contest’s back yesterday, since the reports indicated an unfavorable southerly change coming through. The surfing has been incredible and I’m so stoked with the setup here. Billabong did the full-blown WCT deal for the kids, and the man-on-man experience is great for them.”

The Billabong World Junior Championships were proudly supported by Panasonic, Coca Cola, Banana Boat, Qantas, Garnier Fructis, Polaris and Von Zipper.

Billabong World Junior Championships Final Results

1st Adriano De Souza (Brz) 16.0 – US$6,000

2nd Shaun Cansdell (Aus) 12.9 - US$3,200

(1st>Final; 2nd=3rd receives US$2,700)

SF1: Shaun Cansdell (Aus) 16.83 def. Daniel Jones (Haw) 12.64

SF2: Adriano de Souza (Brz) 10.5 def. Sean Moody (Haw) 9.83

(1st>Semifinals; 2nd=5th receives US$1,400)

QF1: Daniel Jones (Haw) 10.67 def. Jihad Kohdr (Brz) 10.57

QF2: Shaun Cansdell (Aus) 17.5 def. Leigh Sedley (Aus) 13.07

QF3: Adriano de Souza (Brz) 15.43 def. Daniel Ross (Aus) 13.1

QF4: Sean Moody (Haw) 9.16 def. Luke Munro (Aus) 6.9

Round Four
(1st>Quarterfinals; 2nd=9th receives US$900)

H1: Daniel Jones (Haw) 14.33 def. Kekoa Bacalso (Haw) 4.67

H2: Jihad Kohdr (Brz) 11.93 def. Tommy O’Brien (USA) 7.0

H3: Shaun Cansdell (Aus) 14.0 def. Ben Dunn (Aus) 13.53

H4: Leigh Sedley (Aus) 15.56 def. TJ Barron (Haw) 11.0

H5: Adriano de Souza (Brz) 15.83 def. Simao Romao (Brz) 12.77

H6: Daniel Ross (Aus) 15.06 def. Anthony Walsh (Aus) 11.7

H7: Luke Munro (Aus) 13.1 def. Damien Fahrenfort (SAfr) 8.24

H8: Sean Moody (Haw) 11.67 def. Hideyoshi Tanaka (Jpn) 9.53

Round Three Heats
(1st>Rnd4; 2nd=17th receives US$600)

H10: Adriano de Souza (Brz) 10.23 def. Fabrice Gelez (Fra) 6.0

H12: Daniel Ross (Aus) 13.23 def. Jarrad Sullivan (Aus) 10.76

H13: Damien Fahrenfort (SAfr) 10.33 def. Bede Durbidge (Aus) 10.1

H14: Luke Munro (Aus) 12.16 def. Tim Boal (Fra) 7.56

H15: Sean Moody (Aus) 11.6 def. James Wood (Aus) 10.27

H16: Hideyoshi Tanaka (Jpn) 14.67 def. Hodei Collazo (Spn) 6.56

Previous reports:

# 1 : World class surfing returns to Sydney on January first

# 2 : Increased swell for Billabong World Junior Championships

# 3 : Smaller surf postpones Billabong World Junior for Friday

# 4 : Hawaiians/ Aussies dominate early rounds at Narrabeen

More Aussie Surfing News available here

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