Aussie Otton ousted Nat Young to take his first ASP World Tour win
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 17 October, 2013 : - - Reef head-to-toe ambassador, Kai Otton, won his maiden ASP World Tour event, a result that came from a combination of backhand and forehand surfing with some impeccable tube riding. On Thursday, Otton bested ASP Rookie of the year, Nat Young of California to win the Moche Rip Curl Pro At Supertubes in Peniche, Portugal.
Otton was hot right out of the gate, beating young sensation Gabriel Medina to go directly to the third round where he stepped past fellow Australian, Bede Durbidge. The gutsy goofyfoot had his work cut out for him after losing in round four, but came up with a convincing win over John John Florence in a beachbreak barrel showdown.
On the final day of competition, Otton surfed a crucial quarterfinal heat with Mick Fanning, who was looking to clinch the 2013 ASP World Title in Portugal. But Otton forced the title race to be decided in Hawaii this December with Fanning and Kelly Slater gunning for it. Capitalizing on his momentum, Otton then downed defending ASP World Champ, Joel Parkinson in the semifinal. This set up the final battle with rising star, Young in tough conditions, but Otton fought through, clinching his personal best result, winning the final 12.23-11.03.
"I just can't even comprehend it," said a thrilled Otton, "I just really want to dedicate it to my Granddad. He passed away the year I qualified and he never saw me get on tour. So, this is for you mate."
Otton is known for arriving among surfing's elite without junior competition or having ample backing early in his career. He worked in a surf shop and got himself to events on the tightest of shoestring budgets. Despite the adversity, he qualified for the ASP World Tour in 2007 and was runner up for rookie of the year. Before this big victory, his best results were winning the ASP Prime Saquarema Surf Pro International in 2011 and the La Caja de Canarias 4-star in 2006. He joined the Reef family of Ambassadors early in 2012.
This year, Otton has put forth his best effort to date with three quarterfinal finishes and a semifinal at the Billabong Pro Tahiti. He is in the No. 7 spot on the ASP Tour going into the Pipeline Masters.
Author: Lindy Williams
Tags: Kai Otton, Reef, Rip Curl Pro Portugal