De Souza & Rebecca Woods win at Billabong Pro Teen
Billabong PRO-Teen Snapper Rocks
ASP Australasia Junior Tour
Gold Coast Queensland
12 - 16 February 2004
De Souza and Rebecca Woods Claim Victories
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 16th February (Gold Coast): - - Adriano de Souza of Brazil, recently crowned professional surfing´s youngest-ever world champion at 16, has won the $13,000 Billabong PRO-Teen junior held in excellent over-head waves at Duranbah Beach. The victory marks the Brazilian´s third win from four events during his six week stay in Australia and further escalates his new-found giant killing reputation.
De Souza used every trick in the 25 minute final - pulling 360s, aerials, huge tail slides and giant layback snaps, all without the safety of a legrope - to narrowly defeat former U/18 World Grommet Champion Clint Kimmins (Gold Coast), World Aerial Champion Josh Kerr (also Gold Coast), and former U/16 World Grommet Champion James Wood (Lennox Head, NSW).
De Souza´s final two-wave total of 18.3 included a near-perfect 9.93 out of a possible 10, and along with three other of his earlier heat scores, made up four of the five highest heat totals of the event.
"Please, I don´t speak good English," stuttered an emotional de Souza afterwards. "But to win is very good. I was hoping for fourth, but now (thumping his heart with a clenched fist) I win again for Brazil! I´m so happy, happy, happy! To have the best Australian surfers in the contest makes me so happy to win."
Kimmins, who finished runner-up to de Souza despite an awesome, and surprising, backdoor barrel which scored an 8.83, was clearly fired-up after watching the Brazilian storm through the earlier rounds, but was emphatic in his praise for the youngster.
"You´ve got to give it to him, the kid´s unreal. He´s come over here and just proven to everyone he can surf really well. But I´m sure the Aussies are still going to give him a run for his money in future events. I had one really good wave which I could´ve turned into a 9.5 or a 10, but I fell on my last turn and only scored an eight, but that´s surfing."
With the earlier elimination of former ratings leader Leigh Sedley (Sunshine Coast), Billabong PRO-Teen semi-finalist Ryan Campbell (equal 7th today) now moves to the top of the ladder. Kimmins and Kerr, who have only competed selectively thus far in the Series are yet to have a major bearing on the current title race, while de Souza will head first to Hawaii for a photo shoot and then to his homeland, Brazil. James Wood jumps from 10th to 7th.
The action was just as impressive from the women with Rebecca Woods (Copacabana, NSW) fighting hard for victory over Sheridan Shields (Gold Coast, QLD), Stephanie Gilmore (Kingscliff, NSW) and Nicola Atherton (Bronte, NSW) respectively.
All four girls surfed the final a chance to steal the ratings lead from Bronte´s Jessi Miley-Dyer after she entered the Billabong PRO-Teen late and subsequently missed the event.
The finals battle see-sawed between Woods, Gilmore and Shields for much of the 25 minute encounter with eventual winner Woods, waiting over 10 minutes for her first scoring ride of 9.0, before backing it up later in the heat with a 6.23 and, subsequently, a lead that was never vanquished.
Woods, along with Gilmore, is regarded as one of the fastest rising stars in Australian women´s surfing and has received the endorsement of six-time ASP women´s World Champion Layne Beachley as a future world title contender, now takes the overall ratings lead from Miley-Dyer.
"It was pretty full on," explained an out-of-breath Woods afterwards. "The girls, were all ripping so I knew that I had to select the right waves and that happened, I´m pretty happy. The swell kicked in for the final which was great too and now the next event is at home in Avoca next week. I won there last year and love competing at home so I can´t wait!"
The Billabong PRO-Teen´s only perfect 10 point ride came from Stephanie Gilmore in the girls semi-finals. Gilmore paddled late into a wedging over-head peak, free-fell to the base of the wave, landed perfectly inside a heaving barrel and then emerged seconds later to finish the wave off with a cutback and close-out floater.
Even junior women´s surfing´s harshest critics, the junior men, were dumbfounded. "That´s the best thing I´ve ever seen from a chick!" declared a shocked Yadin Nicol immediately afterward, while men´s finalist Kerr, concurred. "There was a change in women´s surfing right then," remarked Kerr. "That tube was mental, I´ll be trippin´ on that for ages."
The Billabong PRO-Teen was the fourth event on the ASP Australasian Junior Circuit and the first of three consecutive PRO-Teens. The Series now heads to Avoca (20th - 22nd) then to Wollongong (26th - 29th).
The top five rated mens surfers at the completion of the PRO-Teen series will receive automatic entries into the prestigious Billabong World Junior Championship in January 2005.
Final Billabong PRO-Teen Junior mens results
Billabong Pro Teen Mens Heatdraw (Excel)
1st Adriano de Souza $2,800
2nd Clint Kimmins $1,400
3rd Josh Kerr $1,000
4th James Wood $800
= 5th Yadin Nicol (WA), Marlon Lipke (Portugal) $600
=7th Spencer Sterling (USA), Ryan Campbell (Sunshine Coast, QLD) $500
Final Billabong PRO-Teen Junior Girls results
Billabong Pro Teen Womens Heatdraw (Excel)
1st Rebecca Woods $1,200
2nd Sheridan Shields $650
3rd Stephanie Gilmore $300
4th Nicola Atherton $240
Billabong Pro Teen Snapper Rocks event photos
# 1 : Worlds best junior surfers set to take on Snapper Rocks
# 2 : Dozza & Fisher impress on Day One of Billbong Pro-Teen
# 3 : Adriano de Souza sets the pace at Billabong PRO-Teen
# 4 : Wilkinson & DeSouza turn heads at Billabong Pro Teen
# 5 : Ratings race wide open for Billabong Pro Teen final day
Junior Contests - Surfersvillage