Rio de Janeiro - South Africa's Jordy Smith, 25, has won the Billabong Rio Pro in a hard-fought
final over national favourite Adriano de Souza, 26, by a score of 17.80 to
16.34 in clean two-to-four foot (1 metre) waves at Barra Da Tijuca.
Stop No 3 of 10 on the ASP World Championship Tour
(WCT), the Billabong Rio Pro utilised the entirety of the event waiting period,
culminating in a high-performance showdown from the ASP Top 34 amidst a bevy of
barrels and ramps of 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.
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
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, Brazil's Filipe Toledo, 18,
and two-time ASP world champion Mick Fanning (AUS), 31, en route to the final.
Smith attributed his 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.
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.