Win a dream come true: Smith
Johannesburg - South African Jordy Smith was delighted after picking up his first victory of the season on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour.
Smith edged Brazilian favourite Adriano de Souza in Sunday's final of the Billabong Rio Pro at Barra Da Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
"This win feels unbelievable. It's another dream come true," Smith said.
"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 the crowd and Adriano. He's been ripping the whole event."
Smith posted the highest scoring ride of the final for a massive front-side aerial that earned 9.30 points out of a possible 10. His second scoring wave included an impressive stale fish air-reverse that was awarded 8.50 points.
De Souza had the huge local crowd on his side, taking an early lead and fighting hard throughout the 35 minute final, but ultimately finished as runner-up with a total of 16.34 points to Smith's 17.80.
The South African's third World Tour career victory saw him jump five places to number two - 250 points behind leader De Souza - on the ASP World Tour rankings.
Smith defeated Brazilian teenager Filipe Toledo in the quarter-finals, and he beat two-time world champion Mick Fanning of Australia in the semi-finals.
"I knew it was going to be tough," he said.
"I was really nervous in the first heat against Filipe. 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, and luckily I got a couple of scores."
The next event of the World Tour season will be held in Tavarua, Fiji, in June.