The Brazilian Adriano de Souza has taken the win at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro and is sitting pretty at the top of the Jeep Leaderboard as the world tour heads to Rio. In a high scoring and tense final, Adriano saw off John John Florence with a total score of 17.53 to JJ’s 16.87. After the win, his first in 2 years on the tour, De Souza dedicated it to his fellow Brazilian Ricardo de Santos who was gunned down in January.
After waiting for what seemed like an eternity for a mega swell to return to Margaret River, the event got back on track in perfect offshore double overhead conditions, and saw John John take out Nat Young in a convincing win in the first semi final. In a much tighter second semi final De Souza went to battle with Taj Burrow and after trading waves, the two were neck and neck with Adriano winning by just 0.39.
The waves in the final were buffeted by a strengthening offshore wind with both Florence and De Souza both carving the open faces and hacking into snappy top turns, and although JJF was strong on the wall of the wave with his vertical top turns, he was struggling to stay on his feet whenever the wave shut down. Adriano remained focused and calm and it was his strength in the final section of the wave and the ability to remain on his feet, that edged out Florence for the win.
So as the WSL head off to the Oi Rio Pro, De Souza leads and surprisingly his fellow compatriot and reigning world champion, Gabriel Medina drops out of the top 10 on the leaderboard. A highlight clip can be found below this article and we now turn our attentions to Rio de Janeiro for the Oi Rio Pro, which gets underway on May the 11th. Expect to see a resurgent De Souza carry his momentum into the event backed by an adoring home crowd.
Pictures – WSL/Kirstin Scholtz/Kelly Cestari